Mumbai: Mahatma Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi on Tuesday defended Mumbai-based IAS officer Nidhi Choudhari over her controversial tweet on 'Bapu' and said the backlash is uncalled for and against Gandhian values.
"The controversy over Nidhi's tweet on Gandhi was uncalled for. I have seen that shoes were slammed against her picture which is totally against Gandhian belief and ideology. People should have the right to speak their mind," Tushar told ANI here.
He batted for Choudhari's freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution and said the criticism should be seen as an attempt to muzzle people's right to air their views. Tushar said, "Our Constitution gives the citizens freedom to express their opinion which is the essence of democracy. It is against democratic values to try to muzzle one's opinion. "
"I have no problem with her tweet. She has maintained that she has faith in Gandhi. Even if she was motivated by hatred, we should respect her right to express the opinion. If her tweet is considered derogatory by any means, we can debate on it in an intellectual manner," he continued.
He expressed concern over what he called "an intention to muzzle the voices" which is not in the interest of the nation.
Choudhari had on 17 May tweeted, "What an exceptional celebration of the 150th birth anniversary year is going on. High time, we remove his face from our currency, his statues from across the world, name institutions/roads named after him! That would be a real tribute from all of us! ThankU Godse for 30.01.1948."
She later deleted the tweet saying it was "misunderstood". Tushar went on to echo Choudhari's demands and said that Gandhi lives on in hearts of his followers and ever his haters.
He said, "Bapu's picture should be removed from notes and postage stamps. The institutions, roads named after him should be renamed because Babu does not live there, he lives in the hearts of his followers and even in the hearts of his haters."
"As long as Babu is in our hearts, there is no need to put him in symbols," Tushar added. He said that Choudhari's transfer, if politically motivated, should be condemned.
Maharashtra government had transferred Choudhari after the tweet attracted criticism with several political leaders condemning her statement and people calling her out on social media.
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Updated Date: Jun 04, 2019 16:59:52 IST