Did Indian History Text Books Tell Us Enough Of “Nathuram Godse”? Who Really Was Godse?

Yesterday 15th of November 2016 was the death anniversary of Nathuram Godse. Every time you speak of Nathuram Godse you are either branded anti-national, you are targeted and cornered stating supporter of the murderer. However, there are lots of information pertaining to Godse which have been suppressed by the government. Here is an attempt tell a little about Nathuram Godse and his views, This article is not in support of Nathuram Godse decision to kill Mahatma Gandhi but a clear attempt to tell who Nathuram Godse was and what triggered him to carry on the world’s most-talked about the assassination. Nathuram Godse is one of the most mysterious characters in the Indian history. He was sentenced to death after executing the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. However, there is a lot of misinformation propagated about him by the governments. The truth about Godse and the underlying reasons behind his story often remain hidden from the general public. All that History textbooks told us was Nathuram Godse Killed Mahatma Gandhi but it never told us “WHY”

Nathuram Godse was a devout nationalist who could not bear the development of Gandhi appeasing the Muslim population of the country especially Jinnah and being overly generous to Pakistan. Like other youths, Godse found Jinnah’s politics as sheer blackmail and could not stand the fact that his motherland was divided.

Nathuram Godse, though branded a Hindu fanatic by the writers of history was actually a person with a kind heart which felt the sufferings of others. It was only after witnessing the plight of the Hindu and Sikh refugees that received lots of brutalities at the hands of Muslims in Pakistan, Godse became determined to execute Mahatma Gandhi who, according to Godse, was the prime reason for inviting such fate to the people of his country.

Unlike many other freedom fighters of the time, Nathuram Godse was a prominent name for his activities on the ground level. He followed Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement completely and could be termed as a valuable freedom fighter of the country. Had he not killed Gandhi, he would have been named as one of the foremost freedom fighters of the time, undoubtedly. He was a known name among people fighting on streets for freedom. He was a name whom people could relate to. Nathuram admired and adored the writing of Gandhi and he always considered Gandhi the greatest freedom fighter. Godse was a staunch follower of Gandhi on his fight pertaining to untouchability and went on propagating the ideology of Gandhi’s approach on untouchability. Nathuram was also influenced by Vir Savarkar ideologies

Let’s remember that Nathuram Godse hailed from a very respectable family which was well educated and socially looked upon. he could have lived a comfortable life without bothering about what is happening in the society instead he choose to work for the society and spend his earning and time at refugee camps treating the victims who arrived from Pakistan. He also ran a newspaper called “Agrani” along with Apte.

Although, the killing of Mahatma Gandhi cannot be justified in any way and at any cost, Godse’s side of the story has always been suppressed by successive governments of the country. Not only were his books banned, he was also charged with sedition. He was always a man with a cause and after executing Gandhi he stood his ground and even called the police to arrest him. Nathuram Godse says bodies of women and kids raped and killed in Pakistan used to be sent to India via train and these scenarios would only bring tears and question our ability to deal with this genocide. He solely believed Gandhi was the prime reason for the partition.

Those who label Godse to be Hindu fanatic are wrong. Nathuram Godse was a much-learned man who worked with Hindu families during the time of partition without harming any Muslim. The majority of the Hindus and Muslims on both sides were busy spreading violence during the time of partition, but Godse not only helped the people of every religion, he saved their lives from the violent mob. The historians of that time branded him a fanatic. He was very intelligent and didn’t value superstitions and social evils like untouchability. He even joined anti-caste movements and fought against such evils of society with complete zeal.

Like I mentioned above Godse was one of the staunch supporters of Gandhi, he even worshiped Gandhi for his ideologies related to life and nation. He had no personal hatred against Gandhi and even bowed before the Mahatma during the morning prayers, just before he fired shots at him. Very few know the reason behind Godses decision to shoot the Father of the Nation. As per some documents were written by Godse the primary reason behind his assassination of Gandhi was the Gandhi’s support to the unjustified demand by Jinnah for issuing Rs. 55 crore for Pakistan. Godse says this amount given to Pakistan would ruin India which was already suffering from the partition.

Having said all this I would end the article with Nathuram Godse’s last words

“If devotion to one’s country amounts to a sin, I admit I have committed that sin. If it is meritorious, I humbly claim the merit thereof. I fully and confidently believe that if there be any other court of justice beyond the one founded by the mortals, my act will not be taken as unjust. If after death there be no such place to reach or to go, there is nothing to be said. I have resorted to the action I did purely for the benefit of the humanity. I do say that my shots were fired at the person (Mohandas Gandhi) whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to lakhs of Hindus.” – Shri Nathuram Vinayak Godse

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