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Gandhi Punyatithi - Why Nathuram Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi Punyatithi Held on 30th January of Every Year

The day on which Mahatma Gandhi died is also celebrated as the “Shaheed Diwas” or Martyrs’ Day. In India, there are total five days which are celebrated as Martyr’s Day. Their dates are January 30, March 23, October 21, November 17, and November 19. On each of this day, the death of some great leader was done in fighting for freedom of the country, India. Like the death of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru was done on 23rd March. Similarly, on 17th and 19th of November, the death of Lala Lajpat Rai and Rani Lakshmibai was happened in fighting against the British. October 21 is also celebrated as a Police Martyrs’ day.

Mahatma Gandhi was a great freedom fighter. He was born on October 2nd in the year 1869 and died in the year 1949 on January 30. The death of this great leader was a shock to the entire nation.

On this day of January 30, the father of the nation late Mahatma Gandhi was shot in the prayer hall by Nathuram Godse. Godse with his semi-electric pistol shot Mahatma Gandhi in the chest. And after firing three bullets in the chest Mahatma Gandhi fell down and died after some time. The last word that he said was ‘Hay Ram’. He was a great devotee of Lord Rama. Before shooting, Nathuram Godse bows down to Mahatma Gandhi and he had raised his hand towards him for a blessing. And then he took out his gun and shot him in the chest and stomach. That was a very heart touching moment. This all incident took place in place in the gardens of Birla House, New Delhi. After shooting him he tried to kill himself but failed to do so. The crowd got in anger and shouted: “Kill Him, Kill Him”. At that time police got in and he was arrested and sent to death for committing murder.

The Death of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was a great follower of non-violence. He was the great leader of that time and the history of how India got independence is incomplete without the mention of this great leader Mahatma Gandhi. He was also called the father of the nation. People called him “Bapu” which means father in Hindi. He was loved by many people and some people wants to kill him. The planning of his death was long established in the minds of some people. The first attempt to kill him was in the prayer hall at the time when he was giving a lecture on the day 20th of January 1948 but could not succeed in it. There was also some blast happened in the audience.    
According to sources when Mahatma Gandhi was giving a lecture in the audience that time the microphone was not working properly. So people could not able to hear him clearly. Sushila Nayeer was there who was saying loudly the word of Mahatma Gandhi so that the audience can listen. At that time the only heavy sound of the blast was heard.  When the blast had happened Mahatma Gandhi was unaffected by that heavy sound. His tone of voice was calm and he was still standing and watching what had happened? Beside him, Manu Gandhi was sitting there and she was quite afraid of what just happened. Looking at her he said in a cheerful voice “Why are you so afraid? Some security officers might be given the training to shoot. What will happened when someone really come in front of you to shoot you?” Later it was found that where Mahatma Gandhi was sitting at around 75 feet from there a special kind of explosive “gun kouton” was broken there which is a part of a great conspiracy.
In the year 1948 the partition of India had taken place and also the previous year India got independence. Many common people don’t know the difference between Partition and Independence. So in his speech on January 20, Bapu was discussing the difference between Partition and Independence and also the difference between Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In this meeting, Bapu said that “If you look carefully at Sardar Patel’s statement of Bombay, then you will know that there was no difference between Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel. They talk differently but their work is the same. ”
The explosion on 20th January was just to divert the attention of the people in the audience. Their main purpose was to enter in the servant room and to throw a ‘grenade’ from behind the place of Bapu’s seat. But due to some reason, they failed to do so. If this could not be done their plan was to throw a grenade at Bapu sitting on the stage. The person holding the grenade his name was Digambar Badge. He was so frighten by seeing all this that at the time of throwing bomb in the last minute, his courage was answered and he could not able to throw a grenade.
To kill Bapu there were around six people who were present there. Their names are Nathuram Godse, Vishnu Karkare, Gopal Godse, Narayan Apte, Shankar Kisteet, Digambar Badge, and Madanlal Pahwa. After throwing the grenade all five of them ran away in taxi except Madanlal Pahwa who was caught. This incident was not taken so seriously. And the same people tried to kill him again 10 days after that and got succeed in it. It the incident on 20th of January was taken seriously then Bapu probably did not leave us like this.

Who was Nathuram Godse?

Nathuram Vinayak Godse was born on 19th May 1910. He was born in Brahmin Family in Pune. His father was Vinayak Vamanrao Godse was a postal employee and his mother name was Lakshmi. His birth name was Ramachandra. The name Nathuram is given from the incident that has happened. His parents have one daughter and three sons. And all the three sons were dying in their childhood. People at that time believe too much in superstitions. There was a fear that a curse that targeted only the male children and because of this curse young Ramachandra was brought up as a girl for a few early years of his life. He also used to pierced his nose and also being made to wear nose-ring. A boy wearing a nose ring! It was from this incident that he got the name “Nathuram” which means “Ram with a nose-ring”.

Till the fifth standard, he attended the local school at Baramati. During his school days, he had great respect for Gandhiji. After finishing his fifth he was sent to Pune for study at an English Medium School. During the period of his high school, he dropped out to join an activist with Hindu nationalist organizations called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and also to join Hindu Mahasabha. In the name Agrani, he started Marathi language newspaper for Hindu Mahasabha. After few years it was named as Hindu Rashtra.

Godse likes to read books on religions, spirituality and many more. Nathram Godse had read the book on Swami Vivekananda and also Bhagwat Gita and many articles written by Mahatma Gandhi. Reading his article he was a great supporter of Mahatma Gandhi but after few years he began to realize that Mahatma Gandhi philosophy of sabotaging the interest of Hindus by using the “fasting unto death” tactic on many issues. He then started to hate Mahatma Gandhi. He rejected the Gandhi philosophy entirely. In his view, Mahatma Gandhi had taken many moves that will harm the rights and dignity of the Hindu people.

The hate for Mahatma Gandhi was so intense that Nathuram Godse decided to kill him. He had made a systematic plan to kill Gandhiji on January 20. But he was unsuccessful in it and on January 30, 1948, he appeared in front of Mahatma Gandhi from the crowd in Birla House, New Delhi during the evening prayer at 17:17.  Before shooting he bowed down to him and one of the girls flanking and supporting Gandhi, said to Godse, “Brother, Bapu is already late” and tried to put him off. He pushed her aside and shot Gandhi in the chest three times at point-blank range with his Beretta M 1934 semi-automatic pistol. After being shot 30 minutes later Mahatma Gandhi died in Birla House at the age of 78.

Nathuram Godse was put on trial at the Punjab High Court. As he was the member of Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was temporarily banned. The Hindu Mahasabha was disparaged and maligned. The investigators had not found any evidence that the RSS bureaucracy had supported him for this crime. In the year 1949, the ban on RSS was lifted. Nathuram Godse was sentenced to death. Both the sons’ of Gandhiji had forgiven Godse and requested that he should not be given severe punishment. But the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had rejected their request and Nathuram Godse was hanged on 8th November 1949. Twenty-one months after the death of Mahatma Gandhi. He was not guilty for what he had done. And he faced his death bravely having no regrets for what he had done. In fact he was happy for what he had done.

Why Nathuram Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi?

When the partition of India happened in the year 1947 there were millions of Hindus and Sikhs who were coming to India because of the treatment they receive in Pakistan. Muslims were killing Hindus and raping their mothers and sisters. But the Gandhi was quit. Godse saw everything how trains are packed with dead bodies of Hindus and Sikhs. And the father of nation Mahatma Gandhi does not do anything for these people. In fact to give Pakistan 55 crore rupees from the Indian Government Mahatma Gandhi had announced a hunger strike. Seeing this Nathuram Godse got too much angry with him. If he wishes he can change everything. Indian Government is under his thumb. But under the image of his non-violence so much murder and rape was done on the time of partition. Godse felt that it was Gandhi’s fast which had forced the cabinet to reverse its earlier recent decision of not to give the cash to cash to Pakistan on 13 January 1948.  The second installment for giving the cash to Pakistan was about to cancel in March 1948 as Pakistan invaded Kashmir with the support from the Pakistani army. But the decision of Gandhi and Nehru also caused the resignation to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and gave Pakistan second installment of money.

After sawing all this he decided to kill Gandhi and he told to his friends that “Bas aab Mahatma ko jana padenga”.During the trial, Godse’s own words were, “...it was not so much the Gandhian Ahimsa teachings that were opposed to by me and my group, but Gandhiji, while advocating his views, always showed or evinced a bias for Muslims, prejudicial and detrimental to the Hindu Community and its interests. I have fully described my Point of view hereafter in detail and have quoted numerous instances, which unmistakably establish how Gandhiji became responsible for a number of calamities which the Hindu Community had to suffer and undergo”. Before he killed Gandhi people used to respect him as a great patriot of India. He knows that when he will kill Gandhi the same people will hate him and tell him a terrorist. In his trial, Godse himself justified his deeds and how he saved India from Gandhi “I thought to myself and foresaw I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred ...if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time, I felt that the Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and would be powerful with armed forces.” Though his statements were not given much importance and were not published in many newspaper.

The death of Mahatma Gandhi was a surprised to entire nation. To remember him we celebrate his death day as Mahatma Gandhi Punyatithi and also Martyr’s day to pay our due respect to the father of the country.

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