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Know why Nathuram Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi

New Delhi: Today is the 68th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the chief advocate of non-violence. He was born on October 2, 1869 and was assassinated on January 30, in the year 1948, months after
India TV News Desk January 30, 2016 12:34 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Today is the 68th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the chief advocate of non-violence. He was born on October 2, 1869 and was assassinated on January 30, in the year 1948, months after the independence.

The anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, January 30, is also celebrated as Martyr's Day.

Here is why Nathuram Godse assassinated Gandhi

Nathuram Godse approached Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948 during the evening prayer at Birla House in Delhi and bowed. One of the girls flanking and supporting Gandhi, Abha Chattopadhyay, said to him, “Brother, Bapu is already late” and tried to put him off but he pushed her aside and shot Gandhi in the chest three times at point-blank range with a semi-automatic pistol. Gandhi died almost immediately.

After shooting, Godse did not try to run or threaten anyone else. He was attacked and pinned to the ground by the crowd around him and was subsequently arrested when a small group of police officers arrived on the scene a few minutes later.

Beyond this there is a very little known facts that Godse met Gandhiji on 30th January morning, when he was alone accompanied only by Sardar Vallabhai Patel's grand daughter.

He could have killed him easily then and flee but he didn't. This incident left many questions unfold, some of them are:

1. Why Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi ji in public?

2. Why he did not try to escape on killing Gandhi ji? And instead surrendered himself to the police?

3. Why were the trial statements of Godse not made public for a long period of time?

4. The biggest question, why he killed Gandhi ji?

Nathuram Godse was a well educated man, and had his own newspaper with the name “Agrani”. He was born on 19th May 1910 in Baramati in a Chitpavan Brahmin family. His father, Vinayak Vamanrao Godse, was a post office employee and his mother was Lakshmii.

His full name was Nathuram Vinayak Godse. He was a Hindutva activist and journalist.

There have been reports that Nathuram Godse was a fanatic or a mentally unstable person but if he was mentallu unstable then why he pushed aside the girl accompanying Gandhi ji out of the line of shoot, minimizing the danger to the girl's life?

Godse was a man who  was against casteism and attended several rallies and meetings to oppose the same. He also worked with Hindu refugees during partition.Gandhi ji played an important role in getting independence to the nation and Godse was also a wanted the same then what made him to hate Gandhi and take a decision to kill him.

Godse's editorial Agrani described that the roots of the Godse's decision to kill Gandhi ji can be traced back to 1947, the time during which country had to face the bitter wound of partition. And the people held responsible for this were Muslim league, headed by Jinnah and the Congress. And it's a well known fact that Gandhiji and Jawahar Lal Nehru were the people having the most prominent influence over the Congress. Any decision of Congress was influenced by Gandhi ji and it is hard to believe that he was not involved in any decision related to Partition.

The final nail, however, was struck on 13th January,1948. Pakistan had demanded a sum of Rs 55 crores, a huge sum at that time from the newly formed state of India. Majority of Congress leaders were opposed to giving the money to Pakistan and the Central government turned down the demand. But Gandhi ji started a fast unto death, due to which, government had to sanction the sum to Pakistan. And it was then, that Godse took the decision to kill Gandhi ji.

Following the assassination of Gandhi, he was put on trial beginning May 27, 1950 at Peterhoff, Shimla which housed the Punjab High Court. On November 8 1950, Godse delivered his statements in court enunciating the reasons and motives for the assassination.

Below are Godse's replies to the charge sheet filed against him.

1. If the country wanted his leadership, it had to accept his infallibility; if it did not, he would stand aloof from the Congress and carry on in his own way. Against such an attitude there can be no halfway house.

Either Congress had to surrender its will to his and had to be content with playing second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality, metaphysics and primitive vision, or it had to carry on without him.

He alone was the judge of everyone and everything; he was the master brain guiding the Civil Disobedience movement; no other could know the technique of that movement. He alone knew when to begin it and when to withdraw it.

The movement might succeed or fail, but that could make no difference to the Mahatma's infallibility. ‘A Satyagrahi can never fail' was his formula for his own infallibility and nobody except himself knew what a Satyagrahi is.

2. As I grew up I developed a tendency to free thinking unfettered by any superstitious allegiance to any isms, political or religious. That is why I worked actively for the eradication of untouchability and the caste system based on birth alone.

I openly joined anti-caste movements and maintained that all Hindus are of equal status as to rights, social and religious, and should be considered high or low on merit alone and not through the accident of birth in a particular caste or profession.

I used publicly to take part in organized anti-caste dinners which thousands of Hindus, Brahmins, Vaishyas, Kshatriyas, Chamars and Bhangis participated. We broke the caste rules and dined in the company of each other.

He listed Dadabhai Naoroji, Swami Vivekananda, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Bal Gangadhar Tilak as his influences, along with the ancient and modern histories of India, England, France, America and Russia, and the tenets of Socialism and Marxism.

3. It was my first duty to serve the Hindudom and the Hindu people, as a patriot and even as a humanitarian. For, is it not true that to secure the freedom and to safeguard the just interests of some thirty crores of Hindus constituted the freedom and the well-being of one fifth of human race ?

This conviction led me naturally to devote myself to the new Hindu Sanghatanist ideology and programme which alone I came to believe, could win and preserve the national independence of Hindusthan, my Motherland and enable her to render true service to humanity as well.

4. Gandhiji began to hold his prayer meetings in a Hindu temple in Bhangi Colony and persisted in reading passages from Quoran as a part of the prayer in that Hindu temple in spite of the protest of the Hindu worshippers there.

Of course he dared not read the Geeta in a mosque in the teeth of Muslim opposition. He knew what a terrible Muslim reaction would have been if he had done so. But he could safely trample over the feelings of the tolerant Hindu.

To this belief I was determined to prove to Gandhiji that the Hindu too could be intolerant when his honour was insulted.

Godse explained that Gandhi's unfair treatment and hypocrisy was the cause of his anger.

5. The fact that Gandhiji honoured the religious books of Hindus, Muslims and others or that he used to recite during his prayers verses from the Geeta, the Quoran and Bible never provoked any ill will in me towards him.

To my mind it is not at all objectionable to study comparative religion. Indeed it is a merit.