Gwalior: The Hindu Mahasabha stirred up the controversy over Nathuram Godse yet again by worshipping him on his “70th sacrifice day” on Friday.
The Mahasabha submitted a memorandum to the administration demanding to include in the school curriculum Godse’s statement submitted in the court during his trial for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. The organisation also demanded to return the statue of Godse, seized by the BJP government in the state two years ago.
Incidentally, the other issue that has triggered another controversy on a related subject is about the Bhopal MP, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s conspicuous absence from the padayatra to mark the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Thakur had incurred the ire of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah on the eve of Lok Sabha elections in May by calling Godse a patriot and martyr. Coming at the end of campaigning for the last phase of polling in Madhya Pradesh, the comment prompted Modi to say he would never be able to forgive the Sadhvi. But a comprehensive victory over Digvijaya Singh in the election seems to have forced the party to drop action against the Sadhvi.
Of the 29 members of Lok Sabha returned from Madhya Pradesh the only successful candidate from the Congress is Nakul Nath, son of Chief Minister Kamal Nath. And of the remaining 28 BJP members, only Thakur has stayed away from the Yatra. For all the talk of discipline, the party has avoided acting against the Sadhvi.
The Mahasabha’s National President, Jayveer Bharadwaj, said: “Like every year, the Mahasabha observed the 70the sacrifice day of Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte.” The day marks the execution of the two in 1949 for the Mahatma’s assassination.
The event was held at the Hindu Mahasabha office in Daulatganj here and a ‘maha-arti’ was performed first and those attending the function offered prayers for peace to the martyrs.
Bharadwaj said Godse and Apte had also contributed to the Independence of the nation, but were forgotten.
After the function the activists of the Hindu Mahasabha submitted a four-point memorandum to the administration and the Chief Minister. It seeks to include in the school curriculum Godse’s statement given to the court. It was banned by the Congress government for 50 years. Godse ‘s brother Gopal had pleaded with the court to lift the ban. Now the statement is in the public domain.
The Mahasabha did not clarify on why the issue was not raised during the 15-year rule of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and during the five-year rule at the Centre. The BJP administration had seized Godse’s statue two years ago. The Mahasabha has demanded it back.
The organisers have also demanded that the day of sacrifice by the sons of Guru Gobind Singh should be celebrated as Children’s Day.
Bhardwaj said the memorandum also demanded that a case of treason to be registered against those who insulted the statue of Swami Vivekananda at Delhi’s JNU.
Gwalior has been a major centre of the Hindu Mahasabha activities since Independence and Nathuram Godse had acquired the pistol from Gwalior to kill Mahatma Gandhi. The Hindu Mahasabha activists in Gwalior have been worshiping Godse for many years and tried to install the statue in 2017, but the administration seized it and banned its installation.