Make Godse’s statement public, but don’t idolise him

Releasing Mahatma Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse’s statement will show India is a mature democracy

rahul

Rahul Dass | February 20, 2017


#RSS   #Nathuram Godse   #Mahatma Gandhi   #Sridhar Acharyulu  
Nathuram Godse (extreme left) during Mahatma Gandhi`s assassination trial in a  special court in Red Fort Delhi on May 27, 1948
Nathuram Godse (extreme left) during Mahatma Gandhi`s assassination trial in a special court in Red Fort Delhi on May 27, 1948

Nathuram Godse, who was brought up by his parents as a girl in the first few years of his life, has been reviled for decades for fatally shooting the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi. What Godse said during the Gandhi assassination trial has not been made public, giving rise to considerable speculation.

The Central Information Commissioner has now ruled that Godse’s statement along with other relevant records should be “proactively disclosed”.

Information commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said, “One may disagree with Godse and his co-accused, but we cannot refuse disclosure or circulation of his opinion.”

The Mahatma’s killing on January 30, 1948, barely months after India’s independence, was a dark day in the annals of Indian history. The truth, howsoever repulsive, must come out. Godse’s statement must be made public. The more we attempt to hide something, the stronger is the possibility of a backlash.

For seven decades, what Godse said has been kept secret. It should have been out in the open as the trial progressed. The Gandhi assassination trial lasted for over a year and Godse was hanged at Ambala central jail on November 15, 1949.

If the statement would have been shared then, people would have been angry and upset, but the truth would have put in perspective of what was going through Godse’s mind and what intricate justification he had woven to take the extreme step.

This raging debate should have been put to rest a long time back. Timely action would have made Godse’s statement only of interest to historians and not to the common people. By not sharing, we have kept the murderer and his thinking alive. It is never too late to share the truth. We may disagree with his statement; we may have an aversion; we may feel bitter – but let it be out. Period.

India is a free country and people have a right to know. Our democracy is one of the strongest in the world.

A two-act Marathi play “Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy” is supposed to enact Godse’s plea and explores his trial. It just shows that there are some who are keen to know more about Godse.

After Gandhi was shot dead, the Hindu Mahasabha was vilified and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), which has always maintained that it was not involved in the plot in any way, was temporarily banned. The RSS ban was lifted in 1949.

Hindu Mahasabha wants to set up idols of Godse across the country – and the first ever Godse bust was unveiled in Meerut in October 2016. This is a dangerous trend. Idolising Godse, a killer, puts a huge question mark on what kind of society we are building for ourselves.

When Godse was in jail at Ambala, his brother used to come and meet him. The brother used to stay at a building in Ambala Cantonment, quite close to Punjabi Mohalla. His location was kept a secret. Till today, those who known this fact, don’t share it with common people. They fear reprisal.

Outing Godse’s statement may change all that.
 

Comments

 

Other News

“Script is the real hero”

Basking in the success of the new web series, ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad  Mehta Story ’,on SonyLIV, the OTT platform from Sony stable where the lead actors are new faces, NP Singh, MD and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks, has said that the script is the new hero. He credited the s

India’s active cases below 10% of total cases for three days

India’s trend of steadily decreasing active cases continues unabated. The number of Active Cases has remained below 10% of the total cases for the last three days, suggesting only one in 10 cases is active Covid-19 patient. The active cases comprise merely 9.29% of the total positive c

Cabinet clears bonus for non-gazetted employees

The union cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval to pay productivity linked bonus (PLB) for 2019-20 to 16.97 lakh non-gazetted employees of commercial establishments like Railways, Posts, Defence, EPFO, and ESIC, with a financial implication of Rs.2,791 crore.

Covid-19: Daily new cases fall below 50K

India has leaped across several significant milestones in its fight against Covid-19. The new confirmed cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning have fallen below 50,000 (46,790, to be precise) for the first time in nearly three months. The last time the number of new cases was close to this level was on J

Media taking advantage of a divided Bollywood: Shatrughan Sinha

Legendary film star and politician Shatrughan Sinha has said that friendship in Bollywood is limited to onscreen, and there is no unity and some news channels are taking advantage of this situation. “Groups within the industry or their supporters may sometimes come together for some c

‘2.40 lakh TB cases went unreported in India in 2019’

In India, only 2.40 million out of an estimated 2.64 million cases of tuberculosis were reported to the government, that is, 2,40,000 TB patients went unreported, in 2019, according to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2020. The reporting of TB cases, however, has significantly increased ov

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter