Mysuru: K S Bhagwan laments threat to independent thinkers

Mysuru (PTI): Rationalist free-thinker K S Bhagwan, who received a death threat a week after the murder of another progressive writer M M Kalburgi, today lamented the threat to “independent thinkers” from narrow-minded elements in the country.

Bhagwan received a letter here yesterday that threatened his life after which the police has beefed up his security.

Stating that he will not be cowed down by death threats to him, Bhagwan said he has been told that an FIR has been filed in connection with the threat letter.

Bhagwan regretted there is no space for free thinkers in the country even though Constitution guaranteed freedom of expression and also free thinking.

“There is no space for free thinkers here and there is no protection. We have a Constitution that guarantees freedom of expression and also free thinking… according to the Constitution it should be the duty of the citizen of India to promote rationalism, scientific enquiry and humanism and reform,” Bhagwan told NDTV.

Bhagwan had incurred the wrath of right-wing activists after he allegedly disparaged the Bhagawad Gita while speaking at a programme in Mysuru in February this year.
A Bajrang Dal local activist was arrested in Dakshina Kannada district a day after Kalburgi’s death on August 30 for allegedly posting remarks on Twitter threatening Bhagwan for his ‘derogatory’ remarks on the Bhagawad Gita.

Bhagwan’s family spoke to him about the contents of the letter which said that “three people we have finished, next is your turn; no amount of police protection will help. Your time is over, count the days.”

“I have not written against the Constitution but unfortunately, the narrow-minded people, who believe in religious bigotry, they think that what they say and what they think is the one and no other kind of thinking should be allowed. Therefore, I feel, a threat for such people who think independently,” Bhagwan said.

Stating that he is not “afraid” of threat letters, Bhagwan said it showed utter ignorance on the part of those who wrote the letter.

“Those who threatened me would have never read even a page of my writing,” he added.

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