June 26, 2018

India: Raj Ghat memorial to Mahatma Gandhi was shut to public on 24-25th June to ensure security of Vishwa Hindu Parishad which was oganising a meeting in the vicinity

Press Release : For favour of Publication 

Rap On The Closed Minds 

Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi at Rajghat, New Delhi is a place of reverence for the people of India as well as the world. Thousands throng every day to pay their respect and take inspiration. This is not some kind of Padma award given by some government but its a national emblem and a sacred place for the people of India. Any irreverent attempt will not be accepted by us, the people. But recently just the same has happened. A notice was stuck on the gates of Rajghat saying that Rajghat will remain closed during 24-25 the June 2018. The place was shut for all the people who wanted to come and pay respect to Bapu. Who made the decision, why was it made and what was the reasons behind something that has never happened after independence ? Well, no explanation has yet been offered to the people.
In any case, for years ,we have been bearing with the shameless practice of keeping Rajghat closed during the visit of some politicians. Did any such politician visit Rajghat on 24-25th June? What was the justification of keeping the place closed for two days in a row? Neither the Rajghat Administration, nor the state or the central government has given any explanation so far. But the truth is truth and it cannot be concealed. The fact is that there is a campus of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, just opposite to the Rajghat and Vishwa Hindu Parishad had organized its meeting there on 24-25 June 2018. Rajghat was kept locked for their security purpose. We
wonder that Gandhi Smriti, the organization that was created to keep the memories of the Mahatma and his thought alive was lent to a private organization, and that too to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad which has nothing to do in the remotest sense with the thoughts and the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi.
Any organization including Vishwa Hindu Parishad has a right to organise a meeting at the place of their convenience. But no one has a right to misuse the public places. Memorial of Bapu cannot even be categories as just any public place to be used for the selfish motives of the governments or by the organizations shielded by the governments, by locking it! History is a witness to many such authorities and the powerful people being thrown away in unknown but having the holy symbols of the society survived them for ages. The arbitrary closure of Rajghat is an insult to the devout national feelings of the people. We not only condemn the act but also appeal to all the people having faith in the human values of justice and equality to come out in open to condemn this contempt and high handedness on 29th June 2018, Friday, remember this very day Gandhi was murdered 70 years ago ! We appeal to all the commoners of India to gather at a common place named after Mahatma in their town or village. We will peacefully demonstrate, not to humiliate anyone but only to register our strong dissent to the arbitrary behaviour of the state on 29th June 2019. Be it for the centre or the state, we want this to be the first rap on their closed minds. 

( Ramchandra Rahi ) ( Kumar Prashant )
Chairman, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi Chairman, Gandhi Peace Foundation 

* As this is a electronic communication, it does not need a signeture