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

How much time do you spend talking on phone?

How much time do Indians spend talking on phone? It is on average 761 minutes per month, according to a new report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The telecom regulator released its report, titled ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators: July-Septemb

“Developing public health infrastructure key to sustainable healthcare for all”

Renowned cardiologist Dr Ramakanta Panda has said that the pandemic has exposed the inadequacy of existing healthcare systems and it is wrong to draw comparisons with Korea, a country with the population equal to that of a single Indian state. While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Gove

SC-appointed panel on farm laws holds first meet

The committee of experts appointed by the supreme court to deliberate with the stakeholders on the new farm laws held its first meeting here Tuesday, with one of its members saying that all stakeholders, including individual farmers, will be heard. Hearing a petition on the farm laws enacted

India’s glitch-free vaccination gathers pace

The nationwide vaccination campaign launched Saturday, the largest such exercise in the world, has started setting new benchmarks, with vaccines administered to 2,24,301 beneficiaries in the first two days. “India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 v

Maharashtra to spend Rs 2,500 crore to augment, develop power infrastructure

The Maharashtra government has announced a spending of Rs 2,500 crore annually to develop infrastructure of state-owned distribution company Mahavitaran (MSEDCL).   Out of the total amount, Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on energisation of conventional agriculture pumps and Rs 1,000 crore

Launched: Largest vaccination drive in history

India on Saturday began the massive vaccination drive against Covid-19, as prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes the ‘corona warriors’. “Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 cro

Masterminds: Masterclass on World Affair with Sreeram Chaulia





Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter