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School booklet in Odisha claims Mahatma Gandhi died due to ‘accidental reasons’, triggers row

The body of Mahatma Gandhi showing the bullet wounds.

The body of Mahatma Gandhi showing the bullet wounds.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

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Congress demands the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, State School and Mass Education Department orders probe

The Congress on Friday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, stating that the State government tried to distort facts by terming Mahatma Gandhi’s death an accident.

Raising the issue in the State Assembly during Question and Zero Hour, Narasingha Mishra, Congress Legislature Party leader, said: “At national level, there have been attempts to portray Nathuram Godse as a hero and his statues are being worshipped following installations. It is a matter of shame.”

“In Odisha, the State government has tried to toe a similar line by describing the death of Mahatma Gandhi as an accident. At a time when the nation is celebrating the 150 birth anniversary of Gandhiji, the government has come out with this piece of information that is highly deplorable,” said Mr. Mishra.

A two-page brochure, ‘Aama Bapuji: Eka Jhalaka’ (Our Bapuji: A Glimpse) brought out by the School and Mass Education Department on the occasion of Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary says he died at the Birla House in New Delhi on January 30, 1948, in an accidental sequence of events.

“We have shown utter disregard for the Father of Nation. It is a mistake committed knowingly or unknowingly. If the mistake is unintentional, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should beg the apology of the people of Odisha and if it is intentional, the Chief Minister should step down from his position,” he demanded.

Mr. Mishra further said: “When people across the globe are inspired by Gandhiji’s ideology, why is the State government inspired by groups which are demonising Gandhiji and worshipping the killers of the great leader? The State government must come clean on the issue and withdraw the information brochure. All members of the Odisha Assembly should condemn the issue.”

Terming the matter as grave, BJD leader Soumyaranjan Patnaik said, “This wrong information will become fodder for those who are insisting on rewriting the history. After 50 years, the information that appeared today will look like the authentic one. Everybody should condemn the distortion of facts and we must also condemn the conspiracy at national level to misrepresent facts about Gandhiji’.”

Meanwhile, the State School and Mass Education Department has ordered a probe as to how Mahatma Gandhi’s death was described as accidental.

 

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:03:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/school-booklet-in-odisha-claims-mahatma-gandhi-died-due-to-accidental-reasons-triggers-row/article29981147.ece

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