Mumbai: A Mumbai-based IAS officer has triggered a controversy by saying that the statue of Mahatma Gandhi should be removed not just from India but all across the world.
In reports which have been widely covered by the media on Monday Nidhi Choudhari who is serving as Deputy Commissioner in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) she also called for the removal of the photograph of Gandhi from currency notes.
In her remark which has hurt the sentiments of Indians and others, she said that all the names of all the institutions and roads that have been named after him should be renamed. She “thanked” Nathuram Godse, a Hindu zealot, who assassinated the Mahatma.
Engulfed by the uproar on the social media over her tweet, she said: “it was misinterpreted…it was sarcastic.” She also said that Gandhi’s book My Experiments with Truth was her most favorite read.
On Saturday NCP leader Jitendra Awhad demanded strict action against the IAS officer.
Meanwhile, Ramachandra Guha, noted writer and an expert on Gandhi, said in an article, “The cult of Nathuram Godse is no more marginal; but mainstream. Its members include not only BJP MPs but also prominent Sangh ideologues. In a recent television debate, the well-known Gujarati writer, Vishnu Pandya, called Pragya Thakur “a saint”, no less.
Of her praise of the Mahatma’s murderer, he commented: “Godse was a patriot, and so was Gandhi.” Pandya is no ordinary Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) worker; he is a Padma Shri awardee and the current President of the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi.”
Guha also added, “In Mahatma’s lifetime, the Hindutva hatred towards him had two prongs; they thought his non-violence weak and effeminate, and they opposed his asking for equal rights for Muslims. More recently, this animosity has acquired a third dimension; namely, his anointing Jawaharlal Nehru rather than Vallabhbhai Patel as his political successor. While Nehru lived, right-wing Hindus principally disliked him because, like Gandhi, he resolutely opposed India becoming a Hindu theocratic State, the mirror image of Pakistan; after his death, they disliked Nehru because of the dynasty which (illegitimately) claims his mantle.”
With the government covertly backing anti-Mahatma Gandhi leaders, the assaults on him have grown. Not a single day passes when Gandhi and Nehru are not demonized.
According to academics, these onslaughts on Gandhi and Nehru are part of a bigger game plan to convert the secular character of India and make it a Hindu State.