By Parag Agarwal
Edited by Madhavi Roy, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
2nd October is known as Gandhi Jayanti or the birth of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. To many of us, it is a day of taking pride in the great man that he was, to others, it a mourning day for his assassination. For some of us, it is just another Dry-day where we must bootleg alcohol to survive, while the majority of us see it as a 5 day long weekend to have a little getaway with family.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the man who got Mother India her freedom, was assassinated by a man called Nathuram Godse, a man hated by every Indian. Like Judas who kissed Jesus’ hand before turning him to the Jews, Nathuram took Gandhiji’s blessings, apologized and then shot him.
It is said, “There are two sides to every coin” and when it comes to the assassination of great leaders such as Abraham Lincoln or Mahatma Gandhi, we only see the assassin as an enemy, without taking into consideration their motives. Nathuram Godse was not a bad person, some say, he was just a victim of circumstances, who did what he did out of dedication and admiration for his country and its people. In his final address to the court, he elaborated on his reason behind the assassination of Gandhiji. His statement made the Judge reconsider his judgment, but he was still granted a death sentence.
He said that since 1920, Gandhiji’s control over Congress has been supreme and he has disregarded Sivaji (warrior king of the Maratha clan in the 17th century), Rana Pratap (Rajput ruler of Mewar in the 16th century) and every other leader who resorted to violence in any form, for any reason, as misguided. He became the ultimate judge of right and wrong and his judgment was imposed on everyone else without any reconsideration. His pro-Muslim actions upset the Hindus. In the beginning of the freedom struggle, he was completely pro-Hindi, and wanted Hindi to be accepted as the National Language of the country. But from pro-Hindi he became pro-Hindustani (a dialect which has no script – a cross breed between Hindi and Urdu) as he found out that the Muslims were against Hindi. Even with the blood of Hindus flowing due to the Muslim League and its actions, Gandhiji still tried harder to negotiate with the Muslim League. His intentions were pure, his ways were wrong. To promote Hindu-Muslim unity, he supported Muslims and chose them over Hindus even if they were wrong. It had become a necessity to bring an end to his tyranny. He is called the ‘Father of the nation’ but failed as a father the moment he agreed to a partition. Nathuram Godse said, “I knew that killing Gandhiji would lead me to lose my honor, one thing I value more than life itself. But politics will be much more practical and powerful with armed forces without Gandhiji.”
This is what Nathuram Godse said. We con consider his point of view where he was completely justified or Gandhiji’s point of view who was also not entirely wrong. It is solely up to you on whose ideologies you base your life. Gandhiji’s policies of non-violence or ahimsa are still preached worldwide whereas his Pro-Pakistan attitude still makes Indians shudder. According to Godse, he was a great leader, but he chose the wrong side. As some people believe, Nathuram Godse was an innocent man forced by the love of his country to make a choice between seeing his country fall before his eyes or killing Gandhiji to ensure better growth. The final answer to “Was Nathuram Godse right?” will forever remain a mystery. Was Nathuram Godse right? Was he speaking the truth? Was Gandhiji actually a partial leader favoring Muslims in every matter? If so, why is this never told, why is this side of him never brought out when he is worshipped? The answers to these questions shall remain shrouded in mystery.
Parag Agarwal is a 17 years old, doing the IB Diploma Program from SVKM International School. His hobbies are reading, writing. He maintains a blog, which he writes at shadowblog01.blogspot.in. He plays squash and soccer at times. He is not a party person and prefers staying at home and reading a book.