REMEMBERING GODSE November 15, 2000
Hindus and the world know a lot about Mahatma Gandhi. Don't they have an equal right to know about the man who killed him?
Nathuram Godse, 39, was sentenced to death on 15 November 1949, by hanging for the assassination of Mahatma Ghandi. On this anniversary of patriot Godse's death it is educational to learn about the factors which drove Godse to commit the "crime".
In "Why I Assassinated Mahatma Ghandi" Godse committed to paper his motives.
Godse writes "Born in a devotional family, I instinctively came to revere Hindu religion, Hindu history, Hindu "dharti", and Hindu culture. I had, therefore, been intensely proud of Hinduism as a whole. As I grew up I developed a tendency to free thinking unfettered by any superstitious allegiance to any isms, political or religious . . . . Above all, I studied very closely whatever Veer Savarkar and Gandhiji had written and spoken, as to my mind these two ideologies have contributed more to the moulding of the thought and action of the Indian people during the last thirty years or so, than any other single factor has done."
"All this reading and thinking led me to believe it was my first duty to serve Hindudom and Hindus . . . . . . To secure the freedom and to safeguard the just interests of some thirty crores (300 million) of Hindus would automatically constitute the freedom and the well-being of all India, one fifth of human race.
This conviction led me naturally to devote myself to the Hindu Sanghatanist (Consolidation) ideology and programme, which alone, I came to believe, could win and preserve the national independence of Hindustan, my Motherland, and enable her to render true service to humanity as well."
"Since the year 1920 Gandhiji's ....activities for public awakening were phenomenal in their intensity and were reinforced by the slogan of truth and non-violence which he paraded ostentatiously before the country. No sensible or enlightened person could object to those slogans. In fact there is nothing new or original in them. They are implicit in every constitutional public movement. But it is nothing but a mere dream if you imagine that the bulk of mankind is, or can ever become, capable of scrupulous adherence to these lofty principles in its normal life from day to day."
"In fact, honour, duty and love of one's own kith and kin and country, might often compel us to disregard non-violence and to use force. I could never conceive that an armed resistance to an aggression is unjust. I would consider it a religious and moral duty to resist and, if possible, to overpower such an enemy by use of force.
[In the Ramayana] Rama killed Ravana in a tumultuous fight and relieved Sita. [In the Mahabharata], Krishna killed Kansa to end his wickedness; and Arjuna had to fight and slay quite a number of his friends and relations including the revered Bhishma because the latter was on the side of the aggressor.
It is my firm belief that in dubbing Rama, Krishna and Arjuna as guilty of violence, the Mahatma betrayed total ignorance of the springs of human action."
"In more recent history, it was the heroic fight put up by Chhatrapati Shivaji that first checked and eventually destroyed the Muslim tyranny in India . . . . . In condemning history's towering warriors like Shivaji and Guru Gobind Singhji, . . . as misguided patriots, Gandhiji merely exposed his own self-conceit. He was, paradoxical as it may appear, a violent pacifist who brought untold calamities on the country in the name of truth and non-violence . . . "
"The accumulating provocation of thirty-two years, culminating in his last pro-Muslim fast, at last goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhi should be brought to an end immediately . . . . . Many people thought that his politics were irrational . . . Gandhi's pro-Muslim policy is blatant in his perverse attitude on the question of the national language of India . . . . .
Gandhi gave a great impetus to Hindi but as he found that the Muslims did not like it, he became a champion of what is called Hindustani. Everybody in India knows that there is no language called Hindustani . . . . . From August 1946 onwards the private armies of the Muslim League began the massacre of Hindus . . . .
The Congress secretly accepted Pakistan, literally at the point of bayonet and abjectly surrendered . . . . . . India was vivisected and one-third of the Indian territory became foreign land . . . . . . This is what Gandhi had achieved after thirty years of undisputed dictatorship and this is what Congress party calls 'freedom' and 'peaceful transfer of power' . . . . . A theocratic state was established on the soil of India with the consent of Nehru . . ."
"One of the conditions imposed by Gandhi for his breaking of the 'fast unto death' related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by the Hindu refugees. But when Hindus in Pakistan were subjected to violent attacks he did not so much as utter a single word to protest . . . . . Gandhi was shrewd enough to know that there would have been found hardly any Muslim who could have shown some grief if the fast had ended in his death . . .
Gandhi is being referred to as the 'Father of the Nation'. But if that is so, he had failed his paternal duty in as much as he acted very treacherously towards the nation by his consenting to the partitioning of it.
I stoutly maintain that Gandhi has failed in his duty. He has proved to be the Father of Pakistan."
"I thought to myself, and foresaw, I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred and that I shall have lost all my honour, even more valuable than my life, if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time I felt that the Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and would be powerful with armed forces.
No doubt, my own future would be totally ruined, but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan. After having fully considered the question, I took the final decision in the matter.....and I did fire the shots at Gandhiji on 30th January 1948...."
PS: Sometimes "fathers of nations" do the most despicable things, even betray their own people and country. Then their own people succeed in catching them while they try to flee the natural justice.
Mussolini, "Father of Modern Italy", tried to escape his own people in the dark of one evening, dressed as a peasant woman, when he was recognized by some patriots, dragged out of the transport, and then severely beaten up, kicked, knifed and bled, and hanged from the nearest tree.
No Italian has ever regretted that treatment meted out to the idol of their parents' generation.