Bhopal: The Hindu Mahasabha on Tuesday sought to reignite the Nathuram Godse bushfire by inviting Netaji Subhas Chandra Boses “grand niece” Rajyashree Choudhury to glorify him and run down the Father of the Nation at Gwalior.
Three days after the Gwalior Police booked some Mahasabha activists for distributing offending pamphlets about Mahatma Gandhi and for performing ‘aarti’ of Godse and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte at the Mahasabha office, Choudhury appeared on the scene to say Gandhi’s role in the freedom struggle was like that of “Bhishma” in the Mahabharata, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, who condoned immoral behaviour of Kauravas.
On Friday, the Mahasabha had observed Godse’s death anniversary and demanded that his statements during the trial be included in the school curriculum.
“A day earlier the activists had distributed pamphlets with offending remarks against Gandhi,” said Gwalior Kotwali police station in-charge Vivek Ashthana.
The FIR was lodged on a complaint by Ravindra Singh Chouhan, a local resident, who said the handbills hurt the sentiments of Gandhians.
A case has been filed against Mahasabha members Naresh Batham and others under Section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) of the Indian Penal Code.
Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Gwalior Zone, Raja Babu Singh, said the police were going through the video footage of the Mahasabha’s Friday programme to observe Godse’s death anniversary.
Mahasabha national vice-president Jaiveer Bharadwaj said the police action displayed the “dictatorial attitude” of the Congress-led government in the state. “I am not aware of the case, but we will present our side in the court. We have right to organise ‘puja’ in our houses,” Bharadwaj said.
Chaudhury claimed many Congress leaders wanted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to lead the country after Independence, but Gandhiji “silenced” everyone to “favour” Jawaharlal Nehru, who went on to become the first Prime Minister.
Choudhury also questioned Gandhi’s role in the partition of India in 1947. “Gandhiji had said the country’s partition would be allowed over his body. Why he didn’t stop it? Why the partition was allowed under the influence of leaders greedy for power,” Choudhury said speaking to reporters.
Choudhury claimed her grandmother was the sister of Bose and touched upon the controversy surrounding the death of Bose.
She challenged the police to take action against Mahasabha activists, booked earlier. “We will hold an agitation and even move to Parliament if the police take action against any activist,” she said.