This comes three years after a shrine dedicated to Gandhi’s assassin was set up but discontinued after protest
NEW DELHI — The Hindu Mahasabha, a right-wing Hindutva outfit which in the past had opened a shrine in the name of Nathuram Godse in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, has now started a “gyanshala” or so-called study centre to propagate his ideology. The centre has been set up in the same city.
Godse is the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, who shot the father of the nation in the chest three times at point blank range in New Delhi on January 30, 1948. He was found guilty and hanged in November 1949. Following the assassination, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was temporarily banned and the Hindu Mahasabha was vilified as he had been activist of both the organisations.
The Gwalior-based study centre was inaugurated on Sunday. Media reports say it is aimed at “educating” youngsters and “spreading” awareness about historical personalities.
“The Nathuram Godse gyanshala will inform the young generation about various aspects of the partition of India and will disseminate information on national leaders like Guru Gobind Singh, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Maharana Pratap,” Hindu Mahasabha national vice president Jaiveer Bhardwaj has been quoted as saying by NDTV.
मध्यप्रदेश : ग्वालियर में हिंदू महासभा ने खोली "गोडसे ज्ञानशाला", युवाओं को पढ़ाएंगे राष्ट्रपिता गांधी जी के हत्यारे की विचारधारा… pic.twitter.com/FjDuNcRWji
— shahin khan (@khangirl_123) January 11, 2021
Bhardwaj, according to News18, said the gyanshala was opened to “put before the world the true nationalist that Godse was”.
Extremist Hindutva forces, directly or indirectly linked to the RSS, view Godse as their role model. Each year on October 2, posts eulogising Godse trend on social media. During the 2019 parliamentary election, BJP candidate in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Pragya Singh Thakur, called Godse a “deshbhakt” (patriot). Seeing public backlash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was forced to dissociate himself from his own party candidate.
The study centre plans to make available literature on Godse and his associate Narayan Apte. According to reports, the literature will explain the thought process of Godse and his plan to murder Gandhi. It will also conduct seminars to propagate his ideology.
In November 2017, the Hindu Mahasabha set up a shrine dedicated to Godse in Gwalior. A bust of Godse was installed inside the office premises of the Mahasabha. However, it was removed after the opposition Congress threatened to go to court against the move.