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MUMBAI, INDIA, December 30, 2000: The Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Swami Jayendra Saraswati is in Mumbai to present the National Eminence Awards instituted by the South Indian Education Society. In an interview the seer spoke of his support of Bal Thackeray's brand of Hindutva -- regarded as extreme even by Hindu nationalists -- and why he's forgiven the latter for rising to power on a hate-Tamilians campaign decades ago. "Thackeray was misguided then but now he has given it all up to espouse the cause of Bharat and Hindutva. [It appears] aggression is the need of the times. Even the scriptures recommend this. The Moslems have their supporters in the Persian Gulf, the Christians get money from the West through the Church and the government and the courts seem obsessed with protecting only the minorities. So what happens to the majority? How long should we sacrifice to appease minorities? It is here that leaders like Thackeray who can mobilize Hindus become crucial. If his style is high-handed then so be it. Like I said, it is necessary." Later in the same interview, the Shankaracharya comments on India' atomic bomb, "The use of science and technology to kill is wrong by itself. But you need to be prepared with preventive strike power since we are surrounded by enemies. In that light the bomb has fulfilled a big need. It has changed the way the world and our neighbors look at us (laughs). The bomb can take care of the enemies without but the real problem are the enemies within."