NEW DELHI (TIP): The Akhil BharatHindu Mahasabha wants to installNathuram Godse’s bust at public places incities across India, the far-right politicalparty’s national president ChandraPrakash Kaushik said on December 18.Social scientists feel the move might notonly be a ploy to catch eyeballs but alsoan indicator of the radically alteredpolitical scenario of the country.”In a day or two we will write a letter tothe Union government asking for space.In India, we have named roads afterAurangzeb who killed so many Hindus.Why can’t we have Godse’s statues? If thegovernment refuses, we will install thebusts at Hindu Mahasabha bhavans indifferent states. There are 17-18 suchbhavans,” Kaushik said.One marble bust already adorns acorner of his office in Mandir Marg,central Delhi. Kaushik, however, pointsout it has not been installed yet (pratisthanahi hui hai). “It was made to order fromKishengarh, Rajasthan, and cost us aboutRs 17,000,” he says.Godse gunned down Father of theNation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,on January 30, 1948. But for Kaushikand his party, he is a “martyr”.”Unlike Gandhi who played a veryminor role in our freedom struggle,Godse was a patriot who sacrificed hislife for the country,” says the right-wingpolitician sporting a neatly trimmedbeard.Kaushik said the idea to installGodse’s bust came after BJP politicianSakshi Maharaj’s retracted hisstatement on the killer of MahatmaGandhi.Last week, the MP from Unnaon saidthat Godse was as much a patriot asMahatma Gandhi. Following an outrage,he changed his stance in Parliament, “Idon’t consider Godse a patriotic person.I take back my words if I had saidsomething by mistake.””We were extremely hurt on hearingthis and decided to highlight Godse. Forthe past 65 years, the Congress haspushed our revolutionaries (krantikari)into the background. People don’t knowthat he was a nationalist,” says Kaushik.Historian Mridula Mukherjee saysthere is nothing new in what HinduMahasabha has said on Godse. “What isnew is they are feeling emboldenedenough to voice their views publicly in anew political atmosphere created byBJP’s victory,” says Mukherjee, whoteaches modern Indian history in JNU.

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