Adolf Hitler had on his hands the blood of six million gas-chambered Jews besides fifty million soldiers, in the flower of their youth, and thirty million civilians of all ages, who perished in the World War II that he started, but yet he is among the most debated about worldwide. Moreover, Mein Kampf, his autobiography with an anti-Semitic slant is not ostracized either by the book world, but in a stark contrast, uttering the very name of Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Gandhi, a frail seventy-eight-year old man, and paid the price for his crime on the gallows, just running forty, remains a taboo in his own country for whose good he believed he did what he did, seemingly into eternity! So, sadly for him, the reality his legacy faces belies his hope, expressed in his ‘Why I killed Gandhi’ testimony; “I have no doubt that honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof some day in future.”
It is one of the ironies of human history that Hitler, who restored to Germany the pride the Treaty of Versailles robbed if off, and Gandhi, who inspired India to free itself from the British yoke, should’ve become the bane of their countries in the long run. Though Germany could recover its Hitler trauma in time, it couldn’t repair its demographic dent the war had left to its hurt, but trapped in a Gandhi matrix mired by Godse conundrum, India is stymied, seemingly forever, from inculcating a nationalistic pride and purpose to achieve its true potential.
Godse, in his own words, was “Born in a devotional Brahmin family, I instinctively came to revere Hindu religion, Hindu history and Hindu culture. I had, therefore, been intensely proud of Hinduism as a whole. As I grew up I developed a tendency to free thinking unfettered by any superstitious allegiance to any isms, political or religious. That is why I worked actively for the eradication of untouchability and the caste system based on birth alone,” and that should have earned him a place of honour in the pantheon of India’s social reformers. Thus, but for a quirk of fate, maybe, Godse would have rubbed ‘reformist’ shoulders with Gandhi whom he had assassinated for altruistic reasons.
What had put him in the dock that led him to the gallows, again in his words, “I took courage in both my hands and I did fire the shots at Gandhiji on 30th January 1948, on the prayer-grounds of Birla House. I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus. There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book and for this reason I fired those fatal shots. I bear no ill will towards anyone individually but I do say that I had no respect for the present government owing to their policy which was unfairly favourable towards the Muslims. But at the same time I could clearly see that the policy was entirely due to the presence of Gandhi.”
Being himself a Hindu that Gandhi tended to be ‘unfairly favourable towards the Muslims’ at every turn to the hurt and humiliation of his co-religionists is a matter of common knowledge but the motivating factors of this unnatural tendency would’ve stemmed from his vanity to sustain the false aura of a ‘Mahatma’ that the vulgar minds had built around his fallible persona, lo, when he was in his mid-forties! Having seen Gandhi’s ‘image-need’ to bend over backwards to be ‘unfairly favourable to Muslims’ in the socio-religious as well as political spheres, Jinnah had exploited his ‘mahatman’ fallibility to the hilt and walked away with Pakistan to the hurt and humiliation of the Hindu majority of Hindustan. That Gandhi could not shed his inappropriate partiality towards those Muslims, who opted to stay put in the remainder of the sundered Hindustan, notwithstanding their unremitting aggression against his co-religionists therein, illustrates the power of vanity to blind one to the realities of life and times, which, so to say, proved to be the proverbial ‘last straw on the camel’s back’ for Godse.
On his crossing the rubicon, Godse had said, “Briefly speaking, I thought to myself and foresaw I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred and that I shall have lost all my honour, even more valuable than my life, if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time I felt that the Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and would be powerful with armed forces”. But alas, Godse had failed to reckon the Hindu-indifferent propensities of Nehru to whom Gandhi had handed over the political reins by then that is against the consensus of congressmen, who had instead pitched in for Patel and that much for Mahatma’s democratic convictions.
With Gandhi gone, Nehru, whose background and brought up made him feel, “I am English by education, Muslim by culture and Hindu by an accident of birth” became the Caesar and that was a double jeopardy for the Hindus for whose sake Godse lost his honour and earned infamy. While his English education precluded the inculcation of Hindu values and dharmic ethos in his mindset, his cultural affinity for Muslims made him averse to the idea of nationalism, an anathema to Islam, in the post-partitioned Hindustan, home to ninety percent Hindus! By crudely exhibiting the Godse red herring and by cleverly equating Hinduism with Brahmanism, for Godse was a Brahmin, and emphasizing the danger it posed for the Hindu masses, Nehru cynically exploited Gandhi’s assassination to malign the Hindu nationalistic impulses per se. Having thus nipped the Hindu nationalism in the bud, Nehru encouraged the separatist-minded Muslim ghettoism, and together, they debilitated the Indian polity for the nationalist void was filled by an accentuated communalism, casteism, regionalism, nepotism and above all an unbridled corruption in every walk of life.
Just a digression, why is this worldwide prevalence of Islamapologia among the left-lib elite notwithstanding the debilitating effect of the debasing ideology of Al-Qaeda, ISIs etc.? One can surmise that these ‘enlightened’ non-Muslims in a way pity the ghettoized ummah that’s afflicted with bigotry and backwardness in equal measure and thus condescend to descend to the Muslims without troubling themselves to address the root cause of the state of the base Muslimness, which is owing to the inimical ethos of Islam.
Back on the track, by acclaiming Gandhi as ‘Father of the Nation’, it was as if he had occasioned the birth of the sub-continental part of the planet, and overemphasizing his role in India’s freedom movement that is either by under-playing or altogether ignoring other eminences’ contributions therein, Nehru managed to create the ‘Brand Gandhi’ for his congress party to market in the poll arena of the then illiterate India for its electoral gain. Not just that, Nehru was pretty shrewd to realize that it was only half a job done for Godse’s testimonies, if allowed to gain ground, would bring Gandhi’s Muslim fault lines to the fore on the Hindu sentimental plane, which could dullen his haloed image to the detriment of the congress party. So, using the state machinery that was at his beck and call, not only did Nehru succeed in deifying Gandhi and demonizing Godse but also created an enduring ecosystem to forever ensure public revulsion for the errant ‘patriot’ as unforgivable ‘traitor’, and that worked wonderfully well for his congress party that is electorally.
After Nehru’s long Caesar-like reign over India, during which, though he always tended to bend backwards for the approval of a white man or ‘the white woman’ and / or both (god only knows how many times he could’ve sprained his spine), his daughter Indira, who in the meantime hand appropriated the haloed name of Gandhi for a surname in place of the phonetically matching Ghandy, her estranged husband’s surname, had assumed the reins of power after a short Shastri interlude that is. Be that as it may, the significance of Indira’s phonetic slieght could be gauged from the fact that even Sonia Maino, the Italian entry into her dynasty, could eventually walk her way through the Indian political arena like a colossus with the nom de guerre of Sonia Gandhi! Whatever, keeping the Godse bogey alive, the dynasty Indira had established in Gandhi’s name was able to retain its political hegemony by electorally exploiting the societal fault lines that Nehru had cemented.
What is most perturbing that is invariably lost on short-sighted sophists devoid of hindsight to boot, is that the ‘nine percent’ Muslim canal that Nehru brought about on the post-colonial Indian soil has, in six decades, swelled into an ‘eighteen percent’ Islamist stream, which if left to its own course, is bound to facilitate Article 370 Muslim Districts, if not States, all over the land, with Art 35A ‘No Hindu Entry’ boards that is by the turn of the 21st Century. Given the resurgent upsurge in the ummah to paint the universe green, it goes without saying that there is this urgent need to nudge the recalcitrant Muslim Indians into the national mainstream to preserve the sovereign integrity of India without subjecting it to a second vivisection.
That being the case, when Sadhvi Pragnya Thakur, a new entrant into the political arena, invited the wrath of the left-lib congress crowd for her ‘Godse is deshbhakt’ assertion, the failure of the ‘resurgent’ nationalist forces to back her stance amply illustrates the ‘traitor’ sway Gandhi’s ghost has over Godse’s legacy. It should not be lost on any that while the vast majority of Hindus remained silent, the Muslim Indians, who have no love lost for Gandhi, hand lent their subtle voices to her vociferous denouncers, but why? It is not generally realized that Muslims, groomed by hadith and armed with well-defined strategies to survive as a minority in non-Muslim countries that is as a precursor to mid-term expansion leading to eventual domination therein, make the cleverest political creatures in the world.
It is thus, the Muslim antipathy towards Godse stems from the self-same strategy that is to stall the possibility of his narrative awakening the lazy Hindu intelligentsia to the virtues of Indian nationalism that runs counter to their Dar-al-Islam destination. Moreover, one cannot eulogize Gandhianism and yet vouch for nationalism in the same vein with any conviction for they are oxymoron, and the failure to differentiate Godse the deshbhakt from Godse the assassin, willy-nilly endorses the Nehruvian vulgarity of Gandhi is India, a la later day Barua’s Indira is India.
Wonder how anyone, rooted in the Hindu cultural ethos, can fail to realize that Lord Rama, who killed Ravana for his villainy had yet acknowledged his vidvat by asking Lakshmana to seek his advice. Besides, Ravana is not blue-penciled in Ramayana nor are Duryodhana ‘n Dussasana blocked out in Mahabharata for they are as much a part of it as Yudhishthira ‘n Arjua are. Moreover, the asuras galore of Hiranyakasipa, Narakasura et al, who committed unspeakable atrocities against humanity, are an integral part of our puranic literature for whatever they were. That is owing to the Hindu approach to life and times based on the concept of dharma and adharma, both of which were open to debate and deliberation, like say the school of thought that after all Ravana as the king was duty bound to avenge the wronged Surphanaka by abducting Seetha and that Duryodhana was not wrong in coveting Hasthinapura’s throne for he was the first born of the first born. When it came to appraising the puranic heroes, even the rights and wrongs of the way Lord Rama slew King Vali by slyly hiding behind a tree are debated.
But then, how is it that any public debate on the pros and cons of the Godse ‘act’ is frowned upon and the answer is not far to seek for it is the fear of the nationalist inimical forces, the overseers of Nehruvian ecosystem, that the ‘murderer’ Godse’s sense of Indian nationalism would bring to the fore the hollowness of the ‘martyred’ Gandhi’s propensity to be ‘unfairly favourable towards the Muslims’.
Given that the nuances of sanatana dharma came to be perceived as prejudices of backwardness in Nehruvian wisdom, so to say, Indians have ceased to base their distinctive discourse based on dharma and adharma, but instead have come to develop a tendency to bury the ‘fallibilities of the favoured’ in the graves of martyrdom, and apart from Gandhi, as all are aware, there are more political martyrs to name.
Thus, it is high time that Indians begin to reflect upon the compelling reasons that Godse said had goaded him to eliminate Gandhi in the spirit of ‘what is said is more important than who said it’. It is for another day though, whether Godse, who willingly disgraced himself for the sake of his country or Gandhi, who, chased the mirage of personal glory by turning a blind eye to national interests, is a deshbhakt, is better left to individual perception. But all may beware that if Godse’s words are not heeded to in time, then the very circumstances that made him an assassin could produce his clone in times to come. So, it’s time the gag on Godse is removed, more so as Gandhi got his justice but Godse is in wait of the same.
More on Gandhi in “A Lingering Longing” of Glaring Shadow
Response to BS Murthy's "Gagging Godse"