Who Killed Gandhi? 1947 CID Report Reveals RSS Made Open Threats

Reports of the Delhi Police’s CID suggest that RSS chief Golwalkar had threatened Gandhi prior to his death.

Updated
India
4 min read
Mahatma Gandhi (L), and RSS volunteers marching. (Photo altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

At a recent election rally, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said, without mincing his words, that the RSS had a role to play in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. He said:

RSS people killed Gandhiji and today their people (BJP) talk of him … They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji.

The remark has sparked a controversy and a criminal defamation case has been filed against him. While the Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred the case’s hearing to 23 August, a set of confidential reports of the Delhi Police’s Crime Investigation Department seem to suggest Gandhiji had in fact been threatened by the RSS, reported Catch News.

The reports are from the months preceding Gandhi’s assassination.

Gandhi’s body being led out for the final rites. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=images&amp;vertical=news&amp;q=Mahatma%20Gandhi&amp;src=typd">Famous Photographs</a>)
Gandhi’s body being led out for the final rites. (Photo: Twitter/Famous Photographs)

The CID’s source is identified as “Sewak”.

A report dated 8 December 1947 described an RSS rally in Rohtak, where the party’s chief MS Golwalkar addressed the volunteers.

Golwalkar had reportedly said:

The Sangh will not rest content until it had finished Pakistan. If anyone stood in our way we will have to finish him too, whether it was the Nehru Government or any other Government. [sic]

Speaking about Gandhi’s policy of “appeasing Muslims,” he had reportedly said:

Mahatma Gandhi wanted to keep the Muslims in India so that the Congress may profit by their votes at the time of election. But, by that time, not a single Muslim will be left in India. We have the means whereby such men can be immediately silenced, but it is our tradition not to be inimical to Hindus. If we are compelled, we will have to resort to that course also.

GB Wiggins, the Superintendent of Police, CID, Special Branch, Lucknow had alerted his Delhi counterpart of the 8 December meeting, of which he received information from Mathura.

What had Wiggins worried about the 8 December meeting was Mathura’s warning that one of the agendas of the meeting would be to plot the assassination of “leading persons of the Congress in order to terrorise the public and to get their (RSS’) hold over them”

Did the RSS Have Weapons?

The CID reports indicate that the RSS had been making attempts to procure weapons, according to Catch News.

A report dated 13 November 1947 and categorised as “Strictly Secret” described attempts by party workers to bribe policeman at Mori Gate and at several other locations around Delhi, in relation to a proposed attack on local Muslims.

They reportedly told the police they had “arms of all kinds” and that, in the event of a riot, the police should not open fire on them, as they were Hindus.



Volunteers of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)(Photo: Reuters)
Volunteers of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)(Photo: Reuters)

The report also notes that the workers involved had decided to wear white handkerchiefs on their wrists so they could be easily identified by the police if the riots broke out.

Another report by CID Inspector Kartar Singh of Special Branch noted that two members of RSS had arrived in Delhi from Sialkot on the pretext of organising the refugees from West Punjab, though Singh suspected they were in Delhi to procure arms; however, he couldn’t confirm that.

Another report dated 24 November 1947 noted that the party had purchased 150 guns from Alwar State, to train their volunteers in the use of firearms and to “prepare them for any emergency.”

Nehru’s Suspicions

In a letter to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel dated 28 February 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote of his suspicions about RSS’ involvement in the assassination.

More and more I have come to the conclusion that Bapu’s murder was not an isolated business but a part of a much wider campaign organised chiefly by the RSS.
Nehru’s letter to Patel

Patel however responded by saying that it has emerged that it was a “fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha directly under (Vinayak Damodar) Savarkar that (hatched) the conspiracy and saw it through.”

He however also conceded that it was difficult to keep track of the members of a secret organisation like RSS “which has no records of membership, no registers etc.”

Mahatma Gandhi. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=images&amp;vertical=news&amp;q=Mahatma%20Gandhi&amp;src=typd">Foody Bank</a>)
Mahatma Gandhi. (Photo: Twitter/Foody Bank)

Congress Says #RSSKilledGandhi

The Congress meanwhile has been using the rhetoric of RSS’ involvement in the assassination. Congress party members have been using #RSSKilledGandhi on Twitter.

If the CID reports are accurate, the RSS may have threatened Gandhi and may also have had the weapons to carry out not only his assassination, but also a mass killing of Muslims.

It however is not known if Nathuram Godse was part of RSS’ alleged arrangement or if he acted of his own accord.

(Source: Catch News)

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