A college in the city of Pune in Maharashtra has cancelled a lecture by Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson and writer Tushar Gandhi after it received a threat letter from a fringe Hindutva outfit calld Patitpavan Sanstha. Gandhi shared the news on Thursday night, tweeting: “The goli maaro gang in action.”
The lecture was scheduled for Friday.
The chairperson of the education society that runs Modern College said he was not against Gandhi’s ideology. “I had spoken with Tushar Gandhi on Thursday late night and informed the details of threatening letters,” Gajanan Ekbote told The New Indian Express. “We have planned to arrange Tushar Gandhi’s lecture in next 15 days in our college. We are not against Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is part of our college syllabus and study.”
Ekbote said a student member of the Hindutva group had told the college not to allow Tushar Gandhi to deliver the lecture. “The examinations for other courses are going on,” the chairman added. “We do not want the law-and-order situation to get disturbed. Therefore, as a precautionary note, this decision was taken.”
Social activist Kumar Saptarshi, however, criticised the college management for bowing down before the Hindutva organisation. He said it was shameful that the Shiv Sena-led government, which has the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in the ruling alliance, failed to provide security to Tushar Gandhi.
State minister and Nationalist Congress Party member Jitendra Awhad took note of the incident and spoke to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to express his concern. “He [Deshmukh] has promised action and he will talk to Tushar Gandhi,” Awhad tweeted. Earlier in the day, Awhad had said the incident was unfortunate, and added that the Pune Police should not have let it happen.
Gandhi thanked both the ministers. “Thank you for being ever vigilant to protect our Constitution and democracy against anarchy,” he added.