Row Over Godse Comment: Hindu Mahasabha to Install His Bust
A bust of Godse earlier installed by Hindu Mahasabha, was confiscated in 2017.
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning Pragya Thakur’s comment of calling Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’, the right-wing organisation Hindu Mahasabha is planning to celebrate his 110th birth anniversary.
The event is scheduled for 19 May which coincides with the last phase of Lok Sabha polls.
The Hindu Mahasabha is also planning to make a new bust of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer, Nathuram Godse, which will be installed at Godse’s temple in Gwalior.
One such bust was confiscated by the then BJP government in Madhya Pradesh in November 2017.
Gwalior, in fact, had played a vital role in the conspiracy behind Gandhi’s murder. The Beretta pistol used to kill the Mahatma had changed many hands in Gwalior before it was passed on to Godse for Bapu’s assassination. Subsequent investigations remained inconclusive on the origin and ownership of this Beretta pistol.
Hindu Mahasabha ‘Notorious’ For Shooting At Gandhi Effigy
Hindu Mahasabha’s National Vice President, Jaiveer Bharadwaj, said they will install a new bust of Godse since the old one was confiscated by the administration in 2017 and is still in police custody.
Bharadwaj plans to inaugurate the temple on 15 November – the day Godse was hanged in Ambala Jail 70 years ago – to observe it as ‘Balidan Diwas’.
The Hindu Mahasabha is the same organisation which had celebrated Gandhi’s death anniversary and the 'martyrdom' of Nathuram Godse, by shooting at an effigy of Gandhi on 30 January this year in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh.
The issue drew huge criticism from every section of society with the Uttar Pradesh police arresting Hindu Mahasabha General Secretary Pooja Pandey and her husband, Ashok Pandey. Cases were registered against 13 persons under various sections of the IPC.
Godse Resurfaces This Poll Season
Godse’s name has resurfaced ahead of the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections, following actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan’s statement , on 12 May, “free India’s first terrorist was a Hindu - Nathuram Godse.”
Haasan’s remark was followed by Pragya Thakur referring to Godse as a patriot.
Commenting on Kamal Hassan’s statement, Jaiveer Bharadwaj, National Vice President of Hindu Mahasabha said, “Kamal Hassan should have studied history before making such comments. Also, there is nothing new in what Pragya has said. We have been telling this for years. There should be a temple for Godse and we will build it.”
When contacted, the district magistrate of Gwalior Anurag Choudhary said, “We haven’t received any application from the Hindu Mahasabha to install statue or celebrate Godse’s birth anniversary on 19 May. Since, the model code of conduct is in place, nobody is allowed to do anything.”
Choudhary further said, “If we receive any such applications in future, evidently, we will reject it.”
(Kashif Kakvi is a Bhopal-based freelance journalist. He can be reached @KashifKakvi.)
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