Mumbai IAS officer’s anti-Gandhi tweet sparks row

Demanding that institutions and roads named after the Father of the Nation be renamed, Nidhi Choudhari also “thanked” his assassin Nathuram Godse.

Updated - June 02, 2019 05:41 pm IST

Published - June 02, 2019 12:20 pm IST - Mumbai

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Rajendra Maidan. File

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Rajendra Maidan. File

A Mumbai IAS officer’s tweet has triggered a row by calling removal of Mahatma Gandhi’s statues from across the world, including his images from the Indian currency notes. Demanding that institutions and roads named after the Father of the Nation be renamed, Nidhi Choudhari also “thanked” his assassin Nathuram Godse.

After the controversy, the Deputy Municipal Commissioner, on Saturday that her tweet was “sarcastic” and it was “misinterpreted”. The controversial tweet has since been deleted.

Following her tweet, Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Awhad on Saturday demanded her suspension.  Ms. Choudhari is an IAS officer posted in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, and the only senior BMC officer active on Twitter with more than 9000 followers. 

In her tweet posted on May 17 along with the picture of Mahatma Gandhi’s mortal remains, Ms. Choudhari had written: “What an exceptional celebration of 150th birth anniversary year is going on. High time we remove his face from our currency, his statues from across the world, rename institutions/roads named after him! That would be a real tribute from all of us! ThankU #Godse for 30.01.1948.” The tweet used a crying emoji.

On Saturday, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad demanded strict action against Choudhari by suspending her. “She glorified Godse by posting a derogatory tweet about Gandhiji. This shouldn’t be tolerated,” he said. But Ms Choudhari stated that she was in fact being sarcastic.

Speaking to The Hindu , Ms. Choudhari said: "The tweet was written with sarcasm, deep pain and anguish. Those who know me know my deep respect for Gandhiji. I cannot disrespect him. Mr. Awhad's demand is his own. I have not said anything against Gandhiji, instead it is against those who vilify him," Ms. Choudhari said.

Claiming that Mahatma Gandhi’s My Experiments With Truth is her all-time favourite book, Ms. Choudhari further clarified on Twitter that her tweet was “misinterpreted.”

“Those who have misinterpreted my tweet of 17.5.2019 should go through my timeline. Even past few months tweets would be self explanatory. I am deeply hurt and saddened by misinterpretation to a tweet written with sarcasm. I would never insult GandhiJi. GandhiJi is Father of Our Nation and in 2019 all of us must do our little bit to make this country better. Hope those misinterpreting my tweets would realise the sarcasm in it,” she said on Twitter on Saturday.

(With inputs from PTI)

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