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‘This is Not Atal’s Bharat’: Swami Agnivesh on Second Mob Attack

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
Cameraperson: Akanksha Kumar

A day after being assaulted by BJP workers outside the party’s office in Delhi, social activist Swami Agnivesh lashed out at the ruling government. Swami Agnivesh bemoaned the fact that the BJP of today is not the same as it was during former PM Vajpayee’s time.

‘I Was Called a Traitor’

In an interview to The Quint, Swami Agnivesh said that he was shocked by the treatment meted out to him on a day when the nation was mourning the death of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“I had no inkling that on a day when the entire nation was mourning, I would be attacked outside BJP’s office, and that too by BJP workers.”
Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist

Recalling the chain of events on 17 August 2018, Swami Agnivesh said that he was on his way to pay last his last respects to Vajpayee when a crowd of 10-15 BJP workers tried to block his way.

Swami Agnivesh being attacked by BJP workers outside party’s office in Delhi on 17 August 2018.Swami Agnivesh being attacked by BJP workers outside party’s office in Delhi on 17 August 2018.(Photo: The Quint)
“BJP workers started beating and abusing me. I was called a traitor, they started chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’, and I was told to go to Pakistan.”
Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist

This is the second such attack by a mob on the 78-year-old social activist. On 17 July 2018, a group of Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) workers had assaulted Swami Agnivesh in Pakur, Jharkhand while he was addressing a public gathering.

Also Read: Swami Agnivesh Attacked By Mob Outside BJP Office, Complaint Filed

‘Had Spoken to Union Minister Harsh Vardhan’

Swami Agnivesh claims that he had spoken to Union Minister Harsh Vardhan and only then had taken a call to visit BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.

The BJP leader expressed his regret about the incident in a telephonic conversation with Swami Agnivesh.

The party has not issued any official statement yet.

“I had spoken to Harsh Vardhan twice and only then I had gone there. Why is PM Modi silent? Doesn’t his silence encourage such incidents?”
Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist
Swami Agnivesh tying a turban on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s head in 2001, ahead of US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India.Swami Agnivesh tying a turban on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s head in 2001, ahead of US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India.(Photo: The Quint)

BJP Supporter Lauds the Mob Attack

Though a complaint has been filed on behalf of Swami Agnivesh, no arrests have been made so far by the Delhi Police.

On Facebook, however, BJP supporters could be seen gloating over the fact that they were able to thrash Swami Agnivesh, who was labelled a ‘traitor’.

Screenshot from Facebook account of Pankaj Mishra, a BJP supporter.Screenshot from Facebook account of Pankaj Mishra, a BJP supporter.(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Soon after the attack on Swami Agnivesh, Pankaj Mishra, a BJP supporter posted a video of the assault with the comment, “Agnivesh jaise desh drohi ko pitane ka mouka mila (Got a chance to beat a traitor like Agnivesh).

Mishra, a resident of Noida, has photos of him standing with Union Minister Mahesh Sharma as the cover image of his profile. In another photo posted on his timeline, Mishra, who happens to be a karyakarta of the Sangh, is posing with controversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som.

Pankaj Mishra (second from right) posing with Union Minister Mahesh Sharma.Pankaj Mishra (second from right) posing with Union Minister Mahesh Sharma.(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Taking Forward Vajpayee’s Legacy

According to Swami Agnivesh, repeated incidents of lynching call for strict action by the law enforcement agencies. After being closely associated with Vajpayee since the days of Janata Party government, Swami Agnivesh is apprehensive of PM Modi’s idea of India.

Modi ji gave slogan of ‘Naya Bharat’This India is different from Atal’s Bharat.
Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist

Also Read: Exclusive: Swami Agnivesh Questions PM Modi’s Silence on Lynching

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Updated: August 18, 2018 — 6:07 pm
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