The Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha on Sunday opened a library in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior city, which is dedicated to the life and ideology of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, ANI reported. It was set up to “instill true nationalism” among the youth as espoused by Godse, the Hindutva organisation said.
The Godse Gyan Shala was inaugurated at the Hindu Mahasabha office at Daulat Ganj area of the city, according to The Indian Express. The library contains literature on how Godse plotted the assassination, along with archives of his articles and speeches.
Hindu Mahasabha National Vice President Jaiveer Bhardwaj said the library will inform the young generation about “aspects of the partition of India” and would also provide information and knowledge about various national leaders.
“The library was opened to put before the world the true nationalist that Godse was,” Bhardwaj told The Indian Express. “He stood and died for an undivided India. The purpose of the library is to instil true nationalism which Godse stood for in today’s ignorant youth.”
The Hindutva leader claimed that India was divided in 1947 to “fulfill the ambitions” of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, and Muslim League founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah. They both wanted to “govern a nation, while Godse opposed it,” Bhardwaj said.
Bhardwaj claimed that the Hindu Mahasabha, which emerged in the country in 1921 to oppose the secular outlook of the Mahatma Gandhi-led Congress, had made sacrifices for the freedom of India. The Congress, on the other hand, “partitioned the country for making Nehru and Jinnah prime ministers,” he alleged.
“Today we want the young generation to know the truth and understand their responsibility towards nationalism,” he added. “We opened the library to inform the youth why Godse ji opposed partition and why he retaliated against it.”
The outfit said it chose Gwalior as the site of the library dedicated to Godse as it is the place where the Hindu Mahasabha member had plotted Gandhi’s killing. “Godse took training in Gwalior and purchased a pistol,” Bhardwaj told ANI. “Later, he went to Delhi to execute his plan. In the first attempt, he was not successful...When Gandhi ji met Godse, the latter fulfilled his resolution to retaliate against him.”
Godse was hanged to death at Ambala Jail on November 15, 1949, after he was convicted for killing Gandhi. Narayan Apte, a co-conspirator in the killing, was also sentenced to death with him. The Hindu Mahasabha observes their death anniversary as “sacrifice day”, according to PTI.
Many Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have recently expressed a similar view that Godse had done great service to the country, particularly Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur. In the run-up to the General Elections of 2019, she had called Godse a patriot. In November 2019, Thakur had once again referred to him as a patriot, this time in the Lok Sabha.