Table of Contents
Who is Nathuram Godse?
Nathuram Godse was an Indian nationalist who was infamous for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi a revered leader in India’s struggle for independence. He committed this act on January 30, 1948, when he shot Gandhi three times in the chest during a multi-faith prayer meeting at Birla House in New Delhi.
Godse was associated with the Hindu Mahasabha, a political party, and also a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is a right-wing Hindu paramilitary volunteer organization. Before successfully assassinating Gandhi, he had made two previous unsuccessful attempts in 1944.
Following the assassination, Godse was arrested, put on trial, and ultimately sentenced to death. He was executed on November 15, 1949, for his role in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. This act had significant repercussions in Indian history and continues to be a subject of study and debate due to its impact on the nation’s path to independence and its aftermath.
Nathuram Godse Personal Details
Nathuram Godse, the man who would later become infamous for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, had a childhood and upbringing that, at first glance, seemed quite ordinary.
- Born on May 19, 1910, in a small town in Pune, India, Godse came from a modest background.
- His father was a postal worker, and his mother was a homemaker.
- Growing up, he had a relatively simple and unremarkable early life. He received a basic education but did not pursue higher studies beyond high school.
- Godse worked various jobs, including tailoring and selling fruit, before he became involved in the complex political and ideological landscape of India during the struggle for independence.
Read about: Veer Savarkar
Why did Nathuram Godse kill Gandhi?
Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi due to several complex reasons deeply rooted in their ideological differences and historical context.
- Firstly, Godse vehemently disagreed with Gandhi’s approach to achieving India’s independence from British colonial rule. Gandhi was known for his principles of non-violence and civil disobedience, while Godse believed that using force and violence was a more effective means of achieving freedom.
- Secondly, religious differences played a significant role in Godse’s decision to assassinate Gandhi. He accused Gandhi of being overly sympathetic to Muslims and claimed that Gandhi’s actions did not adequately protect the rights and interests of Hindus, who were the majority in India. Godse’s extreme Hindu nationalist views led him to perceive Gandhi’s policies as detrimental to the Hindu community.
The partition of India in 1947 further fueled Godse’s anger towards Gandhi. He held Gandhi responsible for the violent and traumatic division of India into two separate countries, India and Pakistan. Godse believed that Gandhi’s decisions during this period had harmed Hindu interests, contributing to the suffering of Hindus in the newly created Pakistan.
Lastly, Godse was a strong advocate of Hindu nationalism and believed in the idea of a Hindu-dominant India. He saw Gandhi as an obstacle to this vision, viewing Gandhi’s policies as favouring Muslims at the expense of Hindus. Godse believed that by assassinating Gandhi, he could send a message and promote his extreme Hindu nationalist beliefs.
In conclusion, Nathuram Godse’s assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was driven by a combination of factors, including ideological differences, religious tensions, and his belief in Hindu nationalism. It was a complex act with profound consequences for India’s history and its ongoing discussions about nationalism and tolerance.
Read about: List of Freedom Fighters in India
Books on Nathuram Godse
There are several books that discuss Nathuram Godse, his life, and his role in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Here are a few of them:
- “Why I Assassinated Mahatma Gandhi” by Nathuram Godse: This book is an autobiographical account written by Godse himself. In it, he explains the reasons and motivations behind the assassination. It provides insight into his extremist beliefs and his perspective on Gandhi’s actions.
- “Gandhi and Godse: A Review and a Critique” by Sita Ram Goel: This book provides a critical analysis of both Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse. It explores the ideological differences between the two and the historical context of their actions.
- “Gandhi, Godse, and the Making of the Hindutva Icon” by Karline McLain: This book delves into the cultural and political aspects of the Gandhi-Godse relationship and how it has been interpreted in contemporary India. It examines the impact of the assassination on the development of Hindu nationalism.
- “The Men Who Killed Gandhi” by Manohar Malgonkar: This book provides a broader perspective on the individuals involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi, including Nathuram Godse. It explores the motivations and actions of the conspirators.
- “The Murder of the Mahatma” by G. D. Khosla: Written by a judge who presided over the trial of Gandhi’s assassins, this book offers an in-depth look at the legal proceedings and the evidence presented during the trial of Nathuram Godse and his co-conspirators.
These books offer various perspectives on Nathuram Godse and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, providing readers with a deeper understanding of the historical events and the complex motivations behind the act.
Read about: Bhagat Singh