On the 16th of March, Monday Hansal Mehta, Tushar Gandhi and Kumar Ketkar came together in support of Teesta Setalvad’s book Beyond Doubt: A Dossier on Gandhi’s Assasination.
Teesta Setalvad in her short address to the guests and the Press on this occassion said-
“Gandhi’s assassination was not a spontaneous act. There were five murder attempts made before Gandhi was actually killed. Godse was involved in two of the previous attempts. RSS’s visceral hatred towards Gandhi was because of his commitment to composite nationalism and his position on untouchability”.
Godse in characteristic RSS style lied blatantly when he claimed he killed Gandhi for the issue of Partition or the transfer of Rs 55 crores to Pakistan. Setalvad writes in the introduction of the Dossier- “The attempts on Gandhi’s life that began in 1934 were a response to the dominant political articulations of nationhood, caste, and economic and other democratic rights which directly challenged the idea of a hegemonistic and authoritarian Hindu Rashtra. In 1933, a year before the first attempt on his life, Gandhi had declared firm support to two Bills, one of which was against the abhorrent practice of untouchability.” RSS in its vicious propaganda never dares to mention the same she said.
In her introduction to the Dossier on Gandhi’s assasination Teesta Setalvad continues-
“The run up to Independence and, unfortunately, Partition, was the arena or battleground for fundamentally opposing notions of nationhood.While over a hundred years of sustained movements and mobilizations to throw off the British yoke came together in the united battle of all Indians against foreign rule, the early to mid-1900s saw the emergence of sectarian and communal definitions of Indian and Pakistani nationhood. With the birth of the Hindu Mahasabha, the Muslim league and the RSS, these movements – which on different occasions actually collaborated with the British – were in constant battle with the larger national movement. This volume also contains valuable references to how and when these right-wing protagonists collaborated with the colonial rulers. Parallel to Gandhi’s clear articulations about India as a secular state from the early 1930s, there was also the emergence of clear positions among the national leadership on the caste question as well as on the issue of the economic rights of large sections of Indians. Repeated use of the term ‘secular’ appears quite early in Gandhi’s writings and speeches of 1933.
Seniior Journalist Kumar Ketkar observed that “RSS is not an organization anymore. It is an ideology that is present in all sections of the society and across all political parties.”
Kumar Ketkar added that Modi’s victory was ten percent because of Development propaganda but mostly because of 2002 Gujrat. According to the Seniior Journalist RSS has managed to penetrate into some sections of Bengal also. While they may not emerge as the biggest party in West Bengal in next elections they may loom up menacingly as the second most important party, he said.
Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi pointed out that “Teesta Setalvad’s forthcoming book which would include Kapur Commission report will be an important book to watch out for. Kapoor Commision Report has more evidence on the buildup to the assassination than the evidence that was available during the trial.”
In the 60s when some of the convicts of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination case came out after serving their term the conspirators talked openly about the details of the conspiracy leading to the assassination. It is then that the Central Government set up Kapur Commission to further look into the details of the conspiracy.
Hansal Mehta, the Director of City-Lights and Shahid welcomed Teesta Setalvad’s book Beyond Doubt: A Dossier on Gandhi’s Assassination and stated in no uncertain terms that he was there to support Setalwad’s relentless work on secularism. He stated that the fabricated History of the Hindutva Brigade will destroy India. Hansal articulated strongly that he is an observer of the present day hate-mongering.
The program on Gandhi’s Assassination started with remembering Comrade Pansare and Gandhian leader Narayanbhai Desai. It was followed by a beautiful rendition of Vaishnava Jana Te by Sufi singer Ragini Rainu.
Leave a Reply