The Hindu Mahasabha conferred “Godse-Apte Bharat Ratna” to religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj, who made derogatory remarks against the Mahatma during a Dharma Sansad held in Raipur. The Hindu Mahasabha also conferred four leaders of the Mahasabha with the award.
Hindu Mahasabha’s national vice president Jaiveer Bharadwaj said that they performed ‘aarti’ of Bharat Mata with a resolve to integrate India with Pakistan to make it ‘Akhand Bharat’. They were observing January 30 as the ‘Godse Apte Smriti Diwas’ day to express their anger over their arrest on January 30, 1948.
Bharadwaj said the Mahasabha had honoured Kalicharan Maharaj and four leaders of Hindu Mahasabha with the “Godse-Apte Bharat Ratna”.
As Kalicharan Maharaj was in jail, the honour was received by Pramod Lohpatre on his behalf, Bharadwaj added.
Mahasabha pays tribute and respects all the revolutionaries, he added.
When BJP state President VD Sharma was asked about the Mahasabha honouring Kalicharan and others with “Godse Apte Bharat Ratna”, he said that it was the incumbent BJP government at the Centre which had taken Mahatma Gandhi’s work to the people.
“There is a process of providing ‘Bharat Ratna’ (the highest civilian honour in India) by the Centre. It can’t be given to anybody standing on the road,” he said, adding that there is freedom of expression in the country.