Does Gandhi’s Murderer Deserve a Bust and Hindu Veneration? One Religious Group Says Yes.

Why should Indians honor Nathuram Goatse Godse, the man who murdered Mahatma Gandhi? One group of Hindus has its reasons.

Abhishek Agarwaal, district president of the Mahasabha, the oldest Hindu nationalist political party, explains that he and his religious compadres

… consider Godse a patriot because he killed the man they hold responsible for the country’s violent partition into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan in 1947. …

“For so many years Gandhi has been revered as a great soul by Indians. We want to tell the youth that it is all a lie,“ Agarwaal said. “Godse was the true patriot. We do not regard Gandhi as the father of the nation. He was too soft on Muslims. It was because of him that Pakistan was created out of my motherland.”

And so, Agarwaal and his party, though fairly powerless and already marginalized, have been developing plans

… to erect a bust in honor of Nathuram Godse. … Organizers had chosen Friday, the 67th anniversary of the freedom fighter’s death, as the big day. They had a bust of assassin Godse ready to go — and had even conducted a special purification ritual at the temple spot in the northern city of Meerut, 43 miles northeast of New Delhi. …

But on Friday, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha said they were prohibited from leaving their office to implement the plan. Police, fearing that the move could prompt community tension, also sealed the site with ropes and stuck a prohibitory notice on the wall that barred any installation activity.

When told of the initiative, Gandhi responded,

“I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.”

Well, not really — he’s been dead for almost 67 years. But he probably would have.

(Photo by Victor Grigas via Wikipedia)

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