Bhopal/Gwalior: Hindu Mahasabha leader Rajyashree Choudhury, grandniece of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, on Tuesday likened Mahatma Gandhi's role in the freedom struggle to "Bhishma" of the epic Mahabharat who is blamed by some for condoning the immoral behaviour of 'Kauravas'.
Choudhury, who was in Gwalior to pay tribute to Rani Laxmibai, the Queen of Jhansi credited for having fought the first battle of Independence, visited the office of the Hindu Mahasabha in the Daulatganj area and performed an 'aarti' on a photo of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Gandhi.
She also claimed that many leaders of the Congress had wanted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to lead the country after Independence, but Gandhiji "silenced" everyone to "favour" Jawaharlal Nehru, who went on to become the first prime minister.
Choudhury questioned Gandhi's role in crucial events of that time like the Partition of India in 1947. "It is true that Gandhiji contributed in achieving Independence, but he acted like Bhishma Pitamah," she said.
"Gandhiji had said the country's Partition would be allowed over his body, so why he did not stop it? Why the Partition was allowed under the influence of those leaders who were greedy for power?" Choudhury said while speaking to reporters.
She also pinned the blame for Gandhi’s death on those present at the spot at the time of the incident and the then Nehru government.
“The (then) government hid its mistake. Gandhiji wasn’t shot dead, he bled to death. The bullet fired from Godseji’s pistol may have hit Gandhiji, but there was no post-mortem report and no eye-witness account,” Choudhury said.
“Also, there is no witness account of the two women who used to help Gandhiji reach the prayer hall and for 40 minutes he bled and no one offered him even a glass of water,” the mahasabha leader said. Those present with Gandhi at the time should have rushed him to nearby Willingdon Hospital (now Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital), but that was not done, she said.
She said those who laid down their lives for the country were dubbed as terrorists by the rulers. "Mahatma Gandhi did not stop execution of (revolutionary) Bhagat Singh. He had even opposed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a bid to favour Nehru," said Choudhury.
She said her grandmother was the sister of Bose. Choudhury also touched upon the controversy surrounding the death of Bose. "It was said that the Netaji was killed in a plane crash (in 1945), but the documents suggested that he actually lived for a long period after that incident,” she said.
Responding to a query on a criminal case registered against some local activists of the Mahasabha last week, Choudhury dared the police to take action. "We will hold an agitation and even move Parliament if police takes action against any activist," she said.
A case was registered by Gwalior Police against some Mahasabha activists for allegedly distributing pamphlets containing "objectionable words" about Mahatma Gandhi.
On November 15, mahasabha members had performed 'aarti' of Godse and Narayan Apte, a co-conspirator who too was hanged in the Gandhi assassination case, at their office in Gwalior. They even demanded inclusion of Godse’s court statements in school curriculum.
In 2017, the mahasabha members had made a failed attempt to install a statue of Godse who had received arms training for three days at the organisation ahead of assassination.
Congress leader Pankaj Chaturvedi said leaders of outfits hailing Godse are publicity-greedy, have not credibility and had no role in the freedom movement and hence, their comments do not merit a response.
(With inputs from PTI)