New Delhi: The BJP and its ideological mentor RSS strongly expressed their disapproval as a fringe group commemorated the 66th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse and launched a website on his life.
“I do not know which organisation is glorifying him (Godse). But I believe that to glorify him is wrong,” said senior RSS ideologue MG Vaidya said.
“Some people say it (glorifying Godse) will bring pride to Hindutva. No. It will bring a bad name to Hindutva… I can even say, Hindutva has suffered due to the assassination of Gandhi,” he said in an apparent reference to the programme by the fringe group Hindu Mahasabha.
While Mahatma Gandhi had spread awareness about independence in his lifetime, it does not mean that “we agree with all his policies,” said Mr Vaidya. But ideological battles have to be fought through ideology. There was “no place for bloodshed,” he added.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the BJP believes in the principles and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and considers Godse as his assassin.
Following the actions of the fringe group Hindu Mahasabha, Godse’s effigy was burnt by Congress workers in Maharashtra’s Thane district.
Attacking the Congress, Mr Hussain said, “Someone celebrates his ‘birthday’ but the BJP is blamed for it. This is an example of cheap politics being played by Congress.”
The BJP has lately been criticized by the opposition and a section of the civil society for what has been called the increasing culture of intolerance mostly by fringe groups. During his visit to the UK last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was questioned about this by the British media.
India is committed to protecting “every citizen’s freedom,” the Prime Minister had said in response. “India is the land of Buddha and in our society, we don’t accept unconstitutional things. Every such incident is serious. Law will deal with these severely,” he had added.