Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday hit out at the BJP and said she takes pride in being termed ‘anti-national’ if a Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse, who gunned down the father of the nation, is being hailed as a nationalist.
“I take pride in being called an anti-national when a Hindu fanatic who gunned down Gandhi ji is hailed as a nationalist,” Mufti wrote on her Twitter handle.
She also said, “aisi nationalism aur desh bhakti humaray bas ki naheen. Yeh aapko mubarak. (Such kind of nationalism and patriotism are not our cup of tea. Congratulations to you!).
Muftis response comes in the wake of BJP’s candidate Pragya Singh Thakur’s remarks terming Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, as a ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot).
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdhullah also condemned Pragya’s remarks on Godse.
“If the killer of the father of the nation is a patriot does that make Mahatma Gandhi anti-national?” queried Abdullah in his twitter post.
Earlier in the day, when questioned about actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that India’s first terrorist was a Hindu (in reference to Godse), Thakur had said, “Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt’, is a ‘deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’.”
“People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections,” she had said.
Haasan, the chief of political outfit Makkal Needhi Maiam, had said, “I am not saying this because many Muslims are here. I am saying this in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue. The first terrorist in independent India is a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse.”
Soon after her comments stoked controversy, BJP strongly condemned the statement made by Thakur and said she should apologize publicly for terming Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a ‘true patriot’.
“We completely disagree with the statement made by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur about the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi ji. We strongly condemn this particular statement. The party will ask her for clarification, she should apologize publicly for this statement,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao had told media here.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who is contesting against Thakur from Bhopal, also sought his opponent’s apology for her remarks. “Modi ji, Amit Shah ji and the state BJP should give their statements and apologize to the nation. I condemn this statement, Nathuram Godse was a killer, glorifying him is not patriotism, it is sedition,” he had said.
Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, is not new to controversial remarks. After being fielded by the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, she had said Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, died because she had cursed him.