ndia’s oldest Hindu political organisation, the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, has time and again expressed its love for Nathuram Godse and hatred for Mahatma Gandhi. Pooja Shakun Pandey, a leader of a right-wing group, instrumental in shocking recreation of the shooting of Mahatma Gandhi and missing since, was arrested on Tuesday. Pooja Pandey, a leader of the Hindu Mahasabha — to which Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse also belonged — was caught from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. Her husband Ashok Pandey was also taken into custody. They might have got arrested but this arrest will fetch votes for BJP because the so-called advocates of Hindutva will get offended because their enemy is Gandhi and they see this incident as a nationalistic act. An arrest will not achieve anything. Even after 70 years of independence, if there is still a deep divide as to who the hero and who the villain is, it’s unlikely that one side would be able to convince the other conclusively.
What seems alarming is that the BJP accepts this lady as their member! She is being regarded as a forerunner of Hindutva. She remains present in all the important meetings of BJP and is seen with its leaders like Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Uma Bharti, etc. There is a limit to madness and ridiculous interpretations of freedom. However, more importantly, why the elitist celebrities are now silent and do not come in with their ‘intolerance’ remarks, especially since as per their definition, we are supposed to be ‘tolerant’, is it to acclaim Afzal Guru or Godse? A video of the enactment showing Pooja Shakun Pandey shooting an effigy of the Mahatma should have sparked huge outrage, but many preferred to be silent on this act.
“Even after 70 years of independence, if there is still a deep divide as to who the hero and who the villain is, it’s unlikely that one side would be able to convince the other conclusively.”
This year is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and it was the theme of this year’s Republic Day Parade. The 90-minute parade saw 22 larger-than-life tableaux, each one giving a special tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Several projects of the government, including Modi’s flagship Clean India Project, had their genesis in the Mahatma’s ideas. On the other hand, BJP’s counterparts are getting in the limelight with such reckless acts.
Madan Mohan Malaviya founded Hindu Mahasabha in 1915. This is not the first time that the Hindu Mahasabha has tried to glorify Nathuram Godse. In 2015, the group’s leader Swami Pranavananda had announced plans to install statues of Nathuram Godse across six districts of Karnataka. He also described the assassin as a “patriot” who had worked with the blessings of Hindu nationalist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. While it is true that RSS is not found to have directly involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but it was their ideology that provoked Nathuram Godse to kill Gandhi. The RSS had the support of some princely states during the British time. States of Gwalior, Bharatpur, and Alwar were close to RSS and Hindu Mahasabha. Immediately after the assassination, they distributed sweets, lighted their Shakhas, and hurled flowers. In fact, Nehru asked Vallabhbhai Patel to monitor these states for preventing possibilities of them making these states as their base.
Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi not for partition of India but for not letting the divided India to be declared as Hindu Rashtra. The members of Hindu Mahasabha, even after 70 years of independence, celebrate the killing of Gandhi with the distribution of sweets and entertainment events. Caste lines have divided the Indian Society for centuries since the country always has a collection of castes.
In 2014, a lot of people voted for BJP; however, they did not vote as Hindus but they voted as the people who were fed up with the corruption scandals from the previous Congress Government. There was a massive anti-incumbency factor that worked in the favour of BJP. A huge number of first-time voters, filled with the idealism of youth, believed in the development slogan, Rs 15 lakhs in the bank accounts, and 2 crore jobs per year and voted en masse for BJP as the citizens and not as the Hindus. These promises although false, united millions of Indians who voted for BJP which also included Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians. It was the hope for a bright future, better prospects that united people and not Hinduism.
“Godse’s popularity within the Mahasabha is not only because he killed the man whom they think denied India its non-secular and Hindu identity but also because of Godse’s unique definition of what constitutes a patriot and why he was one in having killed the Father of the Nation.”
The false promises were made on a colossal scale; naive people of India actually believed that Rs 15 lakhs would be deposited in their bank accounts. The desire to have this inconceivable amount of money in their bank account united people to vote for Modi. It was not an unprecedented phenomenon; this time the lies were told on such a massive scale and reiterated so often that people actually believed them. Later, they were told it was just a Jumla (a mere phrase) to win the election. Another false promise by BJP that struck a chord across the board irrespective of religions was 2 crore jobs per year. All the young people wanted desperately to believe in this promise. Those millions of young people, whose parents with meager resources had spent everything to get them a good education, were united in the hope of a job. They were not united for Hinduism. Our population is a lot more secular than our leaders are willing to admit. A huge number of Indians voted for BJP because they were united in their dream of good governance, jobs, smart cities, prosperity and better days. It was a large chunk of Indians who voted for BJP in the hope of better days. However, when they failed to deliver their promises, they are returning to communal politics to hold Hindu votes for them. Such acts of creating hate by rewriting history have become their tool. Even Modi in his speeches has spewed venom against Nehru and Congress twisting the facts from the History. People are just trying to offset the official hatred of Godse by the spinning machine. He has been vilified a bit too much for killing the “greatest Indian of all time” as you put it.
Godse’s popularity within the Mahasabha is not only because he killed the man whom they think denied India its non-secular and Hindu identity but also because of Godse’s unique definition of what constitutes a patriot and why he was one in having killed the Father of the Nation.
Let’s see how the Hindu sentiments are getting translated ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and what more could be done to damage the history and establish new parameters to win the 2019 general elections.