Sadhvi Pragya or Pragya Singh Thakur is a Hindu Nationalist and an Indian politician. She is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She remains in the spotlight for her controversial statements. BJP fielded her in the 2019 General Election against Congress leader, Digvijaya Singh, from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency.
Pragya Singh Thakur was born in 1971 (Age: 48 years, as in 2019) in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, India. She received her primary education from her village, Lahar. Her father, C.P. Thakur was a government employee as a ‘demonstrator’ in the agriculture department. Her father was also an Ayurvedic doctor and owned a clinic in his village, Lahar. Her father was also an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). When she was in college, she was considered a good orator. She joined the student wing of RSS, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). She has received an M.A. degree in History from a college in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh.
She was born in a Kshatriya (Thakur) family to C.P. Thakur and Sarla Devi. She has one brother and three sisters.
She is unmarried.
Under the influence of her father, she joined RSS and became an active member of ABVP, the student wing of RSS. Sadhvi has also worked in Durga Vahini, women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). However, she is known for her provocative speeches and being the star campaigner of BJP. At the 2019 General Election, she won against Congress leader, Digvijaya Singh, from the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency.
- She was the main accused at the 2006 Malegaon bombings near a Mosque in which two bombs exploded in Maharashtra and one in Gujarat. About 6 people died and more than 100 were left injured. She was arrested and imprisoned for 9 years. However, she was acquitted of the charges in 2017.
- Sadhvi Pragya was also accused of murdering the BJP MLA, Sunil Joshi in December 2007 who proposed her for marriage but she refused. She along with seven others was held responsible for the mishappening and arrested but she was set free in 2017.
- She remains in media for her provocative statements. In 2018, during a speech, she referred to Sonia Gandhi as ‘Italy Wali Bai’ (Maid from Italy).
- On 19 April 2019, she stirred controversy in a press conference. She said that when she was arrested in the Malegaon Bomb Blast case, she told 26/11 hero, Hemant Karkare to leave her; as he had no evidence against her, but he refused. She then cursed Hemant Karkare that he would be destroyed and notably, he died just two months later in the Mumbai terrorist attack.
- On 1 May 2019, she made a comment on Babri Mosque demolition, she said, “We removed a blot from the country. We went to demolish the structure. I feel extremely proud that God gave me this opportunity and I could do that. We will make sure a Ram temple is constructed at that site.” The Election commission condemned her remark and banned her for 72 hours from campaigning as she was seeking votes on religious lines.
- In May 2019, she made a comment on the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse. She termed Godse as a patriot. On her comment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he would never forgive Pragya Thakur for insulting Mahatma Gandhi. BJP President Amit Shah also asked her to clarify her comment within ten days.
- In July 2019, she made a controversial statement regarding Narendra Modi‘s Swachh Bharat mission. While talking to BJP workers at Sehore, Madhya Pradesh, she said, “We haven’t been elected to clean your drains, ok? We haven’t been elected to clean your toilets, please understand. The work for which I have been elected, I will do honestly, I have said that before and I will say it again.” Over this comment, she was criticised very much by the senior party workers.
- Within a few days of induction into the consultative committee of the defence ministry, she was axed from it after she described Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a patriot in parliament during the winter session in November 2019.
- As per her father, she never watched a single movie. She is also not very interested in listening to film music.
- After deciding to remain unmarried, she became close to Saints. She made her hermitage in Surat, Gujarat and travelled the whole country from there.
- When she was arrested for the Malegaon Bomb Attack incident, she hit out at the then Union Minister, P. Chidambaram and said,
“I’m victim of Chidambaram’s ‘saffron terrorism’ bogey.”
- Her hobbies are reading, motorbiking, travelling, etc.
- Here is an interview of Sadhvi Pragya with a famous TV anchor, Rajat Sharma in his famous TV Show, Aap Ki Adalat.