On 30 Jan 2014, the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi tweeted as follows:
On Mahatma Gandhi’s Punya Tithi, we bow to the Father of the Nation & pledge to uphold his ideals & teachings for peace & progress of India. Time – 10.51 AM.
The proverb that ‘much water has flown the bridges of Ganga and Jamuna’ is holding true. Today, an ordinary Indian who had voted NaMo and his party for ‘Sabka Vikas , Sabka Saath’ is aghast to see the changing colors of Indian polity and politics.
It was not easy to forget what the BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj had said about Godse – ‘He was a nationalist and a patriot.’ In October, a Malayalam mouthpiece of the RSS had proclaimed that Nathuram Godse should have killed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and not Gandhi. Then we heard the shrilling announcement of retching fanaticism from the same juggernaut. The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha says it plans to lay the foundation stone of the temple on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in Delhi.
The organization also plans to launch a massive campaign to effect a change in the negative image of Nathuram Godse and project him as a true nationalist and freedom fighter. According to the ‘Hindu Mahasabh’s working president Mr. Kamlesh Tiwari, “We plan to lay the foundation stone of a temple for Akhand Bharat Mata and Godse ji on January 30. We also plan a big congregation of people where the ashes of Godse ji, currently kept in Pune, will be brought to this temple in Sitapur. We are working towards creating a Hindu Rashtra and an undivided Bharat is our dream. We will immerse his ashes only after his dream has been realized.”
And now the resolve is taking the concrete shape.
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha activists are all set to build the country’s first temple for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse in Meerut. As a first step for building the temple, the Hindutva activists had performed ‘bhumi pujan‘ on Wednesday in their local office here in Meerut. The bhumi pujan in Meerut comes two days after the ABHM bought land at Sidhauli Para village in Sitapur district.
The declared intention is to build another temple for Nathuram Godse on January 30, the day Godse shot the Mahatma to death. According to a member of the central working committee of the ABHM Pandit, Ashok Kumar Sharma, who declared Godse a ‘martyr’, the temple will have a bust of Godse in white stone. “Building the temple for Godse would be the first step in countering the propaganda against Nathuram Godse.”
Despite the political differences with BJP, we believe that the words of prime minister of India carry weight. When Mr. Modi talks about the respect of the ‘Lakshman Rekhaa’ to be followed by the right winger fringe of fanatics, the Indians believe in him. However, it was alarming to read the brazen declaration from Mr. Kamlesh Tiwari – “Modi and the BJP have got this huge mandate because 70 per cent of Hindus have voted for them. The voters wanted them to safeguard Hindutva and their related interests. If they choose to ignore the aspirations of the people, it’s up to them. But then the 2019 results will show whether they have actually lived up to the expectations of the people.”
Tiwari claims that he has the support of local villagers as well as a host of people from different states that will all converge at the Para village in Sidhauli area of Sitapur on January 30 next year.
India is the world’s largest democracy that contains a plurality of religious groups who have lived together for generations on terms of peace and mutual respect. Indian Constitution has ensured a sound foundation for the society based on mutual respect, pluralism and protection of basics right of its citizen. Unfortunately, with the pyrrhic victory of BJP in the recent elections, a new wave of Hindu fundamentalism is rising that has challenged the basic secular structure of this country. There are indirect and often direct threats tossed at the minorities. The Muslims and lately Christians are demonized and called as invaders.
There had been numerous outbreaks of violence. Now the valor of Religiosity has climbed the next pedestal. From Minorities they have directed the long bow towards Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi. They feel that by hitting him they would succeed to DEMOLISH the values he had stood for. Gandhi expounded for Non Violence and Tolerance, Mutual Respect and Love for all. How could the values of mutual respect and toleration survive if you put the bust of Killer of the ‘Father of the Nation’ in a sanctum sanctorium of religion?
Will the Prime Minister speak now?
By: Naim Naqvi