Hindu Mahasabha Promises To Change UP's Meerut's Name To Nathuram Godse Nagar If It Wins Mayor Poll

The Hindu Mahasabha also petitioned the Yogi Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh government in 2019 to rename Meerut after Nathuram Godse, killer of Mahatma Gandhi.

Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi

The Hindu Mahasabha on Tuesday said it will change the name of Uttar Pradesh's Meerut to Nathuram Godse Nagar if it wins the upcoming mayor's election. 

Nathuram Godse was a Hindu Mahasabha member who killed Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly called Mahatma Gandhi, on January 30, 1948. He was also a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member, the Hindu nationalist organisation which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also part of earlier.

The Mahasabha also said it will change 'Islamic names' of other places and rename them after 'great Hindu men'.

In its manifesto, the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha said its first priority will be to make India a "Hindu Rashtra" and next is to protect "Gau Mata".

Taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJ) and Shiv Sena, the Mahasabha said they were moving away from their ideology as there was an increased influx of people from other communities in the two parties.

"If Hindu Mahasabha gets enough number of councillors and wins the mayor's post, the name of Meerut will be changed to Nathuram Godse Nagar and Islamic names of different places in the city and the district will be named after Hindu great men," said Hindu Mahasabha National Vice president Pandit Ashok Sharma.

Abhishek Agarwal, Hindu Mahasabha's new chief of Meerut district for the urban body elections, said the organisation will contest in all the wards. He said "patriotic" candidates will be identified and they will have to give an undertaking that they will be committed to furthering the organisation's ambitions.

Announcing its manifesto, Agarwal said, "The first promise is to make India a 'Hindu Rashtra' and the second task is to ensure that every Hindu takes care of Gau Mata."

He added the organisation will also work on stopping religious conversions and growing "Islamic appeasement politics".

"The BJP used to call itself a Hindu party, but today it is also increasingly dominated by people from other communities. In the same way, Shiv Sena is also moving towards Islamic appeasement politics," said Agarwal. 

The urban body polls across Uttar Pradesh are expected to be held in December in Meerut.

This is not the first time that the issue of renaming Meerut name after Godse has surfaced. In 2019, the Hindu Mahasabha had filed a formal requested with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to change the name of Meerut to 'Pandit Nathuram Godse Nagar'. However, the request was bluntly rejected by the UP government.

The Hindu Mahasabha had filed a 'complaint' on a government grievance redressal website over the name of Meerut, saying the district should be renamed after Godse.

"There is no room to even consider such a request. We had got the complaint in February this year by Hindu Mahasabha members and had replied that the name change will not be considered. However, as the complaint still shows our answer as pending, I have sent a fresh reply informing them that the name of Meerut will remain unchanged," said Meerut District Magistrate Anil Dhingra at the time, as per India TV.

Moreover, the Hindu Mahasabha had also sought to change the names of Hapur and Ghaziabad districts.

"Ghaziabad and Hapur should be renamed as Digvijay Nagar and Avaidyanath Nagar after former head priests of Gorakhnath Math. Both of them were members of Hindu Mahasabha and we think it is time that Yogi Adityanath honors his gurus," said Pandit Ashok Sharma at the time, as per a media report.

(With PTI inputs)