Nathuram Godse, the murderer of Mahatma Gandhi, has resurfaced. He has beocme a talking point in the national election when India is preparing to vote for 59 seats in the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls. This comes almost 70 years after Godse was hanged for the assassination of the Father of the Nation Nathuram Godse Age, Wife, Death, Family, (Biography) & More .
“Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain”
Before he was born, in a small village of the Bombay-Pune belt, his parents had three sons, all of whom died in infancy. To ensure death did not claim Ramachandra as well, they brought him up as a girl, had his nose pierced, and made him wear the nose ring or nath until they had yet another son. It was because of the nose ring he wore that Ramachandra became Nathuram.
Godse, an advocate of Hindu nationalism, from Pune, Maharashtra, who believed Gandhi to have favored the political demands of India’s Muslims during the partition of India, plotted the assassination with Narayan Apte and six others. After a trial that lasted over a year, Godse was sentenced to death on 8 November, 1949. Although pleas for commutation were made by Gandhi’s two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi, they were turned down by India’s prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel, and the Governor-General C. Rajagopalachari. Godse was hanged in the Ambala Central Jail on 15 November 1949
This month we mark
the 67th anniversary of the murder of India’s most famous figure. So why exactly did Godse kill Gandhi?
After his arrest, he spotted Gandhi’s son Devdas who was editor of Hindustan Times. The encounter was described by Nathuram’s brother and co-conspirator and fellow convict (though he was only jailed and not hanged) Gopal Godse, in his book Gandhiji’s Murder And After. The younger Gandhi has come to the police station in Parliament Street to see his father’s killer. Gopal Godse writes that Devdas “had perhaps come there expecting to find some horrid-looking, blood-thirsty monster, without a trace of politeness; Nathuram’s gentle and clear words and his self-composure were quite inconsistent with what he had expected to see.”
Of course we do not know if this was the case. Nathuram tells Devdas: “I am Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the editor of a daily, Hindu Rashtra. I too was present there (at Gandhi’s murder). Today you have lost your father and I am the cause of that tragedy. I am very much grieved at the bereavement that has befallen you and the rest of your family. Kindly believe me, I was not prompted to do this with any personal hatred, or any grudge or any evil intention towards you.”
Devdas replies: “Then why did you do it?”
Nathuram says “the reason is purely political and political alone!” He asks for time to explain his case but the police do not allow this. In court, Nathuram explained himself in a statement, but the court banned it. Gopal Godse reprints Nathuran’s will in an annexure to his book. The last line reads: “If and when the government lifts the ban on my statement made in the court, I authorise you to publish it.”
It will then turn India akin to a modern European nation-state – one country, one religion – which is the model a large segment of the Hindu Right favours. Godse’s brand of assertive, militant Hinduism finds an echo in such slogans as “Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain” ‒ say with pride that we are Hindu.
Undoubtedly, Godse was a misguided patriot, fired by a warped love for the “motherland”. This is as true of his new-age followers. His love, as also that of his followers, is destructively obsessive. They can neither accept competing ideas in the religious realm nor the free choice of the other. It was this illegitimate passion of Godse which inspired him to kill Gandhi. It is this which usually inspires myriad outfits worldwide to hitch religion to the creed of violence.
|Real Full Birth Name||Nathuram Vinayak Godse|
|Profession||Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Activist, Politician, Journalist|
|Famous for||Killing Mahatma Gandhi by shooting him three times in his chest|
|Age||39 years old.|
|Date of Birth (DOB), Birthday||19 May 1910|
|Sun Sign (Zodiac Sign)||
Feet & Inches: 5′ 6″.|
Centimeters: 168 cm.
Meters: 1.68 m.
Father: Vinayak Vamanrao Godse|
|Personal Life Relationship|
|School||A local school at Baramati|
|Alma Mater.||Will Update.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Nathuram Godse
- His birth name was Ramachandra. He was re-named as Nathuram to avoid an ill-omen. Before his birth, his parents had three sons and a daughter. Unfortunately, all three sons died and his parents started to treat him as a girl for a few years; his nostrils were also pierced. Thus, he was nicknamed as Nathuram (Literally, A man with pierced nose). When his younger brother, Gopal Godse was born, his parents switched to treating him as a boy. Firstpost
- In his childhood, he highly respected Mahatma Gandhi but, according to him, when Gandhi favoured Muslims, his ideology changed. He started writing his articles to publicised his thoughts.
- He got failed in his Matriculation and the next year, Godse dropped out of his High School. Initially, he worked as a carpenter and later he joined Hindu Nationalist Organizations, Hindu Mahasabha.
- After joining Hindu Mahasabha, he started a Marathi Language newspaper called, ‘Agrani’ which was renamed as “Hindu Rashtra” some years later.
- In 1932, Godse joined the ‘Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’ (RSS) in Sangli, Maharashtra in 1932. However, he remained a member of Hindu Mahasabha. He was highly inspired by the Indian Independence activist, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
- In 1942, Godse founded his own organization, ‘Hindu Rashtra Dal’ on the day of Vijayadashmi.
- In 1946, he left RSS and Hindu Mahasabha for not protecting India from its Partition. Meanwhile, his relations with many RSS and Mahasabha workers soured.
- Godse mourned the Partition of Indian and he blamed Mahatma Gandhi for it. The first attempt to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi was made by him and his colleagues on 20 January 1948. On that day, Gandhi Ji was offering prayers in the raised lawns in Birla House, New Delhi. Nathuram Godse along with his colleagues went to the park where Gandhi Ji was delivering a speech. One of his friends threw grenade away to the place where Gandhi Ji was standing. A loud explosion scared and dispersed the public causing a stampede. According to plan, the first grenade was to disperse the crowd and second grenade to kill alone Mahatma Gandhi but his friend, Digambar Badge lost the courage and did not throw the grenade. They (Godse and his friends) all ran away with the crowd except Madanlal Pahwa, who was arrested.
- The second attempt to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi was made by Nathuram Godse himself and his friend, Narayan Apte plotted the assassination. On 30 January 1948, Gandhi Ji was moving for his prayer meeting in Birla House in the evening. He was already 10 minutes late for his prayer. Gandhi Ji was flanked by Manuben (Gandhi’s great-niece) to the right and Abha (an adopted girl by Mahatma Gandhi) to the left. Godse wearing khaki dress pushed his way through the crowd folding his hands. Manuben thought that he was trying to touch the feet of Gandhi Ji. She tried to move him aside asserting, “Bapu is already ten minutes late, why do you embarrass him.” According to Manuben, Godse pushed her aside and shot Gandhi Ji three times, she saw smoke everywhere and Gandhi Ji’s hands were folded and trying to say ‘Hey Ram.’ He was assassinated at 5:17 pm on that day. Gandhi Ji was taken to a nearby room and Col. Bhargava arrived and pronounced the death of Mahatma Gandhi. The dead body of Mahatma Gandhi
- American diplomat, Herbert Reiner Jr. standing beside Mahatma Gandhi during the incident, captured Godse. However, according to other reports, Godse surrendered himself.
- The pistol used by Nathuram Godse to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi was “Beretta M1934.” The pistol was manufactured in the Kingdom of Italy. The pistol was carried by an officer during Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia and later, taken by a British officer as a war trophy. It is not known how the pistol reached India. The gun used by Nathuram Godse
- Apart from Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte, seven others were also arrested who were behind the conspiracy. They were; Digambar Badge, Shankar Kistayya, Dattatraya Parchure, Vishnu Karkare, Madanlal Pahwa, Gopal Godse (Brother of Nathuram Godse), and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Group photo of people accused in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi
- The trial began on 27 May 1948. Eight out of nine were charged with murder conspiracy and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was charged for violation of the Explosive Substances Act. He was acquitted and set free due to lack of evidence. On 10 February 1949, Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were sentenced to death by hanging and remaining six (including Nathuram Godse’s brother, Gopal Godse) were sentenced to life imprisonment. Nathuram Godse (red circle) along with Narayan Apte and other convicted
- All except Nathuram Godse appealed for less severe punishment but their appealed were turned down. Nathuram Godse proudly accepted his death sentence. Even Gandhi’s two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi appealed for commutation but their appeal was also rejected by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, and the Governor-General, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari. Nathuram Godse, Narayan Apte and Vishnu Ramkrishna are in the front row and six others are back seated
- In his statement, “Why I Killed Gandhi,” he clarified that Gandhiji supported the idea of a separate State for Muslims. He was solely responsible for dividing India. Despite Pakistani aggression in Kashmir, Gandhi Ji fasted to compel the government of India to release the amount of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan. The aggressive and war-like behaviour of Muslims was a result of Gandhiji’s policy of appeasement.
- When Nathuram Godse was explaining his motivation for murder in the Punjab High Court, Shimla, G.D. Khosla, one of the judges who heard the assassination proceedings, wrote –
“The audience was visibly and audibly moved. There was a deep silence when he ceased speaking. (…) I have, however, no doubt that had the audience of that day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse’s appeal, they would have brought a verdict of “not guilty” by an overwhelming majority.”— G.D. Khosla, Chief Justice of Punjab
- Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were hanged in Ambala Jail on 15 November 1949.
- Gopal Godse, a co-accused and the brother of Nathuram Godse, wrote a memoir “May It Please Your Honor” which was published in 1967 but was immediately banned by the government of India on the grounds of fear that it would promote hatred between Hindus and Muslims. However, in 1977, when the Indian National Congress lost the elections and the new government came to power, the ban was uplifted.
- In 2014, when the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, the Hindu Mahasabha made attempts to rehabilitate Nathuram Godse and portray him as a patriot. It requested Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to install the bust of Godse. It made a documentary film also titled “Desh Bhakt Nathuram Godse” (Patriot Nathuram Godse).
- During the election campaign for the 2019 General Elections, the BJP candidate for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur referred to him as a patriot.