MEERUT: It might be Gandhi Jayanti for the rest of the country, but the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation was observed by Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha as 'Dhikkar Divas' on Sunday. The right-wing organisation also finally installed and unveiled the bust of Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi's killer, at their Sharda Road office here. The organisation had first tried to unveil the statue on December 2014, but had not been successful, and had been trying ever since.
"In 2014, when we had tried to install Godse's after a ceremony, it was opposed by police and some right-wing organisations, due to which the spot was sealed and the matter taken to court. This time, we exercised extreme caution and unveiled the statue on Gandhi Jayanti, as there can be no better day for this. Our step signifies that it is time all Indians stop following Gandhi's footsteps and start worshipping Godse," said Pandit Ashok Sharma, national vice-president of the organisation.
The bust, made of stone and 2 feet in height as well as width, weighs 50 kg and was made by artisans in Jaipur. It was brought to the Meerut office by Yogendra Verma, the Mahasabha's UP unit president. A shawl and a garland was draped over the bust by the organisation's members after it was unveiled.
"The bust cost me Rs 45,000. I have put in all the money because I don't see the point in taking money from others for such a good cause," said Verma. The members of the Hindu outfit also referred to the surgical strikes of Indian Army after the Uri attacks and said that the strikes are in themselves a statement by the Indian government that they want to get rid of Gandhi's principles.
"Do we follow Gandhian principles these days? The recent surgical strikes done by the Indian Army gives my answer. All of us follow Godse's principles but still praise and worship Gandhi. Had we been following Gandhi's footsteps, surgical strikes would not have happened. I offer my condolences to the families of the soldiers who died in the Uri attack and pray that Indian Army keeps giving befitting replies to Pakistan just like they recently did," said Sharma.
The Hindu outfit's leaders said they were observing the day as 'Dhikkar Divas' wherein they shunned the principles of Gandhi. Earlier, on January 30, the organisation had celebrated the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi with drumbeats, calling the day 'Anyay Divas'.