Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha celebrated Mahatma Gandhi's assassination by distributing sweets on his death anniversary on January 30 at its Meerut office on Saturday. Workers of the Hindutva group danced to the tunes of drum and Bollywood songs outside its office.This comes days after its workers observed Republic Day as 'black day' and protested against the Indian Constitution.
"We celebrate the fact that this country's hero Nathuram Godse eliminated Gandhi on this very day in 1948. Every year we distribute sweets, hire professional bands and invite people to dance to express our happiness at Gandhi's killing," said Pandit Ashok Sharma, national vice president of Hindu Mahasabha.
Pandit Sharma, a man in his late seventies told this correspondent that Hindutva activists treated January 30, the day Gandhiji was killed, as a "festival".
He proudly declared that India is a "Hindu Rashtra" and Godse should be its "hero" and not Gandhiji.
At the occasion he also eulogised and paid homage to Nathuram Godse, the "martyr" who "wanted to save India from Gandhi and from his proposal of partition."
Pandit Sharma, an old associate of Hindu Mahasbaha argued that Gandhiji had no followers and the entire country was follower of Nathuram Godse.
"In reality Gandhi has no followers in the country he thought he fought for. Entire India is actually inspired by the ideas of Nathuram Godse. You tell me who extends his/her next cheek after being slapped, as Gandhi asked people to do?" He proudly posed the question to this correspondent in order to substantiate his argument.
Last year, Hindu Mahasabha was ready with a statue of Godse to build a temple for him on January 30 at its offices across the country. It organised "bhumi pujan" for the temple but the respective state governments sealed the offices to prevent the Hindutva body from installing the statue last year.
Like Sharma, Bharat Rajput the district president of the Hindutva body, is also an old Hindu Mahasabha hand who has been "actively taking up Hindutva causes."
Mr. Rajput had a piece of news for the Government of India. "We wanted to install a bust of Nathuram Godse in our offices so that his followers can come and pay homage to him. I want to tell the government that one day we will build the temple for Godse and nobody can stop us," he said.
For both Pandit Sharma and Mr. Rajput the larger goal is to "officially declare" India a "Hindu Rashtra".
"We do not believe in the idea of a secular Constitution. When India officially declares itself a Hindu Rashtra, Godse will be declared its hero and Gandhi's assassination would be declared a national festival," Pandit Sharma said.