BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj thinks Nathuram Godse is a patriot. He later retracted his statement, but why did he feel justified in making it in the first place?

BJP Lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj Says Patriotgodse sakshi maharaj GODSE PATRIOT OR KILLER?

  1. Nathuram Godse pumped 3 bullets into the chest of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 30 January 1948. Though he was the sole assassin, the plan for the assassination was plotted along with Narayan Apte and 6 others.
  2. Typically reviled as the ‘killer of the father of the nation’ new ideas about Godse are now emerging; ideas that show him in a positive light. These ideas were earlier restricted to a few; they are now emerging upon the national scene for the first time.
  3. Shakshi Mahraj of the BJP stirred a hornet’s nest by calling Nathuram Godse a ‘Patriot’. “I feel Nathuram Godse was a patriot just as Mahatma Gandhi was,” he was reported as saying. A member of the BJP and the RSS, he won the general elections from Unnao. In 2013, he, along with others were booked for the murder of former college principal Sujata Verma. (Source – Times) Expelled from the Rajya Sabha for misusing his constituency funds, Sacchidanand Hari, (whom we know as Sakshi Maharaj) has also spent a month in Tihar Jail on rape charges. He was acquitted for lack of evidence. (Source – NDTV)
  4. The statement was retracted later of course after furore in the Rajya Sabha and much protest from the opposition. However this statement sheds light on the agendas held dear by many in the present government.
  5. In recent times, Nathuram Godse’s final statement in court is frequently cited as evidence of the man’s nationalistic ideologies; supposedly ideologies to be admired and emulated. This statement has widely been circulated in social media and has gained significant currency because the views of Godse are actually echoed by a very significant portion of our population. Given this support, it is hardly surprising that someone like Sakshi Mahraj made the statement that he did.
  6. When you read the statement, it comes across as sounding quite sane and reasonable but the underlying religious chauvinism and resentment towards other communities comes across as clearly. “It was my first duty to serve Hindudom and Hindus both as a patriot and as a world citizen,” he said in his statement.
  7. Godse has also compared his actions to those of Lord Ram in the Ramayan and Lord Krishna in the Mahabharat, saying it is a “religious and moral duty to resist and if possible, to overpower such an enemy by use of force”; pointing to the reasons for the evil Ravan and Kans being killed. He also eulogises the heroism of Chhatrapati Shivaji; how he “first checked and eventually destroyed the Muslim tyranny in India” – (Source Yahoo)
  8. Godse’s ideas find a lot of support not just with the ideology of the ruling dispensation but among the people; who finally feel justified in expressing a deep seated resentment towards certain communities. Godse belonged to the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha; he espoused the same Hindutva ideals as these organisations have espoused and propagated and still do.
  9. The definition of nationalism is now different than it used to be. It now has distinctly religious overtones; the fact that someone like Sakshi Maharaj chose a national platform to make his statement proves this.

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