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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/17/17

Indian ultra-right party honors the assassin of nation's father, Mahatma Gandhi

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Sixty-nine years after Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, a "shrine" dedicated to his killer Nathuram Godse was set up in Guwalior by the Hindu Mahasabha on Wednesday (November 15), Hindustan Times reported.

The ultra-right-wing organization installed a bust of Godse inside its office premises amid Vedic chants to mark the anniversary of his execution.

Leaders of the Mahasabha said every Tuesday they will perform "akhand bharat (Greater India) aarti in the temple" to apprise the younger generation about Godse's life and vision.

The term akhand bharat or Greater India is most commonly used to encompass the historical and geographic extent of all political entities of the Indian subcontinent, and the regions that are culturally linked to India or received significant Indian cultural influence.

A Gwalior-based leader of the Mahasabha Jaiveer Bhardwaj told HT that they were forced to set up the shrine inside their office building as the district administration did not give permission and land for the temple.

"We had applied for permission on November 9, but district authorities denied it. So we finally decided to set up the temple inside our building in the Daulatganj area of the city", he said.

Bhardwaj said the "temple" would created awareness among the younger generation about the historical events surrounding the life of Godse, which, he claimed, is often distorted, and the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the partition of the sub-continent in 1947 by Britain to establish Pakistan.

He said Godse had spent time in Gwalior and it was from here he went to Delhi to kill Mahatma Gandhi.

Assassination of Gandhi

On January 30, 1948, Nathuram Godse, a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), shot Mahatma Gandhi three times and killed him in Delhi.

Godse and his fellow conspirators Digambar Badge, Gopal Godse, Narayan Apte, Vishnu Karkare, and Madanlal Pahwa were identified as prominent members of the Hindu Mahasabha.

Along with them, police arrested Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who was suspected of being the mastermind behind the plot.

Savarkar coined the term Hindutva (Hinduness) to create a collective "Hindu" identity as an essence of Bharat (India).

While the trial resulted in convictions and judgments against the others, Savarkar was released on a technicality, even though there was evidence that the plotters met Savarkar only days before carrying out the murder and had received the blessings of Savarkar.

The Kapur Commission in 1967 established that Savarkar was in close contact with the plotters for many months.

The governing Bharatiya Janata Party is widely seen as the political arm of the umbrella Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, or National Volunteer Corps).

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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