Nathuram Godse, a name that elicits multitude of emotions ranging from pity to anger, pride to outrage, understanding to mob fury and so on and so forth, an enigma whose rationale has been termed inexplicable, traitorous and downright nationalist, has been called many things for assassinating Mr. Gandhi on 30 January 1948 but very few have tried to understand the man and his action, famously known as vadh.
Many great wars have been fought in Akhanda Bharat since the time of creation. Maryada Purushottam Rama battled a Shiva Bhakta Ravana, Lord of Lanka and emerged victorious. Bhagawan Shree Krishna led Arjuna into the middle of the battlefield and imparted the highest knowledge to him that is known as the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna fought his beloved Bheeshma Pithamaha, his Guru Dronacharya, his Kulaguru Kripacharya, his cousins the Kauravas and near and dear ones in what is deemed to have been the greatest war that has ever been fought.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had to constantly fight a battle of wits with the Muslim invaders namely Aurangzeb and the Mughals, Siddis of Janjira, the Adil Shahis of Bijapur and later on the Portuguese, the British and other seafarers to ensure that Akhanda Bharat was not overrun by these desert barbarians and mercenaries.
Portuguese, known for their religious intolerance enforced conversions to Christianity using unspeakable barbaric means, persecuted Hindus and desecrated their temples. Their blood trail and carnage is still seen in Goa though “eminent historians” have managed to dilute their cruelty and glossed over it to make it seem like Indians have to be grateful that the Portuguese condescended to “educate” Hindus on the meaning of “God”.
Hinduism is not a mere religion that is the oldest in all of creation but Advaita that goes beyond the limited intelligence and understanding of man to the Supreme Truth that is free from divisions, dualities, superstitions, differences, visions, “healing” and speech. The quest for one’s existence may lead one down many a rabbit path but the ultimate goal of one and all created in this universe is the same – to understand ‘Who am ‘I’?, Where do ‘I’ go?, Where did ‘I’ come from?’
There are countless incidents where Mr. Gandhi has skirted around his own “Hindu values” and enraged his followers and supporters in the years leading up to the partition and independence of India. He has found inventive ways to excuse the behaviour of Muslims in Bengal, Kerala, Punjab and North-West Frontier Province of Akhanda Bharat that led to mass exodus of Hindus and Sikhs.
Perhaps, he was naïve and had not taken our history and the torture under Muslim invaders starting from Mahmud of Ghazni seriously, an innocence that proved to be costly as Akhanda Bharat was torn apart and split into Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. To quote Guru Dattatreya, “One must see good and evil in all actions. If one sees ninety-nine bad actions, then one must hold on to that one good action to progress.”
A battle to fight for the sovereignty of Bharat, to be ruled by the people of Bharat and not by Muslim invaders and their descendants who never went back to their homelands and instead chose to settle down here chipping away more and more of its resources and land to establish their language, culture and religion through oppression, persecution, unmentionable atrocities, heinous form of torture and unethical forced conversions is a dharma yuddha as believed by Godse.
He questioned the very authority of Mr. Gandhi to give his assent to the partition India and asked whether he had acquired land, built grand palaces, contributed to the rich art, architecture and literature that made Akhanda Bharat. He wondered why the descendants of Muslim invaders should be given a land of their own when their ancestors had robbed the country’s treasures and left rivers of blood and massacred Hindus.
It is therefore imperative for us to understand what prompted Godse to take such strong action to save Hindus and Bharat from being split into thousand pieces as envisaged by Gandhi to please Jinnah (Gandhi had proposed an arterial road that would cut across the heartland of Bharat connecting East and West Pakistan to appease Jinnah. Jinnah however had plans to use that project to slaughter Hindus and convert Bharat into Ghazwa-e-Hind.)
Let us start this analysis by pondering over some famous words of Mr. Gandhi:
“We should dispassionately think where we are drifting. Hindus should not harbour anger in their hearts against Muslims even if the latter wanted to destroy them. Even if the Muslims want to kill us all, we should face death bravely. If they established their rule after killing Hindus, we would be ushering in a new world by sacrificing our lives. None should fear death. Birth and death are inevitable for every human being. Why should we then rejoice or grieve? If we die with a smile we shall enter into a new life, we shall be ushering in a new India.”
“If harm has been done to us by the British, it has not been done by their flag and we must also take note of the virtues of the British. They are voluntarily withdrawing from India, leaving power in our hands. We are having Lord Mountbatten as our chief gatekeeper. So long he has been the servant of the British king. Now he is to be our servant. If while we employed him as our servant, we also had the Union Jack in a corner of our flag, there would be no betrayal of India in this. It pains me that the Congress leaders could not show this generosity. We would have thereby shown our friendship for the British. If I had the power that I once had, I would have taken the people to task for it. After all, why should we give up our humanity.”
“The annual fair at Khawaja Qutabuddin’s mausoleum at Mehrauli will be held as usual. Muslims will be able to move about in Delhi. Mosques left by the Muslims and taken possession of by Hindus and Sikhs will be vacated, Muslim areas will not be forcibly occupied, and Hindus will not object to the return of Muslims who had migrated.”
And what is often called as the trigger – when Pakistanis were invading Kashmir, Nehru and Patel decided to withhold Rs 55 crore payment due to Pakistan as per the Partition agreement. Mr. Gandhi began his best form of leverage that had hundred percent success – fast unto death to coerce the government to pay the money to Pakistan that was at that very moment raping Hindu and Sikh women and girls, slaughtering fathers, brothers and husbands after making them see their girls and wives raped repeatedly and setting houses ablaze because they were not Muslims.
Mr. Gandhi got his wish as Nehru and Patel immediately acceded and Pakistan was paid the promised amount and written pledges were extracted to protect Muslims in Delhi while forcing an exodus of Hindus and Sikhs from the capital city.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)
* Information about Nathuram Vinayak Godse is taken from archives