Nathu Ram Godse.-was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.
Every Coin has two sides.Till now we knew a single side about this person.This post attempts to find out about the truths of Nathu Ram Godse.
Nathu Ram was born at the beginning of this century on May 19, 1910.His father Vinayakrao was in the postal service and her mother’s name was Laxmi.Nathuram attended the local school at Baramati up through the fifth standard. Then he was sent to live with an aunt in Pune so that he could study at an English-language school. During his school days, Gandhi was an idol to him.
Nathu Ram along with Nana Apte published a newspaper “Agraani”.
Quoting an abstract from a play based on Nathu Ram describing himself –
“I never stole in my childhood, so there was no question of apologising to my father. I never took a vow of celibacy as I was already practising celibacy. I was moving around the refugee camps and helping the destitute with food and clothes. But I did not wander half-naked because the refugees were naked. I never spun yarn, never cleaned my toilet, never observed silence till I was hanged. There was only one common factor in Gandhi’s life and mine. We were both the cause of each other’s death. He wanted to live for his principles and I was prepared to die for my principles. “
But the interesting part of the biography of Nathuram Godse starts on January 30, 1948. After the assassination of Gandhi.
In a sense, I lived only for 655 days — from January 30, 1948 to November 15, 1949. But January 30 was an outcome of January 13.
The central government had taken a decision — Pakistan will not be given Rs 55 crores. On January 13 Gandhi started a fast unto death that Pakistan must be given the money. On January 13, the central government changed its earlier decision and announced that Pakistan would be given the amount. On January 13, I decided to assassinate Gandhi.
In his words –
“Time is eternal, indestructible. You can turn its pages but never, never tear them out. Gandhi has acquired some position in history which nobody can deny, not even Nathuram. The page will be there forever in fact. Sometime in the future, in some storm, the pages will flutter and there will be that same Gandhi’s page before the world. I don’t refute Gandhi’s theory of non-violence. He may be a saint but he is not a politician. His theory of non-violence denies self-defence and self-interest. The non-violence that defines the fight for survival as violence is a theory not of non-violence but of self-destruction. ”
“The division of the nation was an unnecessary decision. What was the percentage of the Muslim population as compared to the population of the nation? There was no need for a separate nation. Had it been a just demand, Maulana Azad would not have stayed back in India. But because Jinnah insisted and because Gandhi took his side, India was divided, in spite of opposition from the nation, the Cabinet. An individual is never greater than a nation, Nana. But Gandhi has stared considering himself greater than the nation.”
on -“Jinnah wanted to be the prime minister..”
” But we never opposed a Muslim prime minister. In a democracy you cannot put forward your demands at knife-point. Jinnah did it and Gandhi stabbed the nation with the same knife. He dissected the land and gave a piece to Pakistan. We did picket that time but in vain. The Father of our Nation went to perform his paternal duties for Pakistan. Today, Muslims have taken a part of the nation, tomorrow Sikhs may ask for Punjab. The religions are again dividend into castes, they will demand sub-divisions of the divisions. What remains of the concept of one nation, national integration? Why did we fight the British in unison for independence? Why not separately? Bhagat Singh did not ask only for an independent Punjab or Subhash Chandra Bose for an independent Bengal? “
The immediate cause –
“I had written this before. At the time of Partition, when Suharawady surrendered only due to political pressure, but only Suharawady, not his followers…they went on with the massacre. Gandhi started his fast, the Hindus put their weapons down. I still remember that day. A poor Hindu told Gandhi, ‘I am putting down my weapons because I don’t want your death on my conscience but I am staying alone with my family in the Muslim area. That night, before leaving Hyderabad I visited his home. The whole household was screaming, weeping, his only eight-year-old son had been killed by the Muslims. He had no weapon to defend himself. He threw his son’s body on my lap and said, “Take his blood to your Mahatma. Tell him, if he goes on fast again, he can finish it by drinking not orange-juice but my son’s blood.” I could not say anything. Gandhi was the Father of my Nation. For a moment, I was tempted to pull out the Muslims from their homes and chop them down. But I controlled myself. Violence for self-defence is justified, otherwise it is an ill-cultured act. I returned to where Gandhi was staying but he had already left by car. Of course, there would have been no point in meeting him… he would only have prayed for both the killer and the victim. ”
“I am going to assassinate him in the open, before the public, because I am going to do it as my duty. If I do it surreptitiously, it becomes a crime in my own eyes. I will not try to escape, I will surrender and naturally I will be hanged. “
Godse assassinated Gandhi on January 30, 1948, approaching him during the evening prayer, bowing, and shooting him three times at close range with a Beretta semi-automatic pistol. Immediately after this, he surrendered himself to police, rather than running away. He said, “No one should think that Gandhi was killed by a madman”.
It was 4.45 pm when I reached the gate of Birla Bhavan. The security staff at the gate was scrutinising the crowd entering and I was a little worried about them. I mingled with a small gorup of people and sneaked inside.
It was 5.10 pm when I saw Gandhi and his close associates coming to the prayer place from his room inside. I approached the passage from where he was likely to climb the steps of the lawn, in such a way that I was covered by a few people.
Gandhi climbed the steps and came forward. He had kept his hands on the shoulders of the two girls.
The revolver was in my pocket, I released the safety catch. Though Gandhi was surrounded by people I was looking for an opening.
I wanted just three seconds more. I moved two steps forward and faced Gandhi. Now I wanted to take out the revolver and salute him for whatever sacrifice and service he had made for the nation. One of the two girls was dangerously close to Gandhi and I was afraid that she might be injured in the course of firing. As a precautionary measure I went one more step ahead, bowed before him and gently pushed the girl away from the firing line.
The next moment I fired at Gandhi. Gandhi was very weak, there was a feeble sound like ‘aah’ from him and he fell down.
Those who were close to me saw the weapon in my hand. They rushed away from the spot. Gandhi had fallen to the ground, I was standing and the crowd had formed a ring around us.
After the firing I raised my hand holding the revolver and shouted, ‘Police, police’. For 30 seconds nobody came forward and I scanned the crowd. I saw a police officer. I signalled to him to come forward and arrest me. He came and caught my wrist, then a second man came and touched the revolver… I let it go…
“Gandhi used to claim the Partition would be over his dead body. So after Partition when he didn’t die,I killed him. My love for the motherland made us do it. I am not ashamed of it. Gandhi should have been honest to admit that his life was a failure. “
“Right from Pakistan and Bangladesh every Muslim is a converted Hindu. Gandhi’s appeasement attitude (towards the Muslims) went far too much. That was I killed him. Two hundred and fifty thousand Hindus were killed in Noakhali in October 1946. Hindu women were forced to remove their sindhoor and do Muslim rituals. And Gandhi said, ‘Hindus must bow their heads if Muslims want to kill them. We should follow the principle of ahimsa (non-violence).’ How can any sensible person tolerate this? “
(Black out… Sounds of wireless, Hullo, Victor calling. Victor calling… Gandhi killed in firing. IGP and home minister rushing to Birla Bhavan. Inform the PM).
I have just tried to provide unbiased information about the murder of India’s freedom fighter Mohandas. K. Gandhi and his assasin Nathuram Godse.)