GOA-BASED progressive writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner Damodar Mauzo has been provided with police security cover after his name was revealed by the alleged killers of Gauri Lankesh, Goa police confirmed on Thursday.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mauzo confirmed the security, adding that he is not going to change his views and his writing will continue.
To the police, he has mentioned what he suspects is the trigger. “I have been very, very outspoken against the Sanathan Sanstha. I was told by the police the threat is right-wing,” he told The Indian Express.
“In January 2016, I had chaired a seminar at Dandi. It was there that I openly said in a public gathering that I am proud that I am in Goa as it stands for harmony. I also said I am equally ashamed of Goa as this is where Sanathan Sanstha is headquartered,” said Mauzo.
“My freedom is not curbed and it never will. In the last six years, I have been very outspoken about this group and also about right-wing terror. My writings are proof… I am not going to stop speaking or change my opinions against them,” he said.
The seminar took place on January 30, 2016 at Dandi, Ahmedabad. Among those in the panel Mauzo chaired were Govind Pansare’s daughter-in-law Megha Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar’s son Hamid and M M Kalburgi’s son Vijay, and Rajmohan Gandhi and Gujarati human rights activist Martin Macwan.
In the Santhan Sanstha website, a press statement issued by the organisation condones Mauzo’s remarks at the seminar. It says, “While concluding the debate, Damodar Mauzo said Goa is proud and yet ashamed. Proud for the communal harmony people in Goa maintain and ashamed for having headquarters of Sanatan Sanstha in the peaceful and harmonious state of Goa. (Is Damodar Mauzo not aware of the history of atrocities committed by the Portuguese missionaries on Hindus in Goa before Goa attained Independence? Does he not feel ashamed about those atrocities? When Goa State is earning a bad name for drugs, illegal prostitution, casinos etc., does he not feel ashamed about these activities? On the contrary, people from this country and overseas are flocking to Goa to learn about the mission of Sanatan Sanstha to serve the Nation, Dharma and Spirituality, and thus, Sanatan Sanstha is bringing fame to Goa. Why is Damodar Mauzo silent about this?)”