Mahatma Gandhi, a person that guided the path of freedom to the millions of Indians, a leader that raised his voice against the racism persisted in South Africa, a man who is known as the ‘Father of the Nation,’ was shot dead on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse who did so because he was against his methods. In my last post, I wrote what he said in his last address to the court.
In first instance, one would say, he was an innocent person with all the reasons in the world to shoot Gandhiji. See, we Indians are fickle-minded people. We make a person hero today and make him a villain the next day. We are not bothered about the work he has done as a hero, but notices the work he might not have done. This is what happened recently with Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi and a few other people involved in the India Against Corruption Campaign.
Nathuram Godse was born in a hindu family and according to him, had a free thinking unfettered by politics or the religion. He actively worked for the eradication of untouchability and the caste system based on birth alone. He joined the RSS wing of anti-caste movements and maintained that all Hindus were 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. To his final address to the court, one of the judges said that if the decision on his appeal was to be made by the audience present there on that day, they would have passed a ‘not guilty’ verdict with an overwhelming majority. Such was the impact of Godse’s final address.
In his address, Godse said that he killed Gandhi because he was against Gandhi’s blackmailing tactics of fasting unto death. He blamed Gandhi for the partition of India, which led thousands of people dead in the wake of religious unrest. Actually, it was the desires of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammad Ali Jinnah to see themselves as the Prime minister of Hindustan which was not possible until unless the country gets partitioned. And ultimately, the desire of both the leaders fulfilled with the partition of India. Had any one of them dropped his will, the country might not have the bleeding wounds of partition and the communal riots afterwards. Jinnah expressed his desire before the Congress but, Jawaharlal Nehru fueled the already burning issues between the Muslim League and the Congress by saying that he will not accept Jinnah even as a ‘peon under his cabinet minister!’ So, if anyone is responsible for the partition, it should be Nehru not Gandhi. Gandhi was the one, who was against the partition and even had a fast opposing the same, but unfortunately, he didn’t succeed and one-third of Hindustan became foreign to us as Pakistan as stated by Godse in his address.
For a person who boasted of being an admirer of secularism and being against untouchability, killing Gandhi on the basis of his wrong perception of him being a favorer of Muslims, seems contradictory, doesn’t it! But, must say, he had a short political carrier, was a follower of the ideas of some of the legends of the country including Swami Vivekanand, Chanakiya, Dadabhai Naroji and even Mahatma Gandhi. So, the difference in opinion, was the reason for Gandhiji’s killing.
I must say, what he thought, he very clearly explained and those who got fond of his words should bear in mind the work done by the great man Mahatma Gandhi.