Known the world over as the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse was a nationalist born into a Brahmin family in Pune, in the year 1910. He was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and then, the Hindu Mahasabha. Godse is also known for starting a Marathi newspaper for the Hindu Mahasabha called Agrani which was later renamed to Hindu Rashtra.
Nathuram Godse was named Ramchandra at birth. Before he was born, his parents had three boys who had died in their infancy. His parents believed that evil lurked around male children. Fearing this, they raised Ramachandra as a girl for a few years and made him wear a ( NUTH) – nose ring. because of this that he earned the name of Nathuram which literally meant Ram with a nose ring.
After the birth of his younger brother, his parents went back to treating him as a boy. Proud of his culture and heritage. Nathuram Godse actively worked to abolish untouchability and the caste system. During his college days, Nathuram joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. and its wing of anti-caste movements and maintained that all Hindus were of equal status irrespective of the caste they were born into.
He actively attended gatherings with people belonging to different religions. At a time when there existed much discrimination between people from different castes and religions. Nathuram actively worked to bring all people together.
Nathuram Godse was well-read and was familiar with the ideologies of Marxism and Socialism.
Having studied closely the writings and the speeches of Veer Savarkar and Gandhi. Nathuram realised that the purpose of his life was to serve Hinduism and secure freedom for the Hindus. He believed that safeguarding the interests of Hindus would eventually lead to freedom and the well-being of the country.
This conviction caused him to devote himself to the cause of the nation. Since the very beginning, Nathuram Godse was resentful towards Gandhi’s approach to the national movement. Gandhi’s influence in the Congress started growing around 1920. More About-Aurangzeb The sixth and last dominant ruler.
All his activities and movements were guided by slogans of truth and non-violence to which nobody had any objections. These movements – that included the masses – were intense as everybody saw Gandhi as the redeemer. What confounded.
Godse was the hypocrisy that he thought lay at the roots of the movement. How could one man or even a group of people ever diligently adhere to the principles of truth. and non-violence in the mass struggle when adhering to these principles in daily life was close to impossible.
Godse believed that duty towards one’s country can lead towards violence and force. He believed that the use of force and aggression would be righteous in the struggle for independence. History, he felt, supported the idea of securing freedom by the use of force in wars that were fought by some of the remarkable rulers of the country.
Nathuram Godse believed that subtle measures like fasting would prove to be of no use.
He stood staunchly against the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi. which he considered hypocritical. Not only did Gandhi formulate mass movements like the Civil Disobedience movement. he also decided on the execution and the termination of the movements.
Nathuram Godse rejected these beliefs of Gandhi as he knew that these movements were solely for himself. Godse said, “These childish insanities and obstinacies, coupled with a most severe austerity of life, ceaseless work and lofty character, made Gandhi formidable and irresistible.”
Most of the activities of Gandhi that claimed to be pro-Hindu turned out to be against the Hindus. Nathuram Godse condemned Gandhi for initiating a new language called Hindustani only to please Muslims of India. Hindustani was only a dialect with no grammar and vocabulary.
Gandhi insisted that Hindustani be the national language instead of Hindi. Godse resented this experiment as he felt it was being initiated at the expense of the Hindus. The national struggle reached its climax with the Partition of the country.
The decades of struggle led by Gandhi who preached Hindu-Muslim unity finally ended with the partition of the country into India and Pakistan. This event escalated matters and angered Godse who was convinced that Gandhi had to be stopped.
He believed that Gandhi had failed in his duty by consenting to the partition of the country. For example, Godse felt that while Gandhi fasted when Hindu refugees occupied mosques in Delhi. he did not raise a voice when Hindus were mistreated by Muslims in what is now Pakistan.
Godse squarely criticised Gandhi for this. All these events proved to Godse that Gandhi was leading the country towards certain disaster. He was being an impediment to the growth of the nation. Thus, on 30th January, 1948 Godse shot Gandhi and killed him. Read More –Abdul kalam Missile Man Of India.
Disregarding the fact that his future would be ruined and that he would be hated for generations to come. To him, his moral duty was more important than his life. He knew that without Gandhi, the country would be more practical in its approaches and would be powerful with its own armed forces.
Before being sentenced to death, Nathuram Godse took full responsibility for his action and asked for no mercy. He was sentenced to death on 8th November 1949 and was hanged on 15th November 1949 along with co-conspirator Narayan Apte.