Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | updated 02:03 PM IST

Rahul defamation case: Cong quotes historical facts to counter RSS charges

Updated: Aug 24, 2016 19:38 IST

New Delhi, Aug 24 (ANI): Quoting the book 'saffron fascism' written by Shyam Chand to state that Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) supporter, the Congress today reiterated that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi never accused the 'institution' of being responsible for the killing of Father of the Nation.

"There is a book titled 'saffron fascism' written by Shyam Chand and published by Hemkund publishers. At its first published edition in 2002, it said, "Nehru wrote a letter to Home Minister Sardar Patel on February 26, 1948, suggesting that Mahatma Gandhi's murder was part of a much wider campaign organised chiefly by the RSS. Sardar Patel sent a letter to Nehru the very next day informing him that it was a fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha directly under Savarkar and hatched the conspiracy and saw it through. Savarkar was not found guilty by the court. Golwalkar somehow went scot-free," said Congress leader and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal.

"Can a murder which was a part of a much wider campaign be investigated in three weeks? Then quote "pretender to Sardar Patel's legacy, L.K. Advani denied Godse's link with RSS." Godse's brother Gopal Godse rebuked Advani. Gopal countered Advani saying and I quote "it is cowardice to say that, you can say the RSS did not pass a resolution "go and assassinate Gandhi" but RSS hatched a conspiracy to kill Gandhi ji not said by Rahul Gandhi. Gopal says "all the brothers were in RSS" not said by Rahul Gandhi said by the brother of Godse. All brothers were in RSS," he added.

Sibal further said, "Nathuram had become a buddhikarwayak (intellectual worker) in the RSS. He had said in his statement that he left the RSS. He said it because Golwarkar and the RSS were in lot of trouble after the murder of Gandhi but he did not leave the RSS."

Stating that it reflected hypocrisy for political gains, the Congress leader wondered as to how Rahul Gandhi can now sought to be prosecuted for defamation.

"When all these quotes and I'm saying from 1942 by various people who have directly attributed the murder of Gandhi ji to an organisation. Nobody has filed a case against them. Why have the RSS not file a case against all these authors? Why have they not filed the case against the brother of Nathuram who said we were all in the RSS? So, why this hypocrisy? Only for politics?" asked Sibal.

"So, if you really are honest and you believe in what you say then you should file defamation cases against all these people, against the brother and we know for a fact, also written in books, that when Gandhi ji died they distributed sweets. It is part of literature, part of historical facts and these are matters of public debate. Now, you want to play politics then we shall see. So, let us see what the response is. I just want to clarify this so that the twitterati which is belonging to a particular mindset is going amok and we want to just state the facts and set the matter on rest," he added.

The Supreme Court, which earlier in the day heard the Congress vice-president's appeal to quash the defamation case filed against him by the RSS, stated that he never accused the 'institution of being responsible for Mahatma Gandhi's killing'.

Sibal, who appeared for Gandhi, told the apex court that the Congress vice-president never accused the RSS as an institution for the crime.

"'RSS ke logon ne hatya ki' is entirely different from 'RSS had killed Mahatma Gandhi'," Sibal told the court.

The apex court will hear the matter next on September 1.

Addressing a rally in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, in 2014, the Congress vice-president had alleged that the RSS members had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948.

The Congress vice-president was reported as saying, "RSS people killed Gandhi ji. They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhi ji." (ANI)