Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on October 3 said Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was part of the conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi.
The Congress leader said there was enough evidence to show that Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a disciple of Savarkar.
Baghel said the Father of the Nation advocated non- violence, Savarkar stood for violence.
He asserted that Gandhis fight against provocative and anarchic nationalism needed to be carry forwarded in order to maintain communal harmony in the society.
The Congress CM was speaking on the concluding day of the two-day special Assembly session convened to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi.
“In 1909, on the invitation of Vinayak Damodar Savarkars associates, Gandhi ji went to London for an event. There, both had cited examples of epic Ramayana.
“Gandhi had cited the lines which give message of non- violence and sacrifice, while Savarkar had mentioned that only violence is the way to destroy unrighteousness, Baghel said.
“Gandhi talks about non-violence while Savarkar about violence. It is fact that Gandhi was not afraid of death while it is evident from history that Savarkar was not afraid of attacking while in hiding. Gandhi is veer (brave) for us (Congress), while Savarkar is for you (BJP), he said.
“There was enough evidence to prove that Godse was a disciple of Savarkar, who hatched conspiracy to kill Gandhi, he claimed…what was the reason that Godse killed Gandhi.
“When the incident (Gandhis assassination) took place, there was an announcement on the radio that a mentally unstable man killed him.
“He was not mentally unstable…rather he was representing an ideology…Godse was trained like a human bomb to kill Gandhi. He was trained by an ideology. Today there is battle between ideologies,” he added.
Baghel said the cultural nationalism promoted by Gandhi has been effective in unifying the country, while nowadays a “provocative” form of nationalism is prevailing in the country which speaks about crushing its opposition.
“There were no differences in karuna (compassion) of Lord Buddha, Gandhi, B R Ambedkar and Pt Jawaharlal Nehru. There was a gambhir (serious) nationalism in their thoughts.
That nationalism had space for everyone in the country and had respect even for dissent. That nationalism was a thread which tied people together, he said.
Baghel denounced the current narrative on nationalism as “dangerous”.
“However, there is another nationalism which is provocative and dangerous. In that nationalism, there is no respect for life. They only know one language and act (that is of violence).
“If you disagree with them, then you will be crushed and killed. This nationalism does not have its roots in this country, but it is imported. This nationalism has its roots in Germany and influenced by Mussolini in Italy,” Baghel said.
“Today this House takes pledge to take forward Gandhi’s fight against provocative nationalism,” he added.
During their speeches, BJP MLAs raised objection over Baghels claims that Savarkar was part of Gandhis murder conspircy and demanded that these lines be expunged from House record.
When the Speaker did not pay heed to their demand, BJP legislators boycotted the assembly proceedings.
Earlier, taking part in the discussion, Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik slammed previous Congress governments for imposing Emergency in 1975 and for 1984 anti- Sikh riots, and said those who got power in the name of Gandhi ji, they themselves ignored his principles and ideals.
“We are nationalist and believe in Indian constitution and Gandhi. But those who follow other ideology and got power in the name of Gandhi ji, destroyed Gandhian principles during their 60-year-rule, the BJP leader said without naming Congress.