AURANGABAD: Mahatma Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi on Saturday said a new "Father of the Nation" has come up with the emergence of new India, but the Mahatma could never have become the father of such nation.
He also termed as "sacrilege" the theft of an urn which was used for immersing ashes of the Father of Nation in Madhya Pradesh recently and slammed the governments at Centre and Madhya Pradesh for their "silence".
Tushar said the incident was a "pre-planned act to sully the image of the Mahatma by political parties who are ruling today and for the last seven decades".
A portrait of Mahatma Gandhi was found defaced at Bapu Bhawan in Laxmanbagh Sansthan at Rewa on Gandhi Jayanti by unidentified persons who wrote "deshdrohi" (traitor) over it and also stole an urn which was used for immersing his ashes.
Addressing reporters in Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Tushar said more painful than the theft of the Mahatma's "mortal remains" is the "silence" of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh and the BJP dispensation at the Centre over the incident.
"The theft and the sacrilege of the poster is painful. However, it's more painful to note that Congress government in Madhya Pradesh and the BJP-led Central government have not uttered a single word to condemn the incident. Sixty hours have passed since the incident occurred," he said.
Tushar ruled that while the nation was celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma, his mortal remains were stolen from Rewa.
"This silence of political parties and media speaks a lot. I request the government to get those mortal remains back and immerse them. Because such act is painful to me as the great-grandson of the Mahtma and also to those who follow his philosophy," Tushar said.
Responding to a query, Tushar said government agencies were serving notices to residents of the Sabarmati ashram in Ahmedabad for vacating the premises.
"A reason is being given that a big memorial of Mahatma Gandhi will be erected at that place. But when every individual visiting Sabarmati bows at the 'Hriday Kunj' (present ashram), what is the need for a new memorial?" he questioned.
"This is a clear case of land grabbing. This is an attack on institutions working for Gandhian philosophy.
The agencies are also asking for archives and all those things which belonged to Mahatma Gandhi that are kept in Sabarmati premises," he said.
Tushar said a protest could be planned to "save" the ashram area.
Targetting the BJP, Tushar said the saffron party has "(Nathuram) Godse (assasin of the Mahatma) in mind and Gandhi on their lips.
As the new India is emerging, new 'Father of Nation' has also come up. Mahatma Gandhi can never be the father of such new nation," he said without taking any names.