Savarkar escaped the gallows by a whisker, on technical grounds, in the Gandhi assassination case.
Whether the matter is ideological-political or not, there is evidently a certain kind of mental illness abroad in this country. Otherwise, there seems no likely explanation for the re-enactment of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
This is a day that is remembered with some sanctity by most Indians as the death anniversary of the Mahatma, who was shot dead by Nathuram Godse with the aid of fanatical accomplices in a carefully-planned operation.
The lot of them owed allegiance to the Hindu Mahasabha, whose leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has emotional acceptance within RSS-BJP circles as well, for he was the intellectual promoter of the idea of “Hindutva”.
Savarkar escaped the gallows by a whisker, on technical grounds, in the Gandhi assassination case. And yet the first BJP-led NDA government of Atal Behari Vajpayee decided to hang his portrait in Parliament’s Central Hall, amidst a boycott by the Opposition parties.
With the exaltation of Savarkar by the religious right, the Gandhi-haters have become emboldened over the years. This explains, in part, the Mahatma’s ritualistic slaughter on his death anniversary by a Hindu Mahasabha coterie led by one of its leaders, a Dr Puja Shakun Pandey. Some BJP MPs in the present Parliament have publicly lionised Godse.
It will be a surprise if exemplary punishment will be given to Hindutva fanatics while UP is under BJP rule. If Gandhi is hated by Hindutva elements for promoting Hindu-Muslim unity, as the Lok Sabha election approaches a degree of communally-oriented hateful actions and propaganda may well be on the cards.