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

Modi’s forward-looking I-Day speech lays down 5-year agenda

Contrast prime minister Narendra Modi’s first Independence Day speech in 2014 with his latest, the first in the second term, and you know the difference. His first speech was less about future and much about the basic needs like Swachch Bharat (clean India). His speech on Thursday, on the other hand,

Better cities require active citizen engagement

With Mumbai city battling myriad civic issues and annual flooding year after year, stakeholders and experts came together to discuss ways of dealing with these issues as community work. The discussion was held at the TEDxVersova Salon- Vibrant Civic Participation, an independent TED event organized by the

Independence Day: PM underlines new beginnings

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort for the first in his second term, prime minister Narendra Modi highlighted the new beginnings his government has made in recent days, and underlined the hopes of a new India in the making. “Things that could not happen in the past

Kashmir decision “sole prerogative of the country”

India has told China that the legislation changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir was “an internal matter. External affairs minister S Jaishankar, visiting China Monday, told foreign minister Wang Yi that the legislative measures were aimed at promoting better governance and socio-ec

To fight climate change, pay attention also to land

When considering climate change, one of the greatest threats before the humanity, discussions usually focus on air and water, but land too is affected by and in turn affects global warming as much as those two elements. A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), out early Augus

Mumbai witnesses jump in bus ridership after fare cut

To revive bus ridership, the BMC-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) reduced its bus fares in Mumbai to minimum Rs 5 for non-AC buses as against Rs 8 earlier for the first five kilometres and capped maximum fare at Rs 20. For its AC buses the minimum fare has been brought down from Rs 20



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter