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regular-article-logo Sunday, 19 May 2024

Look who’s disowned Godse! RSS colts in Kerala protest eulogy of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin

The Kerala unit of the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad surprised everyone when they protested outside NIT-Calicut on Monday evening, raising slogans against such tendencies and burning Godse’s pictures

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 07.02.24, 06:42 AM
ABVP activists burn pictures of Nathuram Godse outside the National Institute of Technology-Calicut during their protest against a professor who praised the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi for “saving India”

ABVP activists burn pictures of Nathuram Godse outside the National Institute of Technology-Calicut during their protest against a professor who praised the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi for “saving India” Sourced by The Telegraph

The Kerala unit of the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has, in an unusual move, dissed Nathuram Godse and burned his pictures during a protest against a National Institute of Technology professor who had praised the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.

The RSS colts surprised everyone when they protested outside NIT-Calicut on Monday evening, raising slogans against such tendencies and burning Godse’s pictures. Politics watchers saw in the move an attempt by the RSS-BJP to align itself with the politics of the southern state that has rebuffed the saffron camp till now.

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Student organisations have been protesting outside NIT-C in Kozhikode (formerly Calicut) over the past few days since Prof. Shaija Andavan said she commented on someone else’s Facebook post on the death anniversary of Gandhi: “Proud of Godse for saving India.”

The comment by Shaija, a professor of mechanical engineering, immediately triggered social media outrage against her. Students’ organisations such as the CPM’s Students’ Federation of India, Kerala Students’ Union of the Congress and the Muslim Students’ Federation of the Indian Union Muslim League held separate protests seeking disciplinary action against the professor. They also lodged police complaints against her.

A. Yadhukrishnan, ABVP’s national executive council member who led the protest, said neither the RSS nor its affiliates supported Godse.

“We have always rejected Godse. Neither the ABVP nor any of the Sangh Parivar organisations has come out in support of Godse,” he told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

Asked about senior leaders of the saffron camp praising Godse, Yadhukrishnan said they were “fringe elements”.

“Fringe elements are there in all sections, and it’s they who are supporting Godse,“ he said.

While BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj had called Godse “a nationalist” 10 years ago at an event in honour of the Gandhi assassin, another BJP parliamentarian, Pragya Thakur, had in 2019 said “Nathuram Godse was a patriot”.

Hindu Mahasabha leader Puja Shakun Pandey had shot at an effigy of Gandhi with a toy gun on his martyrdom day in 2019.

“Some of them might have spoken in their individual capacity. But as an organisation, we neither support Godse nor his activities, or even his organisation, the Hindu Mahasabha,” Yadhukrishnan claimed.

Asked about the Hindu Mahasabha rooting for Hindutva, he said: “Certainly, yes. But their Hindutva ideology is a religious ideology. The RSS’s Hindutva ideology is a socio-cultural ideology.”

He said the ABVP had lodged a complaint with the NIT-C director seeking stringent action against the professor. “We will continue our protest until the institute takes stringent action against the professor. We understand they have set in motion an inquiry.”

Since the NIT doesn’t permit campus politics, the ABVP, like the other student
outfits, staged the protest outside the main gates. No students were part of any of the protests held by the campus wings of political parties seeking action against
the professor.

The NIT-C had witnessed raging protests prior to the professor sparking an outrage. The authorities had suspended Vyshak Premkumar, a fourth-year student of electronics and telecommunications, for protesting against a section of the students who celebrated the Ram temple consecration on January 22 by carrying placards and chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.

The protests against his suspension bore fruit with the authorities revoking the action. Classes resumed on Monday after a four-day closure on account of the protests.

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