Nathuram Godse was an Indian nationalist who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement, on 30 January 1948. Godse was a Hindu activist and a former member of the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha political party who held Gandhi responsible for the partition of India.
Godse was born on 19 May 1910 in the town of Baramati, in what is now the state of Maharashtra. He was the fourth son of Vithal Rao Godse and Laxmi, a devout Hindu couple. His father was a postal clerk and his mother was a religious and pious housewife. His family was known for its devotion to the Hindu god Vishnu.
Godse was educated in a Marathi-medium school and later attended a Gujarati-medium school in Pune. He was an average student, but he was a voracious reader and was particularly interested in Hindu religious texts. He was also an active participant in debates and other extracurricular activities.
At the age of 17, Godse joined the Hindu Mahasabha, a right-wing Hindu political party. He became a full-time worker for the party and was soon appointed as the editor of its newspaper, Hindu Rashtra. He was also an active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organisation.
Godse was an ardent follower of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a Hindu nationalist leader who espoused the idea of Hindutva, or Hindu nationalism. He was also a strong advocate of the two-nation theory, which held that India should be divided into two separate nations, one for Hindus and one for Muslims.
Godse had been a vocal critic of Gandhi and his policies, particularly his support for the partition of India. He was also critical of Gandhi’s pacifist approach to the Indian independence movement and his efforts to promote Hindu-Muslim unity. On 30 January 1948, Godse assassinated Gandhi in New Delhi.
Godse was arrested and charged with murder. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was hanged on 15 November 1949 in Ambala jail. His last words were, “I believe that I am going to the gallows in the service of my motherland.”
Nathuram Godse was a controversial figure in Indian history. While some view him as a patriot and a martyr, others view him as a murderer and a villain. Whatever one’s opinion of him, it is undeniable that he played a significant role in the history of India.
Categories: History, India, Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse