Monday 16 December 2019

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Following protests, Govt disallows function on ‘Godse book’ on Martyrs’ Day

 

The controversial function of releasing a book on Nathuram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, has finally been moved out from Ravindra Bhavan in Margao as per the government directives, following public protests by political parties and NGOs.

Damu Naik, chairman of Ravindra Bhavan, told goanews.com that the organisers have been told not to have the book release function in the government-funded institute and his booking money has been refunded.

Political outfits and NGOs had come together yesterday, protesting against release of a book ‘Nathuram Godse: The story of an Assassin’ on 30 January, the day Mahatma Gandhi was killed by Godse, observed as the Martyrs’ Day by the whole country.

The book, written by Anup Sardesai, is slated to be released tomorrow evening at Ravindra Bhavan, where Naik was to be the guest.

Naik said the decision has been taken after realising that the function was booked without realising that such a book was released on the Martyrs’ Day.

“The decision has been taken by the government to respect the Father of the Nation and not under any pressure”, claimed Naik.

He had already announced yesterday that he will not attend the function, as a guest.

Fatorda independent MLA Vijai Sardesai, who had defeated two-time BJP legislator Naik, had raised the issue yesterday jointly with Goa Forward, a new regional party formed with his support.

Goa Forward secretary Mohandas Lolayekar had in fact threatened to block all the entries of Ravindra Bhavan if the government-funded institute goes ahead with the release function.

 “We are not against freedom of expression of any writer. But releasing the book on Martyrs’ Day is an attempt to proudly showcase pervert India”, said Prabhakar Timble, the GF president.

He has headed to Gujarat to participate in a Dandi Day meet, convened by nationwide rationalist writers as solidarity against increasing intolerance in the country, leading to the murders of rationalist writers.

A similar incident had taken place at Ravindra Bhavan two years ago, where the RB authorities had allowed Marathi drama ‘Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy’ on Gandhi Jayanti Day, which was later cancelled under public pressure.

“These are deliberate attempts to denigrate the Mahatma and a wickedly veiled celebration by the Hindu fanatics”, alleged Sardesai.

Satyaki Ashok Savarkar, grandnephew of Nathuram Godse and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, has been invited to release the book.

Following the news, social activists had also come forward demanding that the permission for the function be immediately revoked while terming it as an anti-national act of the government-funded institute.

The activists included veteran freedom fighter Gurunath Kelekar, Ramesh Gauns, Siddharth Karapurkar, Ronny Dias, Diana Tavares, John Fernandes and Abhijeet Prabhudesai.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik also condemned Ravindra Bhavan for associating with the book release function, alleging that one of the key agendas of NDA government is to show to the world that Godse was a patriot while only Congress brands him as a murderer.

The Congress MP also said that until recently, the BJP leaders were not garlanding the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, whom they are using now to clinch to power.





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Now I have understood the rule of the game. On tolerance issue the rule is "what I tolerate must be tolerated by you and what I do not tolerate should not be tolerated by you".

 
Madhav Bastodker , Ponda

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