Where Are The 3 Absconding Accused?

The details of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination and the ensuing trial are still not entirely in the public domain. The three accused in the case who were declared absconding remain characters shrouded in mystery. Dr Madabhushi Sridhar, Central Information Commissioner, throws light on the efforts made by RTI activists to unravel the mystery.

RTI on Assassination of Mahatma-1

If I am to die by the bullet of a mad man, I must do so smiling. There must be no anger within me. God must be in my heart and on my lips.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi, 28 January 1948, two days prior to his assassination

Madabhushi Sridhar

None can deny the public interest in the historic event ending the life of father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. FIR No 68/48 dated 30.1.1948, and final charge sheet issued by the Delhi Police, copy of order to execute the accused Mr. Nathuram Godse in case of assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, all are very important historic documents, which a nation cannot loose. Do we have them? This question cropped up when a couple of RTI requests were not responded. Hemanth Panda claimed that he is a researcher and interested in studying the records pertaining to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The CPIO asked him to come and inspect the files at National Archives of India. He was given copy of the charge sheet and FIR.  But he wanted two important documents, final Charge sheet issued by the Delhi Police and order of execution of Mr. Nathuram Godse.

The nation does not also know that three accused were absconding, now too, after charged as killers of Gandhi.

The record shows three accused– Mr. Gangadhar Dahawate, Mr. Surya Dev Sharma and Mr. Gangadhar Yadav were absconding, but nothing to show whether any efforts were made to apprehend them or whether the criminal case against them was closed, if so why?  The citizen wanted to see the record containing the details about efforts of Delhi Police to apprehend these three accused persons and reasons for not arresting them and stated that other two accused Mr. Dattatreya Parchure and Mr. Shankar Kistaiya were acquitted during appeal. The office receive the records as sent for archives and  cannot say whether final charge sheet was missing or explain reasons for absconding of accused or acquittals.

As per earlier records the original FIR No. 68/1948 under section 302, IPC on the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi has been deposited in the National Archives of India, who also possessed the original of the charge sheet, whereas Delhi Police informed the Commission earlier that they had only the photocopy of the FIR. The perusal of records and contentions led the Commission to infer that the respondent authority could not say anything about the final charge sheet or other details as sought by the appellant. They should have at least transferred the RTI request to the concerned authorities.  The CPIO says that they were under heavy pressure of RTI requests pertaining to files of Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Vallabh Bhai Patel. CPIO stated that frequent reference under RTI was causing difficulties in protecting the records. However, the records pertaining to accession of 600 princely states to India under leadership of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and the records pertaining to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose were made available in the digitized form and accessible in the National Virtual Library Institute and National Science Centre. She also said that most of the records available in archives can be accessed through its portal Abhilekh patal. She also informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released several documents of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on 24.01.2016.

The Accused in Gandhi murder are:

  1. Nathuram V. Godse
  2. Narayan D. Apte
  3. Vishnu R. Karkare
  4. Madanlal K. Pahwa
  5. Shankar Kistayya
  6. Gopal V. Godse
  7. Vinayak D. Savarkar
  8. Dattatraya S. Parchure
  9. Gangadhar S. Dandawate
  10. Gangadhar Jadhav
  11. Suryadeo Sharma
  12.  Accused Digamber R Badge turned approver

Judgement was pronounced on February 10, 1949. Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were sentenced to be hanged. Vishnu Karkare, Madanlal Pahwa, Gopal Godse, Shankar Kistaiya and Dr. Parchure were to suffer, inter alia, transportation for life. Vinayak Savarkar was acquitted. Digamber Badge was granted pardon and set free for having deposed against his co-accused.

The accused were put on trial at Peterhoff, Shimla, which housed the Punjab High Court at Simla. Vinayak Savarkar was acquitted and set free due to lack of evidence. (Based on decision dated 16.2.2017 in CIC/SH/A/2016/001055 Hemanta Panda v. PIO, M/o Culture)

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Congress Fumes Over Amit Shah’s Remarks On Mahatma

While the Congress alleged that Shah belittled Mahatma by calling him a ‘chatur baniya,’ and demanded an apology from him, Shah refuted that Congress has a lot to answer on Mahatma’s principles.

New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah’s remarks on Friday evening regarding Mahatma Gandhi are creating a storm with Congress demanding an apology from him.

The BJP president had said that Mahatma Gandhi was a ‘chatur baniya,’ who knew that Congress was a tool to fight for freedom and suggested that party be dissolved after Independence.

The Congress attacked Amit Shah for using such a phrase for Mahatma Gandhi.

Reacting to Shah’s comments, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that he not only insulted and freedom fighters but also Mahatma Gandhi and demanded an apology from Shah for belittling the Father of the Nation.

“He should apologise for slinging mud on the Father of the Nation and shaming freedom struggle,” Surjewala demanded.

Stepping up his attack Surjewala said that BJP’s black Englishmen after independence are doing what British did earlier. The statement is a reflection of what is going on in Shah’s head. “It is scary that this party is leading the nation,” he said.

Meanwhile, responding to Surjewala’s demand for an apology, Amit Shah defended his remarks and said, “Everyone in the meeting knows with what intent I called Mahatma Gandhi a baniya. Surjewala has a lot to answer on Mahatma’s principles.”

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Andhra Accused Acquitted In Gandhi’s Assassination Case

Not many are aware that there was a Telugu person among the accused in Mahatma Gandhi assassination case. Shankar Kistaiya’s details came to light in the inquiry taken up under RTI, elaborates Central Information Commissioner Dr Madabhushi Sridhar in the second of the four-part article.

RTI on Assassination of Mahatma-2

Madabhushi Sridhar

The RTI request and subsequent second appeal revealed that there was a Telugu person Shankar Kistaiya, accused in Gandhi’s assassination. The appellant and other sources mentioned that two accused namely Dattatraya Parchure, and Shankar Kistaiya were acquitted. As per the records available, Shankar Kistaiya and Dattatraya Parchure were sentenced to transportation for life. However, Bombay High Court in Gopal Vinayak Godse vs The Union of India and Ors, decided on 6 August 1969, AIR 1971 Bom 56, (1970) mentioned that: “In appeal, the Punjab High Court acquitted two more — Dr. Parchure and Shankar Kistayya. The conviction and sentence of the five others was confirmed. Nathuram had appealed against his conviction on the charge of conspiracy only. He neither challenged his conviction for murder nor the sentence of death passed on him. The statement made by him in Trial Court under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was proscribed by the Government of India…Nathuram and Apte were executed in the Ambala Jail on the 15 November 1949. Gopal Godse and another accused called Karkare were transferred from the Ambala Jail to Nasik Road Central Prison in Maharashtra on 19 May 1950. Gopal Godse was thereafter transferred to the Aurangabad Central Prison. Gopal Godse filed several petitions in the Supreme Court praying that he be directed to be released. He was sentenced by the Trial Court on 10 February 1949 and his contention was that taking into consideration the remissions earned by him he was entitled to be released. He was eventually released from jail on 13 October 1964, during the pendency of one of such petitions, in which he was directed to be produced before the Supreme Court on the 19 October 1964. He was arrested again on the 25 November 1964 under the Defence of India Act. He was released from detention on 30 November 1965.”

The records pertaining to charge-sheet show that three accused were absconding as pointed out. But the National Archives of India cannot give any opinion or information about why they were not arrested etc.  Appellant sought copy of ‘final charge sheet’. The records did not show any thing like primary or final, but there is one charge sheet and some documents containing framing of charges by the Court, which are inspected by the appellant. NAI did not possess any of the Jail records hence they could not provide a copy of order of execution of Nathuram Godse and another accused.

Trial of persons accused of participation and complicity in Gandhi’s assassination in the Special Court in Red Fort Delhi

 

The Commission directed NAI to transfer the RTI to following public authorities:

  • The PMO for their information and necessary action to formulate appropriate policy to build archives of records regarding Mahatma Gandhi Assassination, investigation, trial, punishment, official correspondence, and action taken on the recommendations of JL Kapur Commission;
  • Ministry of Home Affairs, for records of investigation and prosecution of Mahatma Gandhi assassins (from Police), imprisonment and execution of accused (from Jail authorities), record containing reasons to acquittal of two accused in appeal and any other record from Mumbai or Pune or any other place where the investigation resulted in arresting accused etc, correspondence with Government of Bombay/ Maharasthra;
  • The Station House Officer, Tughlak Road Police Station, for case diaries or any other record showing investigation etc, including efforts to trace three absconding accused (if any of accused were absconding) in Gandhi Murder case;
  • The Registrar General of Supreme Court of India, for any judicial record on Gandhi Murder case from of any of courts; and
  • The Secretary General of Parliament of India, for complete record of Justice J L Kapur Commission including the original report on conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi.

The CPIO of Ministry of Home Affairs, more particularly the Delhi Police, or Tughlak Road Police Station is directed to provide original records of investigation of Mahatma Gandhi Murder Trial such as investigation reports, case diaries or any other communication or correspondence they have, final charge sheet, if any, or any record showing efforts to arrest the accused  Gangadhar Dahawate,  Surya Dev Sharma and Gangadhar Yadav to the NAI for preservation under Archives, inspection of which the NAI may offer to the appellant. (Based on decision dated 16.2.2017 in CIC/SH/A/2016/001055 Hemanta Panda v. PIO, M/o Culture)

(To be continued)

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Gandhi Will Be Off Currency Notes Too, Haryana Minister

Chandigarh: Haryana’s cabinet minister and senior BJP leader Anil Vij on Saturday commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi replacing Mahatma Gandhi in the Khadi Udyog calendar and said that it was a damn good idea to replace the father of the nation as Modi had a greater brand image. Anil Vij further said that since the time Gandhi’s name has been associated with Khadi, the industry has been faring hopelessly. He added that since the time the Indian currency started having Gandhi’s picture the value of the rupee has been going down. He said that Mahatma Gandhi would gradually be removed from the currency notes as well. He did not say if Modi would be replacing Gandhi on the currency notes too. Vij is known for making controversial and reckless statements. But he is allowed to speak carelessly while remaining in the Cabinet.

Earlier on Thursday, Mahatma Gandhi was replaced on the covers of the KVIC 2017 wall calendars and table diaries by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The calendars and diaries published by the Khadi Village Industries commission saw PM Modi’s pictures, which came as a shock to the employees. They staged a silent protest at the headquarters of the organisation during the lunch hours on Thursday. The employees were seen gathering and praying at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. They tied black ribbons on their mouths as a sign of protest. Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Tushar Gandhi said that the charkha on the KVIC calendar and diary was a planned strategy to gain credibility. The Congress party, in its part, has castigated the government for insulting the father of the nation. The spokesman of the party wondered at the audacity of the prime minister in allowing his picture to be printed on the Khadi  organisations diary covers.

KVIC Chairman Vinay Saxena told reporters that this kind of act was not unusual as there have been certain deviations in the past as well. He said that there was no question of ignoring Mahatma Gandhi as the entire khadi industry owed its existence to his philosophy. Narendra Modi also has been propagating the use of khadi. He also said that Modi’s slogan of ‘Make in India’ was identical as theirs, the basic idea of which was to make villages self-sufficient.

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Why Gandhi opted for Nehru, not Patel, for PM

History is written by the victors – Machiavelli

Dr A Jagadeesh

Dr A Jagadeesh

The official history of independent India was written and overseen by a coterie of Congress men which emerged victorious in  the leadership tussle on the eve of independence with the tacit but partisan support of none other than the all powerful and venerable Mahatma Gandhi.

According to the official history, Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as the first prime minister of India and Sardar Patel became his deputy and it was all done purely on merit.

The official history has always downplayed the grave injustice done to the ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It’s not that  the official history does not mention the emergence of Patel  and not Nehru as the overwhelming choice of the Congress party to lead India after independence. It has been reduced to no more than footnotes.

Let’s revisit the entire intra-party power struggle within Congress on the eve of independence and let’s figure out what really went in favour of Nehru and what was it that deprived Patel of his moment of glory despite the overwhelming support he enjoyed among the Congressmen. To find out  the answer, we need to rewind back to 1946.

By 1946, it had become quite clear that India’s independence was only a matter of time. The Second World War had come to an end and the British rulers had started thinking in terms of transferring  power to Indians.

[box type=”note”]The nation is celebrating the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel with a week-long programmes such as Vigilance Week, National Integrity, Unity Pledge, etc. from October 31 to November 6. The events, some of them organized by the Central government, States and private organizations, have focused on what Patel had stood for in his lifetime. The occasion has also raked up the old question, if Sardar Patel had become the first prime minister of India how he would have shaped the country. Here is an inside story that changed the course of India. [/box]

An interim government was to be formed which was to be headed by the Congress president as Congress had won the maximum number of seats in the 1946 elections. All of a sudden, the post of Congress president became very crucial as it was this very person  who was going to become the first prime minister of independent India.

At that time, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the president of Congress party. In fact, he had been the president for six years as elections could not be held for the post since 1940 due to Quit India movement, the Second World War and the fact that most of the leaders were behind bars.

Azad was also interested in fighting and winning election for  the Congress president’s post  as he, too, had ambitions to become the PM.  But he was told in no uncertain terms by Mahatma Gandhi that he would not approve of a second term for a sitting Congress president and Azad had to fall in

line, albeit reluctantly. To top it all, Gandhi made it clear to everybody that Nehru was his preferred choice for the Congress president’s position.

The last date for filing nominations for the Congress chief’s post (thereby the first prime minister of India), was April 29, 1946. The nominations were to be made by 15 state/regional Congress committees. Despite Gandhi’s well-known preference for Nehru, not a single Congress committee nominated Nehru’s name.

On the contrary, 12 out of 15 Congress committees nominated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel while the remaining three did not propose anybody’s name. It was a challenge to Mahatma Gandhi. He instructed Acharya J B Kripalani to get some proposers for Nehru from the Congress Working Committee (CWC) members despite knowing fully well that only Pradesh Congress Committees were authorized to nominate the president.

In deference to Gandhi’s wish, Kripalani convinced a few CWC members to propose Nehru’s name for party president. It’s not that Gandhi was not aware of the immorality  of this exercise. He had fully realized  that what he was trying to bring about was wrong and totally unfair.

In fact, he tried to make Nehru understand the reality. He conveyed to Nehru that no PCC had nominated his name and that only a few CWC members had propposed him. A shell-shocked Nehru was defiant and made it clear that he would not play second fiddle to anybody.

A disappointed Gandhi gave in to Nehru’s obduracy and asked Sardar Patel to withdraw his name. He had immense respect for Gandhi and he promptly fulfilled Gandhi’s wish. Patel’s withdrawal paved the way for the  coronation of Nehru as India’s first prime minister.

But why did Gandhi overlook the overwhelming support for Patel? Why was he so enamoured with Nehru?

When Dr Rajendra Prasad heard of Sardar Patel’s withdrawal of nomination, he was disappointed and remarked that Gandhi had once again sacrificed his trusted lieutenant in favour of the ‘glamorous Nehru’.

Was it the ‘glamour’ and ‘sophistication’ of Nehru that floored Gandhi so much that he did not hesitate in doing grave injustice to Patel? The answer to this question is not that simple. But a closer analysis of Gandhi’s approach towards Patel and Nehru throws light over a few facts that can unravel the mystery.

There is no denying the fact that Gandhi had a ‘soft corner’ for Nehru since beginning and he had preferred Nehru to Sardar Patel at least twice before 1946 for the post of Congress president. It happened in 1929 and 1937.

Gandhi was always impressed with the modern outlook of Nehru. In comparison, Patel was a little orthodox. Gandhi thought India needed a person who was modern in his approach.

But more than anything else, Gandhi always knew that Patel would  never defy him.  He was not so convinced about Nehru. Gandhi’s apprehensions came true when Nehru made it clear to him that he was not willing to play second fiddle to anybody.

Perhaps, Gandhi wanted both Nehru and Patel to provide leadership to the country. He used his veto power in favour of Nehru because he feared Nehru could cause problems in the way of India’s independence if he was not given the chance to become prime minister.

Some analysts have also claimed that Nehru threatened to split the Congress in case he was not made prime Minister. According to them, Nehru coerced Gandhi into supporting him by saying that if he split the Congress, the entire independence plan would go awry as the British would get an excuse in delaying independence by raising the question as to who should be handed over the reins of power, Congress with Nehru or Congress minus Nehru.

Gandhi must have thought that it would  be safe to ask Patel to give way to a power-smitten Nehru. In fact, Gandhi had commented that Nehru had gone power-mad. Still, he gave reins of power to Nehru, a decision that proved costly for India.

First of all, Gandhi introduced the concept of forced decisions by the so-called ‘high-commands’ that usually means overruling state units. This practice, now being followed across the political spectrum, has negated the very concept of innner party democracy. Nehru’s follies on Kashmir and China proved beyond doubt the fact that Gandhi committed a  mistake in backing Nehru by showing utter disregard for overwhelming support  from the majority of PCCs for Sardar Patel.

Even two known critics of Sardar Patel conceded the point that Gandhi’s decision to choose Nehru over Patel was erroneous.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad confessed in his autobiography, which was published posthumously in 1959, “It was a mistake on my part that I did not support Sardar Patel. We differed on many issues but I am convinced that if he had succeeded me as Congress President he would have seen that the Cabinet Mission Plan was successfully implemented. He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal which gave Mr. Jinnah an opportunity of sabotaging the Plan. I can never forgive myself when I think that if I had not committed these mistakes, perhaps the history of the last ten years would have been different.”

Similarly, C Rajgopalachary who blamed Sardar Patel for depriving him  of the first presidentship of independent India,  wrote,  “Undoubtedly it would have been better if Nehru had been asked to be the Foreign Minister and Patel made the Prime Minister. I too fell into the error of believing that Jawaharlal was the more enlightened person of the two… A myth had grown about Patel that he would be harsh towards Muslims. This was a wrong notion but it was the prevailing prejudice.”

But questions can be raised over Sardar Patel’s surrender as well.

Who was he more loyal to? To an individual, to an organization or to his motherland? When he was convinced that Nehru was not fit enough to give the much-needed guidance that a nascent country so desperately wanted,  why did he not object even once to the foisting of Nehru as India’s first prime minister?

History has proved it beyond doubt that had Patel been the PM in place of Nehru, the country would not have faced the humiliation of 1962 war.

Days before his death, Patel had written a letter to Nehru warning him about China’s nefarious designs but Nehru didn’t pay any attention to that letter. Even Kashmir would not have become a thorn in the flesh for India, had Patel and not Nehru  been the first prime minister of India.

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Why we need to remember Mahatma every day

smr

Madhusudhana Rao S

At a time when we have consigned to history books what the Father of the Nation had preached and practiced, country-wide observance or celebrations of the 147th birth anniversary of the apostle of peace on October 2 look incongruous. The related events are no more than paying lip service to Mahatma Gandhi.

In fact, the birthday and the death anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led a non-violent movement to free this country from the shackles of colonial British rule, are observed in a ritualistic manner without giving any thought to ideals he strived and died for.

In our yearly calendars, his dates of birth and death – October 2 and January 30, respectively – are prominently marked and declared official holidays to remind the old and new generations of the sacrifices the man with a frail frame and steely determination had made for India. The two occasions will also give political leaders of all hues an opportunity to pay tributes to the Mahatma.

Today, his dust-coated statues at town centres, public squares and village corners will be washed and garlanded by mostly local Congress leaders. In a customary fashion, they will also recall the services Mahatma Gandhi had rendered to the country at political, social and community gatherings.

As the commemoration day wears off, he will fade from our memory and slip into history once again.

By remembering Gandhi for a day or two we, Indians as inheritors of Mahatma’s legacy, are not doing justice to one of the greatest leaders of all time. We have little regard for his cherished principles, respect for his unique concepts of non-violence, religious tolerance, equality, simple living, to name a few.

Not surprisingly, what will be missing in uninspiring speeches made at October 2 and January 30 events is Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a modern India. None mentions Gandhi’s concept of Ram Rajya because understanding of his principles of statecraft are zero. Moreover, his ideas on governance are being increasingly challenged. 

Often, during special events, Gandhi’s thoughts and their suitability to a developing country come under intense scrutiny. While Gandhians see solutions to every problem plaguing the country, others cite various ways of modern economic development to buttress their arguments that Gandhian model is out of synch with the 21st century.

But the fact remains that the Gandhian model is more suitable for India than the western models. The reason being, despite socio-political and economic development, India lives in villages and their all-round growth holds the key to the country’s progress.

The planned development that has been changing millions of lives across India have benefited the urban classes more than the rural masses who are still languishing in poverty, ignorance and exploitative conditions. It’s a challenge for every government as how to uplift them. Gandhi viewed the village as the epicentre of growth and wanted the rural areas to be the base on which India’s prosperity could be built in a pyramid-like structure.

While one of his most cherished principles, non-violence, has lost its meaning in an atmosphere of intolerance, non-cooperation has become a tool in the hands of uncouth politicians. Over the years, Gandhi’s peace weapons and noble ideas, despite their altruistic intentions, have undergone a metamorphosis. By giving Gandhian ideas a modern touch, we can find solutions to many of our problems. But, unfortunately, Mahatma’s myriad thoughts have remained in quotation books with our leaders finding no relevance to politically volatile country.

A Gandhi quote “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit,” mirrors the present day culture of prejudice and intolerance  in every walk of  life in our country.

Nevertheless, Gandhi has grown in stature outside our country. His three cardinal principles of non-cooperation, non-violence and truth have been recognised and acknowledged as weapons of peace in the conflict-ridden world. In a befitting recognition of Mahatma’s contribution to the world, the United Nations has declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence, giving Gandhi’s birthday a universal stamp of endorsement.

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Sangh Parivar lays claim on Gandhi legacy

  • Latest ‘Organiser’ has Mahatma on cover

  • Govt TV commercials show Father of the Nation

  • Like Sardar, Mahatma also joins the list of Parivar’s icons

  • Congress interested only in Nehru-Gandhi dynasty: Seshadri Chari

(Kasipathi)

rss-chief-nagpur copyNew Delhi, October 6: There is a deliberate move to disconnect Mahatma Gandhi from the Congress party and project him as an icon that belongs to every Indian. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a concerted attempt to win over the admirers of Gandhi by elaborately launching ‘Swachha Bharat Abhiyaan’ and repeatedly mentioning the name of the Father of the Nation. It was followed by the TV commercials released by the Union government as part of the campaign calling on general public to keep the country clean and follow the message of the Mahatma.

The publication of Mahatma Gandhi’s picture on the cover page of RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ completes the sketch drawn by the Sangh Parivar. This makes it clear that the Sangh Parivar is making a serious effort to lay claim on Gandhi’s legacy. In fact, there are many commonalities between the philosophies propounded by Gandhi and the RSS.

Although the Father of the Nation adored the cover of the Organiser previously, the latest cover story is hugging the news cycle as it comes at a time when the RSS and Sangh Parivar is in the midst of a sustained effort to lay claim on Gandhi legacy, says a report published by Economic Times.

The cover has Gandhi with broom and basket, with the phrase ‘Mission (Im)possible’ written across. Not only on the issue of sanitation, even on the question of conversion, there is agreement between the views of Gandhi and RSS. The story also says that the name of Gandhi does not mean anything to the Congress Party today except suggesting that he is connected to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

Former editor of Organiser, Seshadri Chari says, “It may come as a surprise to everyone that even in 1950, two years after the assassination of the Mahatma and after RSS got banned, and then when the bag got lifted, Gandhi’s photo was published by the magazine. His name was added to the list of great sons of India whose names are mentioned in the early morning prayer (Pratah Smaran) at every sakha. The baggage of Gandhi’s assassination, says Seshadri, was something imposed on RSS by its detractors. He said the people in RSS believe that the definition of Hindutva given by Gandhi was one of the best ever enunciated.

Political observers opine that the demographic changes that have been taking place over the decades warranted that Sangh Parivar has to come out with a strategy to win over young people. Since the young who were not present when the historic events took place and have no personal experience of the development, they can be led to believe that there is no contradiction between Gandhi and RSS leaders. The impressions created by the propaganda that RSS was responsible for the assassination of the Mahatma could be erased and new image of RSS as favourably disposed towards the memory of Father of the Nation could be inculcated. Just as the BJP and the Sangh Parivar tried to own Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a Congress stalwart and an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, it is now trying to claim the legacy of another Gujarati jewel. Many of the issues dearer to the Sangh Parivar such as sanity, cottage industry, village development, rural development have been the articles of faith with Gandhi. BJP-RSS leaders like Nanaji Desmukh had dedicated their lives for rural development by scarifying luxurious city life and high political office. Mohan Dharia was the last Congress leader to follow Gandhi ideals. But we find many among the leaders of the Parivar working in agency areas toiling to help educate the tribal youth.

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