MP magazine editor sacked over Godse article

Published on Feb 25, 2020 11:45 PM IST
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ByRanjan Srivastava

Bhopal: Manoj Khare, the editor of Madhya Pradesh Sandesh, published by the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government’s directorate of public relations (DPR), has been removed from his post and served a show-cause notice over the alleged glorification of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, in one of the articles in the magazine’s January edition, DPR officials who did not wish to be named said.

MP minister for public relations PC Sharma ordered Khare’s removal last week, but his ouster on February 22 became public only on Tuesday. The alleged inflammatory article, Mahatma Zinda Hain (Mahatma is alive), was written by Shweta Rani, a Hyderabad-based research scholar, who analysed the relevance of both Gandhi and Godse in contemporary India.

The article profiled Godse’s family background and described him as a “martyr”. “For some, Godse is an assassin but for some he is a martyr who held religion in high esteem … According to Godse, Gandhi was right in some matters but very unfair in many others.”

Quoting excerpts from a book ‘Why I killed Gandhi’, written by Godse’s brother Gopal Godse ,the article says, “It was etched in Godse’s mind that Gandhiji strangled Hindu interests repeatedly. He [Godse] was of the view that Gandhiji played a key role in the partition. Godse’s only aim in his life was to protect the Hindus and Hindutva to achieve complete freedom ... after that he resolved to kill Gandhiji alone.”

The article says that although Gandhi’s body was riddled with bullets, his soul was still alive among Indians. Gandhi did not just fight against the British rule but other social evils such as poverty, illiteracy and untouchability as well.

“If people think Gandhiji died on January 30, 1948, or Godse died on November 15, 1949, then it’s incorrect. Neither Gandhiji has died, nor Godse. Both exist in our mind. We have to decide whose ideology should we carry forward -- Gandhiji’s or Godse’s,” the article concluded.

A DPR official, who didn’t want to be identified, said, “The officer was removed from the editor’s post at the instructions of the minister [Sharma] after some people complained to him. It’s not a case of glorification but an interpretation of Godse being glorified. Besides, the magazine also carried a disclaimer that it’s not necessary that the sates government agrees with the writer’s views.”

Khare defended the publication of the controversial article, which “is based on Gandhiji, not Godse. The writer has clearly stated how Gandhiji and his ideology are still relevant for the country and how Godse represented negative aspects of the society”.

“I have taken exception to the piece on Godse and has ordered the editor’s removal and also a show-cause notice is issued to him,” minister Sharma said.

Rani, however, was unavailable for comment.

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