A statue of Mahatma Gandhi, known as the Father of the Nation, was purportedly been vandalised and pulled down in the eastern tribal state of Jharkhand on Saturday night, with local police launching an investigation into the case.
After the death of Gandhi, his ashes were preserved in a pot according to Hindu rituals and kept at this exact spot in Hazaribagh.
Manoj Verma, secretary of the Gandhi memorial committee, has said that the incident took place on Saturday evening.
“We are investigating to ascertain whether the statue fell itself or was vandalised. We are also checking CCTV footage and questioning some people", Manoj Kumar, chief of the Sadar Hazaribagh police station said.
The damaged statue of the celebrated Indian independence leader was erected over several days in the Kumhar Toli area of Hazaribagh after Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a member of a Hindu organisation on 30 January 1948. Gandhi had delivered an important speech in the historic city of Hazaribagh in 1925.
Meanwhile, local people have held protests in the area and are seeking action against the alleged miscreants.
Only anti nationals and traitors of the country could do such low work.— I stand with Shaheen Bagh (@GulRose_views) February 9, 2020
I mean how much low a person has to be to hate Mahatma of our nation, Father of our nation.
It does not look like it fell— travelmyadventure (@sanoberpathan) February 9, 2020
Clear case of vandalisation
The kids of Godse for sure have done this
Matter of shame
The are disrespecting the father of nation
Do this people deserve any place in India ???
Imagine the outrage if this would have happened in a BJP ruled state— Sarcastic Patriotic Indians (@SARCASTIC_PI) February 9, 2020
Librandus will remain silent as this does not suits theirs agenda
Godse is still alive.— Charasaz™ (@Charasaz) February 9, 2020
You all know who is the progeny of Godse.
Their courage is increasing day by day because they didn't get punish by the law.#Shame
This is not an isolated case of damaging a statue of Mahatma Gandhi: in January, there were two reported incidents – one in Kazipet, Telangana and another in Amreli in Gujarat.
Last year, similar incidents were reported in Kerala, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. In October 2018, on the birthday of the Father of the Nation, a copper urn believed to contain the ashes of Gandhi was stolen in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. Police had also registered a case against unknown people for defacing his poster in a museum on the same day.
Some local leaders, including parliamentarian from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have tried to challenge the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. Anantkumar Hegde, a BJP lawmaker, has criticised Gandhi, describing his leadership of the freedom movement as nothing but a "big drama" staged with the "consent and support of the British".
Last year, Pragya Singh Thakur, another parliament member from the BJP, termed Nathuram Godse– who shot Gandhi in the chest three times at point blank range on 30 January 1948 – a patriot. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior member of the party immediately issued strong condemnations of her statement.