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- Please, see to it that mercy is not imposed on me. I want to show that through me, Gandhiji’s non-violence is being hanged.
- Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2018). Why I killed the Mahatma: Uncovering Godse's defence. New Delhi : Rupa, 2018.
Nathuram Godse: Why I Assassinated Gandhi (1993)
- Godse, Nathuram, Why I Assassinated Gandhi, Surya Bharti Prakashan, Delhi, 1993. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2018). Why I killed the Mahatma: Uncovering Godse's defence. New Delhi : Rupa, 2018.
- ‘49. The territory bounded by the North Western Frontier in the North and Cape Comorin in the South and the areas between Karachi and Assam, that is the whole of pre-partition India, has always been to me my motherland. In this vast area live people of various faiths and I hold that these creeds should have full and equal freedom for following their ideals and beliefs. In this area the Hindus are the most numerous. They have no place which they can call their own beyond or outside this country. Hindusthan is thus both motherland and the holy land for the Hindus from times immemorial. To the Hindus largely this country owes its fame and glory, its culture and art, knowledge, science and philosophy. Next to the Hindus, the Muslims are numerically predominant. They made systematic inroads into this country since the 10th century and gradually succeeded in establishing Muslim rule over the greater part of India.
- ‘50. Before the advent of the British, both Hindus and Muslims as a result of centuries of experience had come to realise that the Muslims could not remain as masters in India; nor could they be driven away. Both had clearly understood that both had come to stay. Owing to the rise of the Mahrattas, the revolt of the Rajputs and the uprise of the Sikhs, the Muslim hold on the country had become very feeble and although some of them continued to aspire for supremacy in India, practical people could see clearly that such hopes were futile. On the other hand, the British had proved more powerful in battle and in intrigue than either the Hindus or Mussalmans, and by their adoption of improved methods of administration and the assurance of the security of the life and property without any discrimination both the Hindus and the Muslims accepted them as inevitable. ‘50 (continued). Differences between the Hindus and the Muslims did exist even before the British came. Nevertheless it is a fact that the British made the most unscrupulous use of these differences and created more differences in order to maintain their power and authority. The Indian National Congress which was started with the object of winning power for the people in the governance of the country had from the beginning kept before it the ideal of complete nationalism which implies that all Indians should enjoy equal rights and complete equality on the basis of democracy. This ideal of removing the foreign rule and replacing it by the democratic power and authority of the people appealed to me most from the very start of my public career.’
- ‘51. In my writings and speeches, I have always advocated that the religious and communal consideration should be entirely eschewed in the public affairs of the country, at elections, inside and outside the legislatures and in the making and unmaking of Cabinets. I have throughout stood for a secular State with joint electorates and to my mind this is the only sensible thing to do. (…)’ ‘51 (continued). Under the influence of the Congress, this ideal was steadily making headway amongst the Hindus. But the Muslims as a community first stood aloof and later on under the corroding influence of the Divide and Rule Policy of foreign masters were encouraged to cherish the ambition of dominating the Hindus. The first indication of this outlook was the demand for separate electorates instigated by the then Viceroy Lord Minto in 1906. The British Government accepted this demand under the excuse of minority protection. While the Congress party offered a verbal opposition, it progressively supported separatism by ultimately adopting the notorious formula of “neither accepting nor rejecting” in 1934.’
- ‘52. Thus had originated and intensified the demand for the disintegration of this country. What was the thin end of the wedge in the beginning became Pakistan in the end. The mistake however was begun with the laudable object of bringing out a united front amongst all classes in India in order to drive out the foreigner and it was hoped that separatism would eventually disappear.’ 53. In spite of my advocacy of joint electorates, in principle I reconciled myself with the temporary introduction of separate electorates since the Muslims were keen on them. I however insisted that representation should be granted in strict proportion to the number of every community and no more. I have uniformly maintained this stand.’
- ‘57. Each of the heroes in his time resisted aggression on our country, protected the people against the atrocities and outrages by alien fanatics and won back the motherland from the invader. On the other hand, during more than thirty years of the undisputed leadership of the Mahatma, there were more desecrations of temples, more forcible and fraudulent conversions, more outrages on women and finally the loss of one third of the country. It is therefore astounding that his followers cannot see what is clear even to the blind, viz. that the Mahatma was a mere pygmy before Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Govind. His condemnation of these illustrious heroes was to say the least, most presumptuous. ‘58. The clique which has got into power with the patronage of British imperialism by a cowardly surrender to the Partition of India at the point of Muslim violence is now trying to exploit Gandhiji’s death in hundred hectic ways for its own selfish aims. But history will give to them their proper place in the niche of fame. Gandhiji was, paradoxical as it may appear, a violent pacifist who brought untold calamities on the country in the name of truth and non-violence, while Rana Pratap, Shivaji and the Guru will remain enshrined in the hearts of their countrymen for ever and for the freedom they brought to them.’
- ‘65. ...The Muslims ran the Khilafat Committee as a distinct political religious organisation and throughout maintained it as a separate entity from the Congress; and very soon the Moplah Rebellion showed that the Muslims had not the slightest idea of national unity on which Gandhiji had set his heart and had staked so much. There followed, as usual in such cases, a huge slaughter of the Hindus, numerous forcible conversions, rape and arson. The British Government, entirely unmoved by the rebellion, suppressed it in a few months and left to Gandhiji the joy of his Hindu-Muslim unity. The Khilafat agitation had failed and let down Gandhiji. British Imperialism emerged stronger, the Muslims became more fanatical and the consequences were visited on the Hindus. (…) ‘65 (continued). The services began to be distributed on communal basis and the Muslims obtained high jobs from our British Masters not on merit, but by remaining aloof from the struggle for freedom and because of their being the followers of Islam. Government patronage to Muslims in the name of minority protection penetrated throughout the body-politic of the Indian State and the Mahatma’s meaningless slogans were no match against this wholesale corruption of the Muslim mind. But Gandhiji did not relent. He still lived in the hope of being the common leader both of the Hindus and Muslims and the more he was defeated, the more he indulged in encouraging the Muslims by extravagant methods. The position continued to deteriorate and by 1925, it became patent to all that the Government had won all along the line; but like the proverbial gambler, Gandhiji increased his stake. He agreed to the separation of Sindh [from the Bombay Presidency] and to the creation of a separate province in the N.W. Frontier. He also went on conceding one undemocratic demand after another to the Muslim League in the vain hope of enlisting its support in the national struggle. (…)’
- 66 ‘Indeed in the subsequent years the Congress policy can be quite correctly described as “Peace at any Price” and “Congress in Office at all costs”. The Congress compromised with the British who placed it in office and in return, the Congress surrendered to the violence of Mr. Jinnah, carved out one-third of India to him, an explicitly racial and theological State, and destroyed two million human beings in the process. Pandit Nehru now professes again and again that the Congress stands for a secular State and violently denounces those who remind him that only last year he agreed to a communal and theological State; his vociferous adherence to a “Secular State” is nothing but a case of “my lady protests too much”.’
- ‘68. This section summarises the background of the agony of India’s Partition and the tragedy of Gandhiji’s assassination. Neither the one nor the other gives me any pleasure to record or to remember, but the Indian people and the world at large ought to know the history of the last thirty years during which India has been torn into pieces by the Imperialist policy of the British and under a mistaken policy of communal unity. ‘(…) virtually the non-Muslim minority in Western Pakistan have been liquidated either by the most brutal murders or by a forced tragic removal from their moorings of centuries; the same process is furiously at work in Eastern Pakistan. One hundred and ten millions [lakhs, i.e. eleven million] of people have become torn from their homes, of which not less than four millions are Muslims, and when I found that even after such terrible results, Gandhiji continued to pursue the same policy of appeasement, my blood boiled, and I could not tolerate him any longer. (…)’ ‘69. The accumulating provocation of 32 years culminating in his last pro-Muslim fast goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhiji should be brought to an end immediately. On coming back to India [from South Africa], he developed a subjective mentality under which he alone was to be the final judge of what was right and wrong. If the country wanted his leadership it had to accept his infallibility; if it did not, he would stand aloof from the Congress and carry on in his own way. Against such an attitude there can be no half way house; either the Congress had to surrender its will to his and had to be content with playing the second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality, metaphysics and primitive vision, or it had to carry on without him.’
- ‘70 (b). Moplah Rebellion. Malabar, Punjab, Bengal and N.W. Frontier Province were the scene of repeated outrages on the Hindus. The Moplah rebellion, as it was called, was the most prolonged and concentrated attack on the Hindu religion, Hindu honour, Hindu life and Hindu property (…). The Mahatma, who had brought about all this calamity on India by his communal policy, kept mum. He never uttered a single word of reproach against the aggressors nor did he allow the Congress to take any active steps whereby repetition of such outrages could be prevented. On the other hand, he went to the length of denying the numerous cases of forcible conversions in Malabar and actually published in his paper, “Young India” that there was only one case of forcible conversion. His own Muslim friends informed him that he was wrong and that the forcible conversions were numerous in Malabar. He never corrected his misstatements, but went to the absurd length of starting a relief fund for the Moplahs instead of their victims; but the promised land of Hindu-Muslim unity was not yet in sight.’ ‘70 (c). Afghan Amir Intrigue. When the Khilafat Movement failed, the Ali Brothers decided to do something which might keep alive the Khilafat sentiments. Their slogan was that whoever was the enemy of the Khilafat was also the enemy of Islam, and as the British were chiefly responsible for the defeat and the dethronement of the Sultan of Turkey, every faithful Muslim was in solemn duty bound to be a bitter enemy of Britain. With that object, they secretly intrigued to invite the Amir of Afghanistan to invade India and promised every support. There is a long history behind this intrigue; the Ali Brothers never denied their share in the conspiracy. The Mahatma pursued his tactics of getting Hindu-Muslim unity by supporting the Ali Brothers through thick and through thin. (…) ‘70 (c) (continued). Even with regard to the invasion of India by the Amir, the Mahatma directly and indirectly supported the Ali Brothers. This is proved beyond the shadow of doubt. The late Mr. [Srinivasa] Shastri, Mr. C.Y. Chintamani the editor of The Leader of Allahabad and even the Mahatma’s life-long friend, the late Rev. C.F. Andrews, told him quite clearly that his speeches and writings amounted to a definite support to the Ali Brothers in their invitation to the Amir of Afghanistan to invade India. The following quotations from the Mahatma’s writing in those days should make it clear that he had forgotten his own country in his one consuming desire to please the Muslims and had become a party to the invasion of his motherland by a foreign ruler. The Mahatma supported the invasion in the following words: I cannot understand why the Ali Brothers are going to be arrested as the rumours go, and why I am to remain free. They have done nothing which I would not do. If they had sent a message to the Amir, I also would send one to inform the Amir that if he came, no Indian so long as I can help it, would help the Government to drive him back. ‘70 (d.) (i). Attack on Arya Samaj. Gandhiji ostentatiously displayed his love for Muslims by a most unworthy and unprovoked attack on the Arya Samaj in 1924. He publicly denounced the Samaj for its supposed sins of omission and commission; it was an utterly unwarranted, reckless and discreditable attack, but whatever would please the Mohammedans was the heart’s desire of Gandhiji. The Arya Samaj made a powerful but polite retort and for some time Gandhiji was silenced, but the growing political influence of Gandhiji weakened the Arya Samaj. (…)
- ‘70 (d.) (ii). Gandhiji’s attack did not improve his popularity with the Muslims but it provoked a Muslim youth to murder Swami Shraddhanandaji within a few months. The charge against the Samaj that it was a reactionary body was manifestly false. Everybody knew that far from being a reactionary body, the Samaj had been the vanguard of social reforms among the Hindus. The Samaj had for a hundred years stood for the abolition of untouchability long before the birth of Gandhiji. The Samaj had popularised widow remarriage. The Samaj had denounced the caste system and preached the oneness of not merely the Hindus, but of all those who were prepared to follow its tenets. Gandhiji was completely silenced for some time, but his leadership made the people forget his baseless attack on the Arya Samaj and even weakened the Samaj to a large extent. (…)’ ‘70 (e). Separation of Sindh. By 1928, Mr. Jinnah’s stock had risen very high and the Mahatma had already conceded many unfair and improper demands of Mr. Jinnah at the expense of Indian democracy and the Indian nation and the Hindus. The Mahatma even supported the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency and threw the Hindus of Sind to the communal wolves. Numerous riots took place in Sindh-Karachi, Sukkur, Shikarpur and other places in which the Hindus were the only sufferers and the Hindu-Muslim unity receded further from the horizon.’ ‘70 (f). League’s Good Bye to Congress. With each defeat, Gandhiji became even more keen on his method of achieving Hindu-Muslim unity. Like the gambler who had lost heavily, he became more desperate increasing his stakes each time and indulged in the most irrational concessions if only they could placate Mr. Jinnah and enlist his support under the Mahatma’s leadership in the fight for freedom. But the aloofness of the Muslims from the Congress increased with the advance of years and the Muslim League refused to have anything to do with the Congress after 1928. (…)’
- ‘70 (j). Cripps’ Partition Proposal Accepted. The Congress did not know its own mind as to whether it should support the war, oppose or remain neutral. All these attitudes were expressed in turn one after the other; (…) The war was carried on without let or hindrance till 1942. The Government could get all the men, all the money, and all the material which their war efforts needed. Every Government loan was fully subscribed... ‘In 1942, came the Cripps Mission (…) with a clear hint of partition of India in the background. Naturally the Mission failed, but the Congress even while opposing the Mission’s proposals yielded to the principle of partition (…) At a meeting of the All India Congress Committee held in April 1942 at Allahabad, the principle of partition was repudiated by an overwhelming majority (…) but Maulana Azad, the so-called nationalist Muslim, was then the President of the Congress. He gave a ruling a few months later that the Allahabad Resolution had no effect on the earlier resolution of the Working Committee which conceded the principle of Pakistan however remotely. The Congress was entirely at the end of its wits. (…)’
- ‘70 (l). Hindi versus Hindustani. Absurdly pro-Muslim policy of Gandhiji is nowhere more blatantly illustrated than in his perverse attitude on the question of the National Language of India. By all the tests of a scientific language, Hindi has the most prior claim to be accepted as the National Language of this country. In the beginning of his career in India, Gandhiji gave a great impetus to Hindi, but as he found that the Muslims did not like it, he became a turncoat and blossomed forth as the champion of what is called Hindustani. (…) It is a bastard tongue and a crossbreed between Hindi and Urdu and not even the Mahatma’s sophistry could make it popular; but in his desire to please the Muslims, he insisted that Hindustani alone should be the national language of India. (…) ‘All his experiments were at the expense of the Hindus. His was a one-way traffic in his search of Hindu-Muslim unity. The charm and the purity of the Hindi language was to be prostituted to please the Muslims, but even Congressmen, apart from the rest of India, refused to digest this nostrum. For practical purpose, Hindustani is only Urdu under a different name, but Gandhiji could not have the courage to advocate the adoption of Urdu as against Hindi, hence the subterfuge to smuggle Urdu under the garb of Hindustani. Urdu is not banned by any nationalist Hindu, but to smuggle it under the garb of Hindustani is a fraud and a crime.’‘70 (m). Vande Mataram Not to Be Sung. The infatuation of Gandhiji for the Muslims and his incorrigible craving for Muslim leadership without any regard for right and wrong, for truth or justice, and in utter contempt for the sentiments of the Hindus as a whole was the high watermark of the Mahatmic benevolence. It is notorious that some Muslims disliked the celebrated song of Vande Mataram and the Mahatma forthwith stopped its singing or recital wherever he could. (…) The right way to proceed would have been to enlighten the ignorant and remove the prejudice, but that is a policy which during the thirty years of unbounded popularity and leadership Gandhiji could not muster courage to try. (…)’ ‘70 (n). Shiva Bavani Banned. Gandhiji banned the public recital or perusal of Shiva Bavani, a beautiful collection of 52 verses by a Hindu poet in which he had extolled the great power of Shivaji and the protection which he brought to the Hindu community and the Hindu religion. The refrain of that collection says: “If there were no Shivaji, the entire country would have been converted to Islam.” (…)’
- ‘70 (o). On the 16th of August 1946 (…) there broke out in Calcutta an open massacre of the Hindus which continued for three days unchecked. (…) At the time, it was considered that the Government which could permit such outrages on its citizens must be thrown out (…). Gandhiji, however, went to Calcutta and contracted a strange friendship with the author of these massacres; in fact he intervened on behalf of Suhrawardy and the Muslim League [and] publicly described Suhrawardy as a martyr.’ ... ‘70 (o). Suhrawardy Patronised. (…) On the 16th of August 1946 (…) there broke out in Calcutta an open massacre of the Hindus which continued for three days unchecked. (…) At the time, it was considered that the Government which could permit such outrages on its citizens must be thrown out (…). Gandhiji, however, went to Calcutta and contracted a strange friendship with the author of these massacres; in fact he intervened on behalf of Suhrawardy and the Muslim League [and] publicly described Suhrawardy as a martyr.’ ‘70 (q). Gandhiji on Fast to Capacity. In 1943, while Gandhiji was on fast to capacity (…) Mr. C. Rajagopalachari smuggled himself into Gandhiji’s room and hatched a plot of conceding Pakistan, which Gandhiji allowed him to negotiate with Jinnah. Gandhiji later on discussed this matter with Mr. Jinnah in the latter part of 1944 and offered Mr. Jinnah virtually what is now called Pakistan. (…) ‘70 (r). Desai-Liaqat Agreement. In 1945 came the notorious Desai-Liaqat Agreement. (…) Under that agreement, the late Bhulabhai Desai, the then leader of the Congress Party in the Central Legislative Assembly at Delhi, entered into an agreement with Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan, the League leader in the Assembly, jointly to demand a Conference from the British Government for the solution of the stalemate in Indian politics (…) Mr. Desai offered equal representation to the Muslims with Congress at the said Conference (…) The proposal had, it was then revealed, the blessings of the Mahatma and was in fact made with his previous knowledge and consent. With the full agreement of the Congress Party, 25% of the people of India were treated as if they were 50% and the 75% were brought down to the level of 50%.’ ... ‘But his retirement was followed by the appointment of Lord Mountbatten. (…) Rivers of blood flowed under his very nose. (…) This is what Gandhiji had achieved after thirty years of undisputed dictatorship (…) Hindu-Muslim unity bubble was finally burst and a theocratic and communal state dissociated from everything that smacked of united India was established with the consent of Nehru and his crowd, and they have called it “Freedom won by them at sacrifice”—whose sacrifice?’ ‘70 (s). Cabinet Mission Plan. Early in the year 1946, the so-called Cabinet Mission arrived in India. (…) while firmly championing unity, the Mission introduced Pakistan through the back-door. (…) The Congress Party was so utterly exhausted by the failure of ‘Quit India’ that after some smoke-screen about its unflinching nationalism, it virtually submitted to Pakistan by accepting the Mission’s proposals.’ ‘70 (y). Removal of Tricolour Flag. The tricolour flag with the Charkha on it was adopted by the Congress as the National Flag out of deference to Gandhiji. (…) When the Mahatma was touring Noakhali and Tippera in 1946 after the beastly outrages on the Hindus, the flag was flying on his temporary hut. But when a Muslim came there and objected (…), Gandhiji quickly directed its removal. All the reverential sentiments of millions of Congressmen towards that flag were affronted in a minute, because that would please an isolated Muslim fanatic (…).’
- 71. (…) there was never a more stupendous fiction fostered by the cunning and believed by the credulous in this country for over a thousand years. Far from attaining freedom under his leadership, Gandhiji has left India torn and bleeding from a thousand wounds. ‘78. (…) In actual practice, however, Bose never toed the line that Gandhiji wanted during his term of office. And yet, Subhas was so popular in the country that against the declared wishes of Gandhiji in favour of Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, he was elected president of the Congress for a second time with a substantial majority even from the Andhra Desha, the province of Dr. Pattabhi himself. This upset Gandhiji beyond endurance and he expressed his anger in the Mahatmic manner full of concentrated venom by stating that the success of Subhas was his own defeat and not that of Dr. Pattabhi. (…) Out of sheer cussedness, he absented himself from the Tripura Congress session, staged a rival show at Rajkot by a wholly mischievous fast, and [it was] not until Subhas was overthrown from the Congress gaddi that the venom of Gandhiji became completely gutted.’
- ‘85. (…) I am therefore surprised when claims are made over and over again that the winning of freedom was due to Gandhiji. My own view is that constant pandering to the Muslim League was not the way to winning freedom. It only created a Frankenstein (…) permanently stationing a hostile, censorious, unfriendly and aggressive neighbour on what was once Indian territory. About the winning of Swaraj or freedom, I maintain that the Mahatma’s contribution was negligible. But I am prepared to give him a place as a sincere patriot. ‘85 (continued). In my opinion, S.C. Bose is the supreme hero and martyr of modern India (…) advocating all honourable means, including the use of force when necessary, for the liberation of India. Gandhiji and his crowd of self-seekers tried to destroy him.’ ‘89. (…) Mr. Jinnah had also openly demanded Pakistan. (…) He has deceived no one (…) His was the behaviour of an open enemy. (…) ‘90. Gandhiji had seen Mr. Jinnah many a time and called upon him. Every time he had to plead with him as “brother Jinnah”. He even offered him the premiership of the whole of India, but there was not a single occasion on which Mr. Jinnah had shown any inclination even to co-operate. ‘91. Gandhiji’s inner voice, his spiritual power and his doctrine of non-violence of which so much is made, all crumbled before Mr. Jinnah’s iron will and proved to be powerless. ‘92. Having known that with his spiritual power he could not influence Mr. Jinnah, Gandhiji should have either changed his policy or should have admitted his defeat and given way to others of different political views to deal with Mr. Jinnah and the Muslim League. But Gandhiji was not honest enough to do that. He could not forget his egoism or self, even for national interest. There was, thus, no scope left for practical politics while the great blunders—blunders as big as the Himalayas—were being committed.’
- 93 (a). (…) Hindus should never be angry against the Muslims even if the latter might make up their minds to undo even their existence. If they put all of us to the sword, we should court death bravely (…) We are destined to be born and die, then why need we feel gloomy over it? (…) (6th April 1947) ‘93 (b). The few gentlemen from Rawalpindi who called upon me (…) asked me, what about those who still remain in Pakistan. I asked them why they all came here (to Delhi). Why they did not die there? I still hold on to the belief that one should stick to the place where we happen to live even if we are cruelly treated and even killed. Let us die if the people kill us, but we should die bravely with the name of God on our tongue. Even if our men are killed, why should we feel angry with anybody, you should realise that even if they are killed they have had a good and proper end. (…) (23rd September 1947) ‘93 (c). (…) If those killed have died bravely they have not lost anything but earned something. (…) They should not be afraid of death. After all, the killers will be none other than our Muslim brothers. Will our brothers cease to be our brothers after change of their religion? (…)’ [The instances can be multiplied, e.g., when meeting Hindu refugees from West Punjab, Gandhiji told them to return to their homes, even if this meant certain death:] ‘If all the Punjabis were to die to the last man without killing, the Punjab will become immortal. Offer yourselves as nonviolent, willing sacrifices.’
- ‘103. Had Gandhiji [had] a firm belief in the doctrine of non-violence, he should have made a suggestion for sending Satyagrahis instead of the armed troops and tried the experiment. (…) It was a golden opportunity for Gandhiji to show the power of his Satyagraha (…) ‘104. But Gandhiji did nothing of the sort. (…) Gandhiji was reading the dreadful news of the Kashmir war, while at the same time fasting to death only because a few Muslims could not live safely in Delhi. But he was not bold enough to go on fast in front of the raiders of Kashmir, nor had he the courage to practise Satyagraha against them. All his fasts were to coerce Hindus.’ ‘134. The practice of non-violence according to Gandhiji is to endure or put up with the blows of the aggressor without showing any resistance either by weapon or by physical force. Gandhiji has, while describing his non-violence, given the example of a “tiger becoming a follower of the creed of non-violence after the cows allowed themselves to be killed and swallowed in such large numbers that the tiger ultimately got tired of killing them.” It will be remembered that at Kanpur, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi fell victim to a murderous assault by the Muslims of the place on him. Gandhiji has often cited this submission to the Muslims’ blows as an ideal example of embracing death for the creed of non-violence. I firmly believed and believe that the non-violence of the type described above will lead the nation to ruin (…)’
- ‘136. There now remains hardly anything for me to say. If devotion to one’s country amounts to a sin, I admit I have committed that sin. If it is meritorious, I humbly claim the merit thereof. I fully and confidently believe that if there be any other court of justice beyond the one founded by mortals, my act will not be taken as unjust.’
- ‘139. I am prepared to concede that Gandhiji did undergo sufferings for the sake of the nation. He did bring about an awakening in the minds of the people. He also did nothing for personal gain, but it pains me to say that he was not honest enough to acknowledge the defeat and failure of the principle of non-violence on all sides. (…) But whatever that may be, I shall bow in respect of the service done by Gandhiji to the country (…) and before I fired the shots I actually (…) bowed to him in reverence. But I do maintain that even this servant of the country had no right to vivisect the country (…) There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book and it was therefore that I resorted to the firing of shots at Gandhiji as that was the only thing for me to do.’
- ‘140. (…) So strong was the impulse of my mind that I felt that this man should not be allowed to meet a natural death so that the world may know that he had to pay the penalty of his life for his unjust, anti-national and dangerous favouritism towards a fanatical section of the country. I decided to put an end to this matter and to the further massacre of lakhs of Hindus for no fault of theirs. May God now pardon him for his egoistic nature which proved to be too disastrous for the beloved sons of this Holy Land.’
- ‘147. May the country properly known as Hindusthan be again united and be one and may the people be taught to discard the defeatist mentality leading them to submit to the aggressors. This is my last wish and prayer to the Almighty.’
- ‘149. It is a fact that in the presence of a crowd numbering 300 to 400 people I did fire shots at Gandhiji in open daylight. I did not make any attempt to run away; in fact, I never entertained any idea of running away. I did not try to shoot myself, it was never my intention to do so, for it was my ardent desire to give vent to my thoughts in an open Court.
- ‘150. My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled against it on all sides. I have no doubt honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof on some day in future.
‘Akhand Bharat Amar Rahe!
Quotes about Nathuram Godse
- Both [Gandhi and Godse] were committed and courageous nationalists; both felt that the problem of India was basically the problem of the Hindus because they constituted the majority of Indians; and both were allegiant to the idea of an undivided free India. Both felt austerity was a necessary part of political activity. Gandhi’s asceticism is well-known, but Godse too lived like a hermit. He slept on a wooden plank, using occasionally a blanket and even in the severest winter wore only a shirt. Contrary to the idea fostered by the popular Hollywood film on him, Nine Hours to Rama, Godse neither smoked nor drank. In fact, he took Gandhi’s rejection of sexuality even further: he never married and remained a strict celibate. Like Gandhi, Godse considered himself a sanatani or traditional Hindu and, in deference to his own wishes, he was cremated according to sanatani rites... Yet, and in this respect too he resembled Gandhi, he said he believed in a casteless Hindu society and in a democratic polity. He was even in favour of Gandhi’s attempts to mobilize the Indian Muslims for the nationalist cause by making some concessions to the Muslim leadership. Perhaps it was not an accident that Godse began his political career as a participant in the civil disobedience movement started by Gandhi and ended his political life with a speech from the witness stand which, in spite of being an attack on Gandhi, none the less revealed a grudging respect for what Gandhi had done for the country.
- Ashis Nandy, quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2018). Why I killed the Mahatma: Uncovering Godse's defence. New Delhi : Rupa, 2018.
- One immediate consequence of the murder which is usually left unmentioned in the numerous hagiographies of the Mahatma is the wave of revenge which hit the Hindu Mahasabha, the RSS and most of all, the Chitpavan Brahmin caste. It seems that most hagiographers were embarrassed with the way the apostle of non-violence was mourned by his fans as well as by others who merely used the opportunity for, as in Red Fort Trial (p. 4) P.L. Inamdar puts it, ‘the manhunt of Maharashtrian Brahmins irrespective of their party allegiance by non-Brahmins in Poona and other districts.’ Offices and houses were burnt down, numerous people were molested and at least eight people were killed, according to an official tradition. However the article ‘Gandhi is killed by a Hindu’, published by The New York Times on 31 January 1948, puts the number of mortal victims in Bombay (now called Mumbai) alone, and on the first day alone, already at fifteen. Locals in Pune (where of course the Hindu Rastra office was set on fire, along with the offices of other pro-Hindu papers) told me they estimated the death toll in Pune alone at fifty. One of the rare studies of the event, by Maureen Patterson, concludes that the greatest violence took place not in the cities of Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, centres of Hindu nationalism, but in ‘the extreme southwest of the Deccan plateau—the Desh—of the Marathi linguistic region’, including Satara, Belgaum and Kolhapur. Then, as now, press reporting on communal rioting was under strict control, and Maureen Patterson reports that even decades after the facts, she was not given access to relevant police files. So, we may not know the exact magnitude of this ‘Gandhian violence’ until all the records are opened, but the death toll may well run into several hundreds.... But unlike in the case of the anti-Sikh pogrom, where a few local Congress leaders were brought to trial after a long delay, and where references to the events keep on being made in studies of ‘communalism’, the Mahatma riots had no consequences for the perpetrators and were flushed down the memory hole, probably because the accused in the latter case did not have a high profile.
- About mass killings of Brahmins in the aftermath of the assassination of Gandhi by Godse. P.L. Inamdar , M. Patterson. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2018). Why I killed the Mahatma: Uncovering Godse's defence. New Delhi : Rupa, 2018.
- ‘The audience was visibly and audibly moved. There was a deep silence when he ceased speaking. Many women were in tears and men were coughing and searching for their handkerchiefs. (…) I have, however, no doubt that had the audience on that day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse’s appeal, they would have brought in a verdict of ‘not guilty’ by an overwhelming majority.
- Justice Gopal Das Khosla, one of Godse’s judges, in his book Murder of the Mahatma. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2018). Why I killed the Mahatma: Uncovering Godse's defence. New Delhi : Rupa, 2018.
- In 1998, a Mumbai playwright, Pradeep Dalvi, tried to recreate some of the atmosphere in his play Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy (‘This Is Nathuram Godse Speaking’). After seven performances, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee managed to convince the Maharashtra state government, a Hindu nationalist coalition of Shiv Sena and BJP, to withdraw clearance for the play.
- Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2018). Why I killed the Mahatma: Uncovering Godse's defence. New Delhi : Rupa, 2018.