PM Modi Condemns Pragya Thakur, But Follows Godse Fans on Twitter
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have claimed to be upset with Pragya Thakur for calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’, but his Twitter feed suggests otherwise.
On 16 May, PM Modi claimed that he would “never forgive” Thakur for glorifying Gandhi’s assassin and calling him a patriot – a stance that was soon reiterated by several BJP leaders, including party president Amit Shah.
However, some BJP leaders, including a Union Minister, swung the other way, coming out in support of Godse. Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde had tweeted, "Am glad that 7 decades later today's generation debates in a changed perceptional environment and gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon. #NathuramGodse would have finally felt happy with this debate!"
Also Read : How Did Nathuram Godse Turn into a “Patriot”?
Similarly, another MP from Karnataka – Nalin Kumar Kateel – took to Twitter to say, "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this??"
Of course, both these tweets have been deleted now (with Hegde claiming to have been hacked).
These two parliamentarians are not the only people who agree with Godse’s actions. Several people on Twitter, many of whom are followed by PM Modi, subscribe to this school of thought.
The Quint looked up tweets, both old and new, from some of the accounts that are followed by PM Modi to understand the general sentiment towards Godse in this privileged group that has the PM’s ear.
Ram Is to Raavan What Godse Is to Gandhi?
Meanwhile, BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya was called out by several people on Twitter, including senior journalist Barkha Dutt and Alt News founder Pratik Sinha, for deleting his old tweets sympathising with Godse.
But, the internet never forgets.
What About Rajiv Gandhi?
Then there were some who indulged in whataboutery, keeping in line with this election season’s theme – Rajiv Gandhi – much like Karnataka MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had.
And those minimising Godse’s connection to the RSS.
I Condemn But Also Admire
Writer Madhu Kishwar, who is also followed by PM Modi, ‘condemned’ Godse, but ‘admired his heroic courage’ in facing trial, appearing to draw comfort from the fact that he didn’t “hit and run”.
Godse and His ‘Intense Love’ for India
One account followed by the PM even rationalised Godse’s assassination of Gandhi as an act of ‘intense’ patriotism.
Godse Was a True Patriot, Amar Rahe!
Some of these handles followed by the PM also appeared to truly believe that Godse was the ‘original deshbhakt’, just like Thakur did on camera.
Target the Liberals
Several accounts also took the debate as an opportunity to take potshots at the ‘liberals’.
Finally, Gandhi is Gandhi Because of Godse
And lest we forget, Gandhi is who he is, because Godse assassinated him, apparently.
While PM Modi has neither endorsed these opinions nor echoed them in any manner, he had not spoken against Godse openly either, until Thakur called him a patriot. And of course, he does follow a startling number of accounts that are sympathetic to Godse.