A state convener of the right-wing, fringe group Sri Rama Sene, has issued a threat to rationalists -- people will cut off their tongues if they dared malign Hindu gods -- the latest attack on writers who have criticized religious superstition. Author and academic MM Kalburgi, 77, was gunned down at his home in Karnataka's Dharwad in August this year stoking fears of rising religious intolerance soiling India's secular fabric.
Siddalinga Swami, Karnataka convenor of the Sene, said "The epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata) are followed by millions of Hindus as sacred texts. People will not tolerate the belittling of Ramayana characters, who are worshipped. They will cut off the tongues of writers if they do not stop insulting Hindu gods," reported India Today.
Earlier, the group's leader Pramod Mutalik said he would sue leading Kannada writers for linking his organisation to the murder of Kalburgi without any evidence.
The Hindu said that on Saturday, Sene’s Raichur district president was arrested for threatening to destroy houses of writers who had implied that Hindutva groups could be behind the murder of Kalburgi.
Swami's remarks were specifically directed against writers KS Bhagavan and Chandrasekhar Patil who he claimed belittled the characters in Ramayana and Mahabharata and hurt the sentiments of Hindus. Bhagavan is said to have told a Kannada TV channel that Rama and Krishna should not be worshipped because they did not uphold human values, according to India Today.