On Tuesday, 19 November, a woman named Rajyashri Choudhary made headlines for performing aarti in front of a portrait of Nathuram Godse, the man who murdered Mahatma Gandhi.
Choudhary’s actions drew media attention not merely because she is a leader of the Hindu right-wing organisation Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM), but also because she is a grand-niece of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
At the Hindu outfit’s office in Gwalior’s Daulatganj, Choudhary paid an obeisance to Godse and blamed Jawaharlal Nehru’s government for Gandhi’s death.
Questioning Gandhi's influence on crucial events like the Partition, Choudhary also likened his role in the freedom struggle to Bhishma from the Mahabharat, who had led the notorious Kaurava forces.
But this isn’t the first time that Choudhary, whose claim to fame is her relation to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, is making bigoted statements.
‘India Not Fully Independent Yet, Will Make It a Hindu Rashtra’
In 2018, Choudhary had been reported saying that she will not rest till India becomes a Hindu Rashtra.
She also said that India is not a completely independent nation yet, and that the country is still politically “a slave at an international level”.
In November 2018, Choudhary had also addressed the press alongside fellow ABHM leader Ranjeet Vikram Savarkar, grandson of the late Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
In that interaction, she had announced that the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. She had also made it clear that the Ayodhya Ram mandir issue would be the poll plank of the Mahasabha, along with the demand to establish Hindutva more firmly.