Into The Mind Of Gandhi’s Killer: Understanding The Warped Mindset

A peek into the mind of Nathuram Godse.

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The Quint is publishing these excerpts from the recorded testimony of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse simply because today's generation must be made aware of the criminal thinking and warped mindset that led to the most tragic assassination of independent India.

We unequivocally condemn the hate ideology that led to this unforgivable crime.

On 8 November 1948 as the trial was concluding, Nathuram Godse read from a typed manuscript, seeking to explain why he had killed Gandhi. His thesis covered ninety-pages, and he stood reading for five hours. Here are excerpts from what he read out.

‘To safeguard the interests of thirty crores Hindus’

“To secure the freedom and to safeguard the just interests of some thirty crores (three hundred million) of Hindus would automatically constitute the freedom and well-being of all India, one fifth of the human race.”

The accused. (Photo Courtesy:<a href="http://whokilledgandhi.com/galleries/photos/"> WhoKilledGandhi)</a>
The accused. (Photo Courtesy: WhoKilledGandhi)

‘Violence Justified When Used For Nationalism’

“...honour, duty and love of one's own kith and kin and country might often compel us to disregard non-violence and to use force. I could never conceive that an armed resistance to an aggression is unjust.”

The death that shocked the world. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a0/b2/a0/a0b2a023ed603219822ada05e928d698.jpg">Pinterest</a>)
The death that shocked the world. (Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

‘Gandhi Belittled My Gods’

“It is my firm belief that in dubbing Rama, Krishna and Arjuna as guilty of violence, the Mahatma betrayed the total ignorance of the springs of human action.”

Gandhiji at a prayer meet. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gandhi_prayer_meeting_1946.jpg">Wikimedia</a>)
Gandhiji at a prayer meet. (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia)

‘Gandhi belittled great warriors in history’

“In condemning history's towering warriors like Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Govind Singh as misguided patriots, Gandhi has merely exposed his self-conceit.”

Narayan Apte, who was also hanged along with Godse. (Photo Courtesy:<a href="http://whokilledgandhi.com/galleries/photos/"> WhoKilledGandhi)</a>
Narayan Apte, who was also hanged along with Godse. (Photo Courtesy: WhoKilledGandhi)

‘Gandhi alone decided what’s right or wrong’

“After returning from South Africa, Gandhiji developed a subjective mentality under which he alone was to be the final judge of what was right or 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.”

Godse blamed Nehru for blindly following Gandhi. (Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/KanchanGupta/status/822202378422095873">Twitter</a>)
Godse blamed Nehru for blindly following Gandhi. (Photo: Twitter)

‘Congress followed Gandhi’s primitive vision’

"...Against such an attitude there can be no halfway house. Either Congress had to surrender its will to his and had to be content with playing second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality, metaphysics and primitive vision, or it had to carry on without him.“

Mountbatten, Nehru and Jinnah in a meeting that decided the fate of the Indian subcontinent. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="http://www.foxhedgehog.com/2015/10/the-enduring-imprint-of-personality-politics/">AP/FoxHedgeHog</a>)
Mountbatten, Nehru and Jinnah in a meeting that decided the fate of the Indian subcontinent. (Photo Courtesy: AP/FoxHedgeHog)

‘Gandhi silent when Hindus massacred since Aug 1946’

“One of the conditions imposed by Gandhi for his breaking of the fast related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by the Hindu refugees. But when Hindus in Pakistan were subjected to violent attacks he did not so much as utter a single word to protest and censure the Pakistan Government or the Muslims concerned. Gandhi was shrewd enough to know that while undertaking a fast unto death, had he imposed some conditions on the Muslims in Pakistan, here would have been found hardly any Muslims who could have shown some grief if the fast had ended in his death. It was for this reason that he purposely avoided imposing any conditions on the Muslims.”

With the partition of the country, Hindus from Pakistan and Muslims from India felt stranded in oppressive territory. Pakistan was a theocratic Islamic state but India had declared it would stay secular. (Photo Courtesy:<a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/13/4c/ed/134cedbc2ed2c7c722b8c493b4716a78.jpg"> Pinterest</a>)
With the partition of the country, Hindus from Pakistan and Muslims from India felt stranded in oppressive territory. Pakistan was a theocratic Islamic state but India had declared it would stay secular. (Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

'Congress accepted Pakistan, gave in to Jinnah’

“The Congress, which had boasted of its nationalism and secularism, secretly accepted Pakistan literally at the point of the bayonet and abjectly surrendered to Jinnah.”

Jinnah, whose vision helped carve out Pakistan out of India. (Photo: <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/bc/fa/99/bcfa994da1de4499a9761307ed773b64.jpg">Pinterest</a>)
Jinnah, whose vision helped carve out Pakistan out of India. (Photo: Pinterest)

‘India partitioned, 1/3 of it became foreign land to us’

“India was vivisected and one-third of the Indian Territory became foreign land to us from 15 August 1947. Lord Mountbatten came to be described in the Congress circles as the greatest Viceroy and Governor-General this country ever had.

The official date for the handing over of power was fixed for June 30, 1948, but Mountbatten with his ruthless surgery gave us a gift of vivisected India ten months in advance. This is what Gandhi had achieved after thirty years of undisputed dictatorship and this is what the Congress party calls 'freedom' and 'peaceful transfer of power'.”

Map of undivided India before 1947. (Photo: <a href="https://in.pinterest.com/pin/61080138666194157/">Pinterest)</a>
Map of undivided India before 1947. (Photo: Pinterest)

‘I die stripped of my honour, but I saved the nation’

“I now stand before the court to accept the full share of my responsibility for what I have done and the judge would, of course, pass against me such orders of sentence as may be considered proper. But I would like to add that I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me, nor do I wish that anyone should beg for mercy on my behalf.”

A sea of humanity mourns the Mahatma’s death. (Photo: <a href="https://in.pinterest.com/pin/72690981458421299/">Pinterest</a>)
A sea of humanity mourns the Mahatma’s death. (Photo: Pinterest)

Nathuram Godse was hanged a year later, on 15 November 1949. Shockingly, as per his last wishes, his family and followers have preserved his ashes for immersion in the Indus River of a re-united India.

(This story was first published on 30 January 2017 and has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark Nathuram Godse’s birth anniversary)

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