Releasing Mahatma Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse’s statement will show India is a mature democracy
Rahul Dass | February 20, 2017
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.
Contrary to the perception that the elderly are more at risk from Covid-19, in India as many as 41.88% of corona positive cases are between 21 to 40 years of age. Also, 32.82% positive cases are between 41 to 60 years, followed by 16.69% cases above the age of 60 years and 8.61% coronavirus positive cases
In view of the increasing number of COVID -19 cases in the country, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) has now advised that everyone must voluntarily wear a mask and especially those living in densely populated areas. Not just as a matter of maintaining personal hygiene
In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, people of India have realized their collective strength, prime minister Narendra Modi said in a short video message Friday morning. He also urged people to light lamps Sunday night as a gesture of this collectivity. “Today marks nine days of the na
Demobilization, like its predecessor – demonetization, is another decision gone bad in implementation. In both instances a careful public administrative action through its governance systems could have saved the magnitude of impact particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the society. Th
In a bid to break the “chain of transmission” of the deadly Covid-19, India, a country with more than 1.3 billion population, observed a voluntary ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22. This has been followed by a 21-day, nationwide lockdown from March 24. Prime minister Narendra Modi also re
To take speedy decisions on research and development for Sars-Cov-2 virus and COVID-19, the government has constituted a Science and Technology Empowered Committee. The committee, set up on March 29 and chaired by Niti Aayog member, professor Vinod Paul and professor K Vijay Raghavan, princi