'Salute Godse': Indian Police Book Hindu Religious Leader for Abusing Mahatma Gandhi

CC0 / / The trial of persons accused of participation and complicity in Mahatma Gandhi's assassination opened in the Special Court in Red Fort Delhi on May 27, 1948. A Close up of the accused persons. Left to right front row: Nathuram Vinayak Godse, Narayan Dattatraya Apte and Vishnu Ramkrishna Karkar. Seated behind are (from left to right) Diganber Ram Chandra Badge, Shankar s/o Kistayya, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Gopal Vinayak Godse and Dattatrays Sadashiv Parachure
 The trial of persons accused of participation and complicity in Mahatma Gandhi's assassination opened in the Special Court in Red Fort Delhi on May 27, 1948. A Close up of the accused persons. Left to right front row: Nathuram Vinayak Godse, Narayan Dattatraya Apte and Vishnu Ramkrishna Karkar. Seated behind are (from left to right) Diganber Ram Chandra Badge, Shankar s/o Kistayya, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Gopal Vinayak Godse and Dattatrays Sadashiv Parachure - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.12.2021
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Although the role of Nathuram Godse in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi has been legally established, a vocal section of Hindu nationalists has been urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to install his bust in Parliament. India’s ruling BJP has often been criticised over the popularity of Godse among some of its supporters.
Police in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Monday registered a complaint against Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj, a day after he hurled abuse at the country's freedom struggle icon, Mahatma Gandhi, while hailing his assassin Nathuram Godse.

“Based on the complaint of Congress politician Pramod Dubey, a case was registered against Kalicharan on 26 December night at Tikrapara police station under Indian Penal Code sections 505 (2) (creating hatred between communities) and 294 (obscene acts),” a police official told reporters.

The central India state of Chhattisgarh is one of the few states where the Congress party, otherwise sitting in the federal opposition, is in power.
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi overlooks the Indian parliament building (File). - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.01.2021
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During his lifetime, Gandhi was closely associated with the Indian National Congress, or the Congress party, and even led it as its president.

""The target of Islam (or Muslims) is to bring the country under their control through politics. They captured Bangladesh and Pakistan (as Muslim dominated countries) through politics. I salute Nathuram Godse that he killed Gandhi," Maharaj had said during his speech at a religious parliament (Dharam Sansad or a religious congregation) organised in the state capital city Raipur, as per videos available on social media.

WARNING: The video may be considered offensive by some viewers
(The speaker Kalicharan Maharaj is hailing Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse in the video above. He is also using a derogatory slur against Mahatma Gandhi and accusing the Indian freedom fighter of not doing enough to stop the partition of pre-independence India [into modern day India and Pakistan]. Further, Maharaj says that had India's political leadership been more supportive, Hindus would have been allowed to threaten Muslims more freely than at present).
The hardline Hindu seer also lashed out at the political leadership of the country for restraining the members of the Hindu community from taking on Muslims.

“Police often tell us to not take out processions through predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods. Actually, it is not the fault of the police… Their hands have been tied by their political masters… Police will support us [radical Hindu activists] if we elect a staunch Hindu leader,” Kalicharan also remarked at the event, which was attended by Hindu saints and seers from across the country.

The clippings of Kalicharan’s speech have triggered a massive row in the South Asian nation, where Mahatma Gandhi is popularly hailed as a national icon for mobilising the Indian population against the British colonialists and playing a key role in helping India attain its freedom.
Meanwhile, one of the other speakers at Sunday’s event, Mahant Ramsundar Das, who has previously also been a Congress state legislator, opted to dissociate himself from the religious parliament after Kalicharan’s remarks.
Reacting to the remarks against Mahatma Gandhi, Maharashtra State Minister Nawab Malik has stated that an “insult to Gandhi” is tantamount to an “insult to our nation”.
In spite of Gandhi’s enormous popularity, a section of the population espousing Hindu nationalist ideals also blame him for not doing enough to stop pre-independent India from being partitioned into the modern-day states of India and Pakistan (in 1971, Bangladesh separated from Pakistan to form another independent nation-state).
Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse, who was a member of the hardline political party Hindu Mahasabha, assassinated Gandhi on 30 January 1948, just months after the British formally left the subcontinent.
Hindu Mahasabha has been lobbying the Indian government for the legacy of Godse to be legitimised. It has even asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to re-open the Gandhi assassination case to put an end to the vilification of Godse.
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