Hyderabad: Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao, on Monday, reacted to the Hindu Mahasabha’s depiction of Asura as Mahatma Gandhi in Durga’s idol in Kolkata which drew criticism from political parties and netizens.
“The only Indian who is acknowledged by the world as Vishwa Guru is Mahatma Gandhi Ji,” KTR tweeted.
KTR lashed took a dig at BJP-supremo Narendra Modi who is referred to as “Vishwa Guru” and the Hindutva ideology of the right-wing organisations, that several ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are influenced by he stated, “No matter how hard the self-styled Vish Gurus & their Godse loving disciples would like to desecrate Mahatma & denigrate his ideology, they will not succeed in a million years.”
Nathuram Godse, an RSS member was acquitted of murdering Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. Many right-wing nationalist organisations and affiliated political parties regard Godse as their ‘hero’. Ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, there is a constant push to portray Godse’s deeds as patriotic.
The state of Telangana witnessed grand celebrations on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti with the installation of the “Vishwa Guru’s” statue at the Gandhi Hospital on Sunday.
A South Kolkata Durga Puja organized by the All India Hindu Mahasabha portrayed a statue that looks like Mahatma Gandhi instead of ‘Mahishasura’, on Sunday.
The event created a controversy on the day of Gandhi Jayanti when images and video footage from the pooja showed the demon king Mahishasur, as a bald, bespectacled, dhoti-clad man, similar in appearance to Mahatma Gandhi, being slain by the goddess Durga.
Mahishasur is usually figured with wild hair, large eyes and a muscular build, almost entirely ruling out accidental similarities with Gandhiji. The event organizers however claimed that the similarities were ‘merely coincidental’.
Earlier on Sunday, a journalist had tweeted a picture of the Durga statue tagging the Kolkata Police. However, he later removed the post from social media, citing police directives over the possibility of creating communal tensions during the festival.
Initially, the organizers were disinclined to bring any changes. However, following increasing pressure, the organizers finally brought some changes to the external look of the Mahishasura idol. The spectacles were removed and a wig was put on the head of the idol to give it a normal Mahishasura look.
While this is not the first time that the Mishasura has been made to resemble a real-life human figure, the discovery of the depiction took place on October 2 (Gandhi’s birth anniversary) and received widespread outrage on social media.
All opposition parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) condemned the depiction.
Meanwhile, the Congress and The Communist Party of India (CPI-M) leadership in the state have criticized the state administration for acting so late in the matter. The CPI-M politburo member and the party’s state secretary in West Bengal, Md Salim said that Mahatma Gandhi, whose contribution in the Indian freedom movement was unquestionable, was killed by a Hindutva fanatic.
The state Congress president in West Bengal and veteran party MP. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that Mahatma Gandhi has been insulted in the same city (Kolkata), where he conducted fasting agitations during the time of the Independence movement to stop communal violence.
Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, in the course of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, on Sunday, said that the ideology that killed Gandhi has delivered inequality, divisiveness and erosion of hard-won freedoms in the last eight years. The ruling Trinamool Congress state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh remarked that the incident was “nothing but sacrilege.”
Administrative action by Puja organizers. Was taken only after a police complaint was lodged against the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha.