While India marked the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October, not far from the national capital, a group of right-wing Hindutva body, Hindu Mahasabha installed the first ever bust of his killer, Nathuram Godse.
The statue, according to Times of India was installed and unveiled by the members of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha at their Sharda road office in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
The installation of Gandhi’s killer came after the similar attempts last year were thwarted in December.
The Hindu outfit also marked the day as Dhikkar Diwas (Day of Curse) on Sunday.
The militant outfit’s national vice president, Pandit Ashok Sharma, said, “In 2014, when we had tried to install the bust of Godse after a foundation stone laying ceremony. It was opposed by police and right-wing outfits due to which the spot was sealed and the matter was taken to court. This time, we exercised extreme caution and unveiled the statue on Gandhi Jayanti – as there can be a no better day. Our step signifies that it is time all Indians stop following Gandhi’s footsteps and start worshipping Godse.”
There has also been a long debate over Godse’s links with the RSS after the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi blamed the latter for the murder of Gandhi.
The matter is currently being heard by the Supreme Court.
A relative of Nathuram Godse last month had claimed that the Mahatma’s assassin was a member of the saffron organisation “till the last moment of his life”. However, Godse had maintained that he alone was responsible for the assassination, said Satyaki Savarkar, grandnephew of both Godse and Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
“After the assassination the Sangh did boycott Nathuram and condemned the killing. However, neither was he expelled, nor did he leave the organisation till the last moment of his life,” Satyaki told PTI.
Owing to ideological differences, Nathuram parted ways with the Sangh in the 1940s and started Hindu Rashtra Dal, but he never resigned from RSS nor was he expelled, Satyaki said. “He was a staunch follower of Veer Savarkar’s ideology of Hindutva and when (Keshav) Hedgewar was the RSS supremo, the organisation followed Savarkar’s ideology. However after (M S) Golwalkar took over, Nathuram thought RSS was deviating from the main path and he started distancing himself from RSS,” he said.
Nathuram thought RSS was deviating from Savarkar’s main idea of political empowerment of Hindus. RSS began to stress the cultural binding of the Hindu society and the social work “which irked Nathuram”, Satyaki said.
In 1946, Nathuram also fell out with Savarkar’s Hindu Mahasabha over the issue of whether the flag of independent India should be the tricolour or a saffron flag.
(With PTI inputs)