A month after the controversial Hindu dharma sansad in Haridwar and the VHP’s call for a religious reconversion campaign from Gujarat’s Junagadh a fortnight ago, a self-styled Hindu Sena has now launched a “Godse gaatha (Godse tale)” to propagate Nathuram Godse’s “sacrifice for the country.”
Started from Jamnagar on January 1, 2022, the Hindu Sena organises a Godse story-telling event of sorts where the November 8, 1949, 45-minute court speech of the Mahatma Gandhi’s killer is relayed to the people, followed by a saffron-clad group interpreting it further.
The “Godse Gaatha” event starts with the participants garlanding an oil portrait of Godse before reciting Hanuman Chalisa in a chorus. A recorded speech, which the Hindu Sena claims is by Godse, is then played at the home of the person hosting the “talk show”. Saffron flags are put up at the venue.
Speaking to Vibes of India, Gujarat president of Hindu Sena Pratik Bhatt said, “A country-wide campaign to propagate the message of Nathuram Godse who sacrificed his life for the cause of an undivided India and Sanatan Sanskriti (composite culture) has started from Jamnagar on January 1, 2022. Various talk shows would be organised at homes of people.”
Hindu Sena’s national president Vishnu Gupta says, “On January 30 (the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi), Godse’s book, “Why I assassinated Mahatma Gandhi” would be distributed across the country.” He concurs with Bhatt that, “The journey that started from Jamnagar would criss-cross the country.”
Gupta, who had joined the Ramjanmabhoomi movement at the age of eight, claims the Hindu Sena has 16 chapters across India and lakhs of numbers. He hails from Eta in Uttar Pradesh and faces many cases “for the cause of Hindu dharma.” He moved to Delhi and launched the Sena in 2011.
He told Vibes of India that he has written a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah stating that calling Mahatma Gandhi the father of the nation is unconstitutional and that he should not be called a Mahatma. “There are many people especially in Gujarat who are stoutly against Gandhi and believe Godse as the Mahatma. Actually, one could say Godse and not Gandhi belongs to Gujarat,” Gupta is unstoppable.
Speaking of the Godse Gaatha, Pratik Bhatt says, “We have been able to start this after crossing many hurdles. Many fearless and revolutionary youngsters have joined this campaign.”
Asked about Godse killing Mahatma Gandhi, “How can someone who pledges to practise celibacy until the dream of Akhand Bharat is realised by a traitor? Can a true patriot who dreams this, protects the Hindu religion and gets hanged smiling without complaint be a traitor? Here was a person who strived for the return of the Sindhu river.”
He went on, ”Still, those who support Mahatma Nathuram Godse are to be considered as traitors, let it be so, we are proud of being called traitors.”
The Godse Gaatha began from the residence of Hindu Sena activist Bhavesh Thummar on January 1, 2022, in Jamnagar. Besides Bhatt, several Hindu Sena leaders were present at the talk show. He said, “After every event, those who host it at their home are honoured by the Hindu Sena.”
In what seems to be inching towards a political slugfest, Jamnagar City Congress president Virendrasinh JadeJa asserted that his party would launch non-violent protests wherever the Godse Gaatha is organised. “The Hindu Sena people are a group of extremists,” he told Vibes of India, adding that those honouring Gandhi’s killer could not be patriots.
When contacted, Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas said his party would not have anything to do with any such activities. “We had condemned it when they had installed Godse’s statue at the Gandhi ashram in the city,” Vyas told Vibes of India. On November 5, the Congress members had demolished a Godse statue set up by the Hindu Sena in Gandhi ashram in Jamnagar.
Meanwhile, Jamnagar Superintendent of Police Nitesh Pandey said he had not come across any complaint about Godse propaganda.