Mathrubhumi and the limits of ‘giving space’

A newspaper should no doubt give space to all points of view. But, that should not mean that the editor would spare prime print space for outright lies. That’s what the editor of Mathrubhumi, one of Kerala’s two big dailies did, when they printed a long opinion piece by RSS leader and BJP State Secretary B.Gopalakrishnan. In this piece, he makes the claim that the Communists are responsible for Gandhi assassination and that Godse did not have anything to do with the RSS. He goes on to say that had Gandhi lived for some more years, he would have certainly been a part of the RSS’s activities. Even by the Sangh Parivar’s standards, this is a lie of such epic proportions that it would seem laughable for a paper like Mathrubhumi to print this.

But, the Sangh as well as the Mathrubhumi knows that there would be enough takers for such lies in a land where Baba Ramdev’s products are bought by quite a number of people. Those who laugh at them for printing this are certainly not their concern. Under P.V.Chandran’s able guidance, Mathrubhumi has been doing an effective job of slyly pushing in the sangh worldview. Not for nothing was he seen hanging on to Amit Shah’s coattails when he visited temples in Kozhikode last year.

Coming back to B.Gopalakrishnan, most people seem to have forgotten the article he wrote in Kerala RSS mouthpiece ‘Kesari’ two years back, in which he implied that Godse should have shot Jawaharlal Nehru, rather than Mahatma Gandhi, for the partition of the country.

He had written — “Actually, Nehru was responsible for the Partition and all other tragedies including Gandhi’s assassination. On the basis of an honest perusal of historical records and Godse’s arguments, it will hardly be possible to rebuff students of history if they were to evaluate that Nathuram Vinayak Godse had erred in his aim. Nehru was a selfish leader who concealed important facts from Gandhi on the partition and eventually isolated him from the final round of discussions. Godse was better than Nehru. He shot Gandhi from the front and like Nehru, did not stab him from the back.”

So, for the likes of Gopalakrishnan and other Sangh leaders, facts are not sacred. It’s there to be twisted according to their needs, as per the circumstances. The contradictions in these two sets of lies he said about the same thing within two years is itself revealing. Some of the lies will stick and they will just hurl lies until one does.

But, for now, there’s only one truth that has to be repeated everyday in this country. That, Godse was very much an RSS guy, who committed independent India’s first terrorist act, under the guidance of Veer “apology letter” Savarkar, who happens to be the ideological Guru of the current Prime Minister of the country. His brother Gopal Godse’s words are enough as a proof — “All the Godse brothers were in the RSS. Nathuram, Dattatreya, myself and Govind. You can say we grew up in the RSS rather than in our home. It was like a family to us. Nathuram had become a baudhik karyavah [intellectual worker] in the RSS. He has said in his statement that he left the RSS. He said it because Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar and the RSS were in a lot of trouble after the murder of Gandhi. But he did not leave the RSS.”