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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.
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.
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.
Festivals play a significant role in our day to day lives. We worship different Gods and accordingly there are different festivals that we celebrate to mark the occasion. Festivals provide us with an opportunity to spend quality time with our family, friends and relatives. There are so many rituals attached to the festivals and this makes the entire concept of celebration of festivals even more colorful & exciting.
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