November 16, 2015

India: Man behind Kerala House raid ‘felicitated for taking Hindutva forward’ by the Far Right Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha

The Hindu
NEW DELHI/MEERUT, November 16, 2015

Man behind Kerala House raid ‘felicitated’

Shiv Sunny
Mohammad Ali

Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta, who kicked up a row at Kerala House by alleging that cow meat was being served in its canteen, was ‘felicitated’ in the Capital on Sunday for his “contribution in taking Hindutva forward”.

Mr. Gupta and around a dozen other Hindu ‘activists’ were ‘honoured’ by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, which observed Nathuram Godse’s day of hanging as ‘Balidan Diwas’.

Among others ‘felicitated’ at the function were Mohit Rajput, the co-accused in the Kerala House beef controversy, and two other Hindu Sena leaders – Deepak Sharma and Devendra Upadhyay -- who had been in the news last month for throwing ink on Jammu and Kashmir legislator Engineer Rashid for hosting a beef party.

Civil rights activist from Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) Shabnam Hashmi saw ‘Balidan Diwas’ as a “bold assertion of Hindutva project” to turn India into a “Hindu Rashtra”.

“How else should I describe all these developments about Hindutva groups across the country? For the last one-and-a-half years, since this government came to power, we have been seeing bold and open attack on the idea of India. It only means that these groups, which used to be earlier on the fringe, have become the new power centres and they think that it’s their time to complete the Hindu Rashtra project,” said Ms. Hashmi.

Hindu Mahasabha national president Chandra Prakash Kaushik told The Hindu, “The BJP’s rule has given us the freedom to celebrate people’s contribution to Hindutva. We wanted to convey to them that we are firmly behind them in their fight for our religion. They are showing the world how ‘tolerant’ yet powerful we are.”

“If anyone tries to turn into another Mahatma (Gandhi) and acts against India’s interests, thousands of (Nathuram) Godses will rise against him,” Mr. Gupta told the gathering at the Hindu Mahasabha office.

In a similar event, the Hindutva outfit’s Meerut unit launched a website dedicated to Godse, the man who killed Mahatma Gandhi, to commemorate November 15, the day Godse was hanged, as ‘Balidan Diwas’.

Hindu Mahasabha national general secretary Munna Kumar Sharma told The Hindu that it was high time the government stopped looking at Godse through the well-entrenched prism of “anti-Hindu propaganda”.

According to Mr. Sharma, Godse was the “real hero” of India’s struggle for Independence, and the website was just a “small homage to his contributions”.