Even after 7 decades Nathuram Godse makes headlines every now and then
New Delhi, June 02: Nathuram Godse remains a controversial figure even seven decades after being sent to the gallows for a heinous crime. His act was something for which he would probably never be forgiven. Godse's crime shook the world in 1948 when he shot three bullets at Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi from point-blank range. Godse assassinated messiah of non-violence and peace Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948, plunging the entire nation into grief.
Godse is by and large loathed across the length and breadth of the country. Godse was hanged at Ambala Central Jail on 15 November 1949, but the strange thing is that even after seven decades he is not exactly a forgotten figure. He makes headlines every now and then, why? Well, reasons can be plenty, but one thing is for sure that invoking Godse's name is shortest path to hogging limelite and remaining in news for a few days.
Latest to make headlines for invoking Godse is Maharashtra IAS officer Nidhi Chowdhary who reportedly tweeted, "What an exceptional celebration of 150th Birth Anniversary year is going on. High time, we remove his face from our currency, his statues from across the road, rename institutions/roads named after him! That would be a real tribute from all of us! ThankU Godse for 30.01.1948."
Chaudhari's controversial tweet, which she has now deleted, has triggered a massive row. NCP has now demanded suspension of the Deputy municipal commissioner, saying "this should not be tolerated". The Congress has asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to initiate action against an IAS officer.
"First BJP Parliamentarian Pragya Singh Thakur, then lawmaker Usha Thakur and now Maharashtra IAS officer Nidhi Chowdhary has praised Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should immediately initiate action against her," tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
"We demand immediate suspension of IAS officer Nidhi Choudhari for her derogatory tweet against Mahatma Gandhi. She glorified Nathuram Godse, this should not be tolerated," NCP leader Jitendra Awhad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
According to reports, Chaudhari, in her defence, stated that the tweet was sarcastic. She also issued several clarifications, saying she revered the Mahatma.
"I am a devout Gandhian and would never insult Gandhiji or any freedom fighter. They (critics) should have read the complete tweet to understand that it was sarcastic and against the ongoing social media slur against Gandhiji," a Hindustan Times report quoted her as saying.
Godse during election campaign:
Recently during the run up Lok Sabha elections, Godse's name made headlines. BJP's Pragya Thakur, now an MP from Bhopal, said Nathuram Godse was a "deshbhakt and will remain a deshbhakt". Her controversial comments left the BJP embarrassed and she apologised.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi then said he will never forgive Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for insulting Gandhi.
In May, actor-politician Kamal Haasan stirred a hornet's nest by saying, "Godse, the first extremist of independent India, was a Hindu".
Kamal Haasan raked up Mahatma Gandhi's assassin's name during an election speech in Aravakurichi, Tamil Nadu.
Haasan drew severe backlash and Tamil Nadu the minister, K T Rajenthra Bhalaji, also said Kamal Haasan's tongue should be cut.
Again in May, six Hindu Mahasabha activists were arrested for allegedly celebrating the birth anniversary of Nathuram Godse at a temple in Surat's Limbayat area. Godse was born in Baramati in Pune district, then part of the Bombay Presidency, on May 19 in 1910. The Hindu Mahasabha activists had organised the celebration in the premises of Suryamukhi Hanuman temple in Limbyayat area of the city, following which they were arrested.
Godse is best forgotten and there is no point in raking up his name again and again. His act was despicable, loathable and it absolutely makes no sense to talk about it now after seven decades.