Tweet of Mumbai IAS officer calling for removal of Gandhi statues sparks row

Mahatma Gandhi, Usha Gokani, Mani Bhavan, granddaughter, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi
Usha Gokani spent her childhood in Wardhas Sevagram Ashram, which Gandhiji founded | Photo: WIkimedia Commons

A Mumbai woman IAS officer’s tweet has triggered a row by calling the removal of Mahatma Gandhi’s statues from across the world, including his images from the Indian currency notes. She deleted the controversial tweet after facing heavy backlash on social media.

Demanding that institutions and roads named after the Father of the Nation be renamed, she also ‘thanked’ his assassin Nathuram Godse. After the controversy, the officer, Nidhi Choudhari, posted as deputy municipal commissioner in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said on Saturday (June 1) that the tweet was “sarcastic” and it was “misinterpreted”.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) demanded her suspension for the ‘derogatory’ tweet about Mahatma Gandhi and ‘glorification’ of Godse.

In her tweet posted on May 17 along with the picture of Mahatma Gandhi’s mortal remains, Choudhari had written, “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, rename institutions/roads named after him! That would be a real tribute from all of us! ThankU#Godse for 30.01.1948.”


On Saturday, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad demanded strict action against Choudhari by suspending her. “She glorified Godse by posting a derogatory tweet about Gandhiji. This shouldn’t be tolerated,” he said.

Claiming that Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘My Experiments With Truth’ is her all-time favourite book, Choudhari said that her tweet was “misinterpreted.” “Those who have misinterpreted my tweet on May 17 should go through my timeline. Even past few months, tweets would be self-explanatory. I am deeply hurt and saddened by misinterpretation to a tweet written with sarcasm.

“I would never insult Gandhiji. Gandhiji is Father of Our Nation & in 2019 all of us must do our little bit to make this country better. Hope those misinterpreting my tweets would realise the sarcasm in it,” she said on Twitter on Saturday.