Mahendra Kumar, former Bajrang Dal chief, and activist, has passed away after suffering a heart attack on Saturday, April 25. He was 47.
He hailed from Koppa in Chikkamagaluru district but was living in Bengaluru. His last rites will be performed in his native.
Who was Mahendra Kumar?
Mahendra Kumar was associated with the Bajrang Dal, a pro-Hindu outfit, and a member of the Sangh Parivar, for 16 years. He worked at the grassroots level and had a major role in mobilising youths, which helped the BJP get a strong foothold in the Malnad region.
He served in various positions before becoming the Chief of the Bajrang Dal. Mahendra Kumar was the alleged mastermind of infamous 2008 Church attacks and he was in jail for 42 days before getting anticipatory bail.
However, this incident made him all together a different man. From his extreme right-wing views, he shifted to left ideology. Thereafter, he became a strong critic of the RSS, the BJP, and right-wing politics.
Mahendra Kumar had said that he went to jail to save the then ruling BJP government from causing embarrassment. The ex-Bajrang Dal leader claimed that he was never against Christianity, but opposed the forceful conversion.
Talking about the incident that caused disenchantment towards the right-wing politics, he had told Bangalore Mirror about a woman trying to kill self but was saved by Christian missionaries.
"She had decided to commit suicide with her three children but was saved by Christian missionaries. That was the time I realised that life is more important than 'dharma'. A lot needs to be done for the betterment of life. My dream is to build a society that values life more than religion," Bangalore Mirror quoted him as saying.
He quit the Bajrang Dal in 2008 and had joined the JD (S) in 2011. Later, he founded Jana Dhwani movement. A few days ago, he had posted below video:
Politicians condole his death:
From Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to opposition leader Siddaramaiah, notable personalities have condoled the death. Check out their tweets:
Vishweshwar Bhat: I deeply mourn the death of my dear friend Mahendra Kumar. He was a great orator and good organiser. He had lot of dreams. His untimely death has snatched away his unfulfilled ambitions. Om Shanti
Chetan Kumar: #MahendraKumar'avre: ur contribution to an inclusive society beyond religious/sectarian differences will never be forgotten
Pramod Madhwaraj: My heartfelt condolences on the sad and sudden demise of Sri Mahendra Kumar.
ಮಿತ್ರ, ಪ್ರಗತಿಪರ ಚಿಂತಕ ಶ್ರೀ ಮಹೇಂದ್ರ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರ ನಿಧನದ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಕೇಳಿ ಅಪಾರವಾದ ದುಃಖವುಂಟಾಗಿದೆ. ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಜರಂಗದಳವನ್ನು ತಳಮಟ್ಟದಿಂದ ಕಟ್ಟಿಬೆಳೆಸುವಲ್ಲಿ ಅವರ ಶ್ರಮ ಬಹಳ ದೊಡ್ಡದು.— Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) April 25, 2020
ಶ್ರೀ ಮಹೇಂದ್ರ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಚಿರಶಾಂತಿ ದೊರಕಲಿ ಎಂದು ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ.#OmShanti pic.twitter.com/xnF6aIYICm
ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಹೋರಾಟಗಾರ ಮಹೇಂದ್ರಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರ ಅನಿರೀಕ್ಷಿತ ಸಾವಿನಿಂದ ದು:ಖಿತನಾಗಿದ್ದೇನೆ.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) April 25, 2020
ಜಾತ್ಯತೀತ ಶಕ್ತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಸಂಘಟಿಸಲು ಅವಿರತವಾಗಿ ಶ್ರಮಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಈ ಯುವ ನಾಯಕ ಒಂದೆರಡು ಭೇಟಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಭರವಸೆ ಮೂಡಿಸಿದ್ದರು.
ಅವರ ದು:ಖತಪ್ತ ಕುಟುಂಬಕ್ಕೆ ನನ್ನ ಸಂತಾಪಗಳು. pic.twitter.com/wcmKL4rdag
ಸುಧೀಂದ್ರ ಭಾರದ್ವಾಜನಿಂದ ಪರಿಚಯವಾಗಿ, ವಿಜಯಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಕಚೇರಿಯ ಪಕ್ಕದ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಕೂಟ ಪಾರ್ಕ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಳಿತು ಹರಟೆ ಹೊಡೆಯುವಲ್ಲಿಗಿನ ಸ್ನೇಹ, ಸಲುಗೆಯ ಕೊಂಡಿ ಕಳಚಿತು. ಇಷ್ಟು ಬೇಗ ಹೋಗಬಾರದಿತ್ತು ಮಹೇಂದ್ರ ಅವರೇ. ಓಂ ಶಾಂತಿ. pic.twitter.com/y5bHoBnnZt— Pratap Simha (@mepratap) April 25, 2020
ಪ್ರಗತಿಪರ ಚಿಂತಕ ಮಹೇಂದ್ರ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರ ಅಗಲಿಕೆ ನೋವು ತಂದಿದೆ.— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) April 25, 2020
ಬಜರಂಗದಳದ ಮಾಜಿ ಸಂಚಾಲಕರಾಗಿದ್ದ ಮಹೇಂದ್ರ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ಸಿಗಲಿ, ಅವರ ಅಗಲಿಕೆಯ ನೋವು ಭರಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಕುಟುಂಬ ಸದಸ್ಯರು ಹಾಗೂ ಹಿತೈಷಿಗಳಿಗೆ ದೇವರು ನೀಡಲಿ ಎಂದು ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ.
BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan: Paid Last Last Respect to Social Activist & Well known Speaker Late Shri Mahendra Kumar and gave my condolences to his Family member's at M S Ramaiah Hospital in Bengaluru
Brijesh Kalappa: Distressing news about the untimely demise of Shri Mahendra Kumar, formerly with Bajrang Dal and for many years now a voice of reason. May his soul rest in everlasting peace Folded hands.