30th January ‘1948 marks the brutal assassination of Mahatma Gandhi “The Father Of the Nation”. He was shot in the chest three times at point-blank range with a semi-automatic pistol. The last words uttered by the Mahatma were ” Hei Ram “. The assassin did not try to escape and was arrested by the police. He was 38 year old,Nathuram Vinayak Godse who had conspired the assasination with 6 other people , including his brother. The nation mourned the death of the Mahatma and Nathuram Godse was awarded death-sentence and on 15th November ‘1949 he was hanged till death at Ambala Jail.
So what made Nathuram Godse take such a step? What prompted him to kill the Mahatma when anyone could guess the severe consequences,including him. Why did he not try to flee?
During his trial , Nathuram Godse spoke his heart out which reveals his thinking towards The Mahatma.
According to Godse, Gandhi did not allow any room for people to disagree with his “irrational” policies where he would always favour the Muslims.
He had cited during his trial that “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.”
He quoted numerous examples of Gandhi’s bias including the fast for the payment of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan and many more such incidents where he found that Gandhiji’s behaviour was hypocritical where he did not impose any conditions on Muslims because Jinnah and the Muslim League were not at all influenced by his fasts and attached no value to his voice.
During his trial , referring to the various questions asked to him he explained :
This is what Gandhiji had achieved after thirty years of undisputed dictatorship and this is what the Congress Party calls ‘Freedom’. Never in the history of the world has such slaughter been officially connived at or the result described as Freedom, and ‘Peaceful Transfer of power’ If what happened in India in 1946, 1947 and 1948 is to be called peaceful one wonders what would be the violent. Hindu Muslim Unity bubble was finally burst and a theocratic and communal State dissociated from everything that smacked of United India was established with the consent of Nehru and his crowd and they have called it `Freedom won by them at sacrifice’. Whose sacrifice?
— Nathuram Godse, Answer to the Charge Sheet (Excerpt from Para. 69w)
This is how he concluded :
Finally, I now stand before the court to accept the full share of my responsibility for what I have done and the judge would, of course, pass against me such orders of sentence as may be considered proper. But I would like to add that I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me, nor do I wish that anyone should beg for mercy on my behalf. My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled against it on all sides. I have no doubt that honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof someday in future.
— Nathuram Godse, Answer to the Charge Sheet (Para. 150)
The point of view of Nathuram Godse could not be negated completely as history reveals Gandhiji’s submissive behaviour towards Muslim sentiments and leaders. And also Nathuram Godse’s clarifications highlight one thing that we never got our Independence without bloodshed but we have failed to recognize so. Almost all the nonviolent protests conducted during the time, faced violent retaliation from the English Government.
These citations are not to praise Nathuram Godse or to criticize Gandhiji but this is to point out the problem which yielded to such drastic step and the worst part is Favouritism is still prominently present in Indian politics hence we are still suffering. It’s not we the commoners who ask for being favorite but it is the political leaders who force us to believe we deserve “extra” as its our right which was subdued since long or this is what our religion says. We start relating to such leaders as our sole well-wishers. They divide on the basis of State, Religion and Castes and we gladly accept that fighting amongst ourselves. Who knows , these leaders dine together at night , making mockery of us!
We have overcome all those difficult times somehow and its time when we Indians be rational, regardless of what religions and castes we are from. Its time we start considering our nation above our “religions and castes”. Before following some leader , be it religious, social or even political, we need to have an open thought-process. Rational thinking is mandatory. Blindly following like cattle would never help India overcome the continuing misery of religious and caste differences. Is it not time , the term minority and schedule caste and tribe be excluded? By declaring special seats for schedule castes and tribes and minorities in Government exams and Government jobs, do we not retain the difference ? When political parties talk about giving facilities to minorities or some specific sections of Indian society, are they not doing favouritism ?
More than any Lokpal Bill which again got politicised by various opportunists, seeking reserved places for different sections of Indian society, it is important that we minimise the religious and caste differences and that can only happen if these reservations and quota system, on the basis of minority and backward-classes is eradicated. These religious and caste quotas have become the major weapons for the opportunist religious,social and political leaders of today’s India.
Its High-time Constitution be equal for all and so should be the opportunities regardless of any religion or caste. Once outside India, the world knows us not as Hindus or Muslims , Brahmin or Sudra, all they know is we are Indians and that is our foremost identity!