Nathuram Godse, the man behind Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, gave a speech in court when he was being tried for the murder. This speech was banned by the government. But Godse’s younger brother Gopal Godse took up the matter legally and after 60 years got the ban lifted.
Even Godse accepted the fact that Gandhi was a patriot and had worked selflessly for the country. But in his speech, Nathuram Godse presented dozens of reasons why he had no option but to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi.
We’ll present some of the main reasons that he gave in court but before that we’d like to place a disclaimer – we aren’t in any way defending the assassination. Our only motive behind writing this is to place before people a piece of history that’s eluded them for decades.
The main points he made were –
- Godse was a proponent of Hindu unity. But because of moving on the path of non-violence, Ganesh Shankar, a youth of Kanpur was mercilessly beaten up by some Muslims. Godse feared that the path of non-violence will end up turning Hindus into cowards and second-grade citizens.
- In Congress’s Tripura session, Netaji Bose was elected as the President of the party but Mahatma Gandhi opposed this move. He wanted Sitaramayya as the President and he successfully forced Netaji to resign.
- Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged to death on 23rd March 1931. People wanted Mahatma Gandhi to raise his voice against the hanging, but he didn’t. He didn’t like violence and hence he didn’t do anything to help the three.
- Gandhi told the ruler of Kashmir Hari Singh that because Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state, the ruler should also be a Muslim. But he then backed the Nawab of Hyderabad even though Hyderabad was a Hindu-majority state. Gandhi’s opinion changed according to religion.
- In a temple in Delhi, Mahatma Gandhi recited namaz along with his prayers even when people opposed him. According to Godse, this was sheer disrespect to Hinduism. If Gandhi believed so much in religious equality, then why did he never recite Hindu prayers in a masjid?
- In Congress’s Lahore session, Sardar Patel won a majority to become the President but Mahatma Gandhi didn’t support it and instead made Nehru the President.
- Gandhi used to say – ‘desh ka vibhajan meri laash pe hoga’ – but in a session of the Akhil Bharatiya Congress, he supported the country’s division even though most of the people present were against it. A person who advocates non-violence, not only supported a partition, but he backed a move that led to the death of almost 10 lakh people.
- Sardar Patel agreed to restoration of the Somnath Temple on government expense but Gandhi opposed it even when he himself had restored masjids in Delhi on government expense.
- In 1931, during a Congress session, the committee gathered to decide upon the national flag gave a nod to a saffron flag with a But upon opposition by some Muslims, Gandhi overturned the decision.
- The division of India took place on the basis of religion. Keeping this as a foundation, all Hindus in Pakistan should have come to India and all Muslims in India should have gone to Pakistan. But Gandhi sat on a hunger-strike to oppose the move. If Hindus and Muslims had to live together, then what was the logic behind the partition?
- Amidst the horrific bloodbath in Pakistan, a few Hindus constituting some women and children somehow saved their lives and came to Delhi. To protect themselves from the numbing cold, they took shelter in a masjid. But Muslims weren’t happy with this at all. Gandhi succumbed to their opposition and these Hindu children and women were thrown out of the masjid.
Listen to Godse’s speech –