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As Pragya Thakur's 'Godse Patriot' Remark Creates Furore, Gandhians Talk Peace in Her Constituency

A conclave on Gandhi's thoughts and ideologies is being held in Bhopal that is represented in Parliament by BJP's Pragya Thakur, who on Wednesday called the former's assassin, Nathuram Godse, a patriot in the Lok Sabha.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:November 28, 2019, 8:47 PM IST
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As Pragya Thakur's 'Godse Patriot' Remark Creates Furore, Gandhians Talk Peace in Her Constituency
Members of the conclave on Gandhian thoughts talk to reporters in Bhopal on Thursday. (News18)

Bhopal: At a time when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Thakur created a fresh outrage in the nation by calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot in Parliament, his followers from several countries have gathered in Bhopal to spread his message.

Noted Gandhian Rajgopal PV has led a ‘padyatra’ (march) of over 50 travellers from India and 10 other nations, as part of the ‘Jai Jagat 2020’ campaign and is holding a conclave on Gandhian thoughts and ideologies in the state capital that is represented Thakur in the Lok Sabha.

“We are trying to find solution to global issues through Gandhiwadi thoughts,” Rajgopal told reporters on Thursday.

Rampant violence, poverty, inequality, race of arms, climate change and pollution have brought challenges before the earth and if things don’t improve, the planet could hardly sustain itself for more than 10 years, he said.

Rajgopal, the founding member of Ekta Parishad, a Gandhian organisation, said, “Bapu’s ways could help solve global issues and we are trying to bring protests like ours from across the globe under one roof to make a change.”

While talking about non-violent movements, Rajgopal cited examples of Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s Bhudan movement, surrender of dacoits in the Chambal ravines and ‘Silent Valley’ protests in Kerala. He also discussed about how Armenia was able to bring about a change recently through peaceful means.

Participants of the global peace march that is likely to culminate in Geneva on September 25 next year plan to meet representatives of World Bank, WTO and United Nations.

Rajgopal said there was initially a plan to walk through Pakistan on way to Iran, but due to escalated tension between India and its neighbour, delegation from Nepal is being sent to walk through the country and promote non-violence.

Asked to comment on terror accused Pragya Thakur, Rajgopal saying Gandhi’s opposition from ideologies, including communists and Dalit movements, has ebbed and those who are still unconvinced would change one day.

Likening Mahatma Gandhi to a lighthouse in darkness, he said destroying the same means a loss to one and all. Comparing indecent language to soft violence, Rajgopal said Thakur’s political party should act on this to send out a clear message.

Meanwhile, foreign nationals gathered in Bhopal were busy spreading the message of peace.

One of them, Canada-based Jill Carr Harris, who is leading the coordination team, said peace march has been stretched for a year to collect case studies on non-violent movement and sustainable development from across the globe and put them forward during the meetings with international forums. “We wabt to showcase how these small instances can influence policy-makers,” she said.

A student from France, Clair Lhermite, said her country is also witnessing growing social and economic differences and policymakers are not addressing these issues. “I believe the non-violence perspective of Gandhi could present an alternate model before the world,” she said.

“Though non-violence, Gandhi taught us how violence fuels poverty and environmental damage,” said Spanish national Javier Leal. “He taught us that we need transformation in all aspects of our lives. Gandhi talked about sustainable and inclusive development of all which also hold relevance for resource-deficit Europe” he said.

For Laurence Redortier from France, the march is an occasion to discover Gandhi. “I always knew Gandhi and his wonderful lessons but could never study him. So I came here to discover him during the yatra,” said Laurence.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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