Bald, dhoti-clad, and wearing spectacles with a walking stick, Asura in the All India Hindu Mahasabha’s Durga Puja celebration has been redefined.

The organization which was established in British India is infamously recognized for its affiliation with Naturam Godse, the man who killed Gandhi.

At a Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata the organizers, All India Hindu Mahasabha have replaced ‘Asura’ the figure in Hindu mythology equated to the demon and a negative power with a lookalike of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.

However, the organizers while interacting claimed that the similarity is coincidental, but maintained their stand of criticizing Gandhi for his role in the national freedom struggle.

The incident has drawn sharp criticism from various political parties including the ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition parties like BJP, INC, and CPI-M.

Chandrachur Goswami, working President of the organization’s state wing while interacting with the media said, “A person with a bald head and wearing spectacles need not be Gandhi. See the asura is also holding a dhal (shield). Gandhi never held a dhal. It is coincidental that our asura whom Maa Durga is killing looks like Gandhi. Many people said it looks like Gandhi. However, it is also true that Gandhi needs to be criticized.”

Trinamool Congress general secretary Kunal Ghosh termed the action a “height of indecency” and slammed BJP over the incident and maintained a stiff stand over the incident telling such incident cannot be tolerated.

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CPI also maintained the same stand as alike ruling TMC over the incident and criticized BJP alongside RSS and drew the line with that of the pre-independence era.

From BJP its spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya took the charge and said, “We do not support such things. Such things are absolutely unacceptable and the administration should take immediate steps against the organizers.”

Chandrachur was firm on his stand on criticizing Gandhi saying his role in the freedom struggle needs to be re-evaluated. He said, “He needs to be criticized for his role in the national freedom movement.

Our real heroes are Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. We do not fear criticizing Gandhi. Someone has to bell the cat. He does not derive respect. We want to send a clear message to all that we want Gandhi-mukt Bharatvarsh. We ask why is the Central government not making the book ‘Why I killed Gandhi’ by Nathuram Godse, public.”

No action against the organizers has been taken as of yet Goswami went on to explain we are organizing Puja with due permission from the administration. All India Hind Mahasabha has been organizing the Puja for a long and with the theme on the line of ‘women empowerment.


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