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President Pranab Mukherjee pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary. (IANS)

‘Maharaj At least Honest to Say What was in His Heart,’ Says Gandhi’s Grandson

After the glorification of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of the Father of Nation, as a “patriot” by BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj, the parliament today witnessed widespread protest from the opposition.

While Congress sought to file a case against Maharaj, the grandson of Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi, reportedly commented, ” I do not think it’s a controversial statement. Sakshi Maharaj is at least honest enough to come out and say what’s in his heart. The government should endorse what Sakshi Maharaj has said, they shouldn’t be double faced.”

The angry opposition leaders raised their voice against the issue and protested near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi for the statement made by Maharaj. Congress MP Husain Dalwai said, “Mahatma Gandhi’s killer is being eulogised by hosting ‘Shaurya Diwas’ (bravery day) in Maharashtra on his birthday. These people talk of development, but are trying to create a rift in society.”

However, being faced by the outrage, he apologised on his remarks “I feel Nathuram Godse was a patriot just as Mahatma Gandhi was,” and said, “I don’t consider Godse a patriotic person. I take back my words if I said something by mistake. I didn’t say that Godse was a patriotic person.”

Meanwhile, mentioning the incident of force conversion held in Agra, Dalwai alleged that “They are deliberately observing the ‘shaurya divas’ of the man who killed Father of the Nation,” pointing fingers to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleging that they are responsible for the issue. He demanded an arrest and said, “It is absolutely wrong and the government should arrest them. Why is the government silent on the issue?”

However, while addressing the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, said, “There is no question of honouring such people. There is no question of the government doing it.” He urged that “We should leave the matter there, but defaming an organisation is not acceptable.”

Godse had been a member of RSS and was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. He shot Gandhi in the chest three times. After the assassination, he was put on trial and was hanged, which was the first execution in Independent India.

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