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Play staged on BHU campus didn’t glorify Nathuram Godse: Probe panel

SNS | New Delhi |

A play which allegedly celebrated the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, was staged in Banaras Hindu University at the three-day cultural festival Sanskriti 2018 organised by BHU’s Faculty of Arts last month.

It was earlier reported that while the participants presented the play on stage, students, who were watching it, cheered and clapped. A video in connection with the incident had gone viral.

In the latest development, a probe committee has found that the university did not allow a play glorifying Nathuram Godse to be staged at its annual cultural festival.

Trouble had erupted on the BHU campus last month when a group of students claimed that a play which showed Mahatma Gandhi in a poor light and celebrated his killer, Godse, had been staged at the festival.

The committee in its recent report said the BHU authorities had disqualified a participant who performed a mono-act on Godse when cultural performances were being screened for the university festival.

“During the screening process meant for selection of participants for the annual cultural festival, the participants presented performances based on the topic of their choice for a maximum of five minutes,” it said.

The organisers or judges did not have prior information on the topic chosen by the participant, the report said.

“During the screening, a participant performed a five-minute long mono-act on Godse and was disqualified for selection for the festival by judges,” it added. The probe panel reiterated that the performance was “merely found to be a part of screening procedure and the organisers and judges had no prior information on the subject”.

Last month, a group of students had complained about the play to the BHU and district administration. Students wanted strict action taken against those involved in glorifying Godse as a hero.

The students claimed that the play intended to insult Gandhi as it went on to justify his assassination.

In the complaint letter, students reportedly wrote that, “He (Gandhi) laid the foundation for the idea of Satyagrah and enjoyed a good bond with the founder of BHU Madan Mohan Malviya. That Gandhi was insulted in BHU while Godse was eulogised. Yeh rashtradroh se kam nahi (this equals to sedition).”

If the media reports are to be believed the play was inspired by Godse’s ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Kyun Maara (Why I killed Gandhi)’.