Fearing adverse consequences in an election year and in a bid to stem a controversy, the Gujarat government, in a swift action, suspended an official after the Valsad district administration organised an elocution competition in which one of the topics was Nathuram Godse–My Hero.
Highly placed sources said that the district youth welfare officer of Valsad in south Gujarat has been suspended.
According to sources, a district-level talent hunt was held in Valsad on Monday for children studying in classes 5 to 8 and one of the topics was on Nathuram Godse. Interestingly, the student who spoke on this topic was declared the winner.
Sensing the sensitivity of the topic and fearing adverse consequences in Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace, the state government suspended an officer, Mita Gavli.
Archana Desai, an administrator of Kusum Vidyalaya, the institution where the competition was held, told mediapersons that the school had nothing to do with the competition. “None of us from the school were judges nor we were involved in the competition,” she said, adding that they had just given the premises to hold the competition when asked by the district authorities.
This is not the first time that Gandhi’s killer has been hailed as a patriot. In 2019, BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur had described Godse as a patriot, triggering a controversy. She had later apologised.
Later on, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that though Sadhvi Pragya had apologised, he would never be able to forgive her from the heart.
Godse’s urns are worshiped in Pune and every year a programme is organised in Gwalior to remember him.
Noted Gandhian Prakash Shah told THE WEEK that even if we set aside the issue of ideology, such a sensitive topic should not be given at this tender age for children. The authorities concerned should be aware about this, he pointed out.