Vol. XLIII No. 21 May 26, 2019

Take Punitive Action for Lauding Gandhi’s Assassin

Hundreds of academicians, intellectuals, cultural activists and others have jointly issued the following statement on May 17

WE are deeply shocked by the statement of Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, lauding Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, as a “desh bhakt”. This amounts to endorsing the murder of the Mahatma as an act of “desh bhakti” or patriotism. It is not enough for the BJP to distance itself from Thakur’s remarks, or to ask her to apologise. It is obvious that this is her position, no matter what she says to camouflage it for the time being.

What is equally shocking is the number of BJP functionaries who have come to defend Pragya Thakur’s remark. Unless the BJP leadership publicly apologises for Thakur’s remark and takes punitive action against all those functionaries who are supporting her remark, the conclusion will be inescapable that we have a political party running the government today that does not believe in the anti-colonial struggle, in the values underlying the constitution that came out of that struggle, and in the father of the nation.

The signatories include Irfan Habib, Prabhat Patnaik, Amiya Kumar Bagchi,  Jayati Ghosh,  Anil Sadgopal, Shireen Moosvi,  K M Shrimali, Suvira Jaiswal among others.