Why did Nathu Ram Godse assassinate Mahatma Gandhi?
The whole country celebrates 2nd October as the birthday of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Many such people will be found in India who praise his assassin Nathu Ram Godse on the day of Gandhi Jayanti. In the eyes of the people of Hindu communal ideology, the killing of Gandhiji by Godse is justified. After all, why did Godse kill Gandhiji and can anyone’s murder be justified?
Before 15th August 1947, the communal atmosphere in the country had become so bad that even Gandhiji had to accept the partition with a sad heart. Gandhiji was deeply saddened by the partition, especially the circumstances that were arising after the partition. Gandhiji still believed that India would be a secular nation in the form of a nation where people of all religions, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and others would get equal rights on the land of India.
Calcutta Riots and role of Gandhiji
When there were communal riots in Calcutta in 1946-47, Gandhiji himself went to Calcutta with a ‘one man army’ so that he could help the riot affected Hindus. Gandhiji not only went to pacify the Hindu-Muslim riots of Calcutta, but wherever Hindu-Muslim riots took place, he went to pacify the people. Bihar and Noakhali (East Bengal) were similar riot-affected areas where Gandhi went.
In the autumn of 1947, Gandhi returned to Delhi to save the Muslims who were being driven out of Delhi. By that time lakhs of Hindus from West Punjab, Sindh and North-West Frontier Province had come to Delhi in a very pathetic condition of non-availability. When these Hindu people reached Delhi, they had left their home, bar, property and everything in Pakistan. His relatives were killed. Hindu girls were forcibly kept in Pakistan and were in pathetic condition. These Hindu refugees had brought with them the stories of the cruelty of the Muslims and the Government of Pakistan. These people were living in tents set up by the Government of India and voluntary organizations from place to place. Many families had even taken shelter in mosques. In that tense atmosphere, many Muslim families vacated their homes out of fear and moved to present-day Pakistan. Some Muslims considered themselves insecure. At such a time, Mahatma Gandhi had come to Delhi to protect the Muslims. He started his public prayer meeting at Birla Bhavan.
The Muslim League was very happy with the partition of India and was seeing it as its victory, on the contrary, this partition was as a tragedy for the Hindus and Sikh community which has never been so terrible in world history. It is true that some parts of India were under Muslim rule from 1200 AD to 1805 AD, but Hindus had never been treated so barbarously nor were they ever expelled from their homes. But now these victims were forced to live in Hindu tents.
In opposition to the Muslim League, some Hindu fundamentalists had also formed the Hindu Mahasabha. These fundamentalists were of Hindu-Muslim thinking, just as the Muslims called Pakistan a country of only Muslims, in the same way these Hindu organizations called India a country of only Hindus. These fundamentalists warned the Muslims to respect the religion, culture and traditions of the majority (Hindus). Similarly, in 1926, the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) was also formed, this organization first included hundreds of Hindu youth in its organization in Lahore (Punjab) in 1939. These organizations imagined a united India and fought partition. were very sad.
Hindu fundamentalist organizations believed that the leaders of the Indian National Congress, including Gandhi, were primarily responsible for the partition of India. These Hindu organizations saw Gandhiji as a villain and were angry with him. In the thirties and forties, Gandhiji met Jinnah several times, but again and again he was disappointed. Gandhi was not even a member of the Congress at that time. Gandhi and his supporters were anti-nationals in the eyes of fundamentalist Hindus. From 1945 to 1947, Gandhiji said that ‘India will be divided from the top of my dead body’. But now Gandhi ji had given consent for partition.
Gandhiji was camping in Delhi to protect the Muslims. In order to get the cash balance to Pakistan, Gandhiji had fasted till death and got money to Pakistan. Gandhiji used to read verses of the Quran in his prayer meetings. Ishwar used to sing a song named Allah Tero but the Muslims were not ready to sing this song. Thus there were many such acts of Gandhiji which were not liked by the fundamentalist Hindus. Nathu Ram Godse, a Marathi person displeased with these policies of Gandhiji, On 30 January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead with a pistol.
Millions of people all over India including Delhi were saddened by Gandhiji’s assassination and India was plunged into mourning. Lakhs of people came from every corner of the country to attend the funeral procession of Gandhiji. The cremation was done on the bank of Yamuna.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, while addressing the whole of India from the Delhi center of All India Radio, said, ‘The light has been extinguished from our lives and now there is darkness everywhere. What we can do for him or in his memory is to surrender ourselves to the truth and the ideals for which he lived and died.
We cannot justify killing in any way. There may be ideological differences but this does not mean that Gandhiji’s aim was to harm India. Gandhiji believed in the truth of Islam and the peace loving policy of Hindus. But he had forgotten that Muslims were now fanatics and Hindus have also adopted non-violence peacefully. Gandhiji had unknowingly become an enemy of India by helping Pakistan. Because Pakistan had avenged the financial help given by India by attacking India. Although Gandhiji’s thoughts were pure. The priest of non-violence, who read the lesson of simple life non-violence, ended with violence.