10/04/2019, 09.57
INDIA
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Gandhi's ashes stolen and "traitor" scrawled across memorial

Mausoleum in Bapu Bhawan, in Madhya Pradesh ransacked. The theft occurred on the 150th anniversary of his birth. Mahatma is considered the "father of the nation", but Hindu ultranationalists criticize him for having "surrendered" to the Muslims. His ashes are scattered in different memorials.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thieves have stolen the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi from the Bapu Bhawan memorial in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, and disfigured his image with the words "traitor" (photo 2). The vandalism of the mausoleum took place on 2 October, which was also the 150th anniversary of the birth of the famous Indian politician and pacifist.

The profanation of the place dedicated to the Indian "father of the nation" was discovered by the custodian Mangaldeep Tiwari. He describes the theft and disfigurement of the image as a "shameful" act. An inquiry has been launched following a complaint lodged by Gurmeet Singh, the local leader of the Congress party.

For now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi - who also paid tribute to the father of the homeland at the Ahmedabad memorial - has not commented. Meanwhile, the Rewa police opened an investigation into the incident and recorded the case as "prejudicing national integration" and a potential violation of peace based on sections 153B, 504 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code.

Gandhi led the struggle for independence from British rule theorizing, and implementing the practice of "non-violence" through a frugal life and fasting, as a peaceful method of boycott against the rulers. He is revered by many Indians, but at the same time opposed by Hindu ultranationalists who criticize his positions as "yielding" to Muslims.

In 1948, Mahatma was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a militant Hindu fanatic of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Rss), a paramilitary and ultranationalist group to which Prime Minister Modi also belonged in his youth. This faction supports the doctrine of Hindutva, an ideology that wants to create a Hindu sectarian state, considers Hinduism an ethnic, cultural and political identity, and admits acts of violence and discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities.

After his death, Gandhi's remains were cremated, according to the Hindu tradition. However, in contravention of the practice because of his fame, the ashes were divided and transported to various memorials, including those desecrated in Madhya Pradesh.

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