Nathuram Vinayak Godse was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. He was a Hindu nationalist from Maharashtra who shot Gandhi in the chest three times at point-blank range at a multi-faith prayer meeting in Birla House in New Delhi on 30 January 1948. What can be used to define Nathuram Godse’s actions – nationalism or terrorism? Gandihiji’s youngest son, Devdas Gandhi, came to see him there. Devdas expected to find a blood-thirsty monster inside the prison cell. But he was surprised at how Godse behaved.
Godse introduced himself and told Devdas that he was sorry for killing Gandhiji. He said that his action wasn’t driven by any personal agenda. He killed Gandhiji purely for political reasons. the national secretary of Hindu Mahasabha said, “Godse did the right thing by killing Gandhi”. Gandhiji was assassinated around 75 years ago. Budget 2023 AnalysisBut the incident had a momentous impact on Indian politics. The first reason was alleged Muslim appeasement. Godse believed that Gandhiji had been ignoring the demands of the Hindus.
Godse was a member of the political party, the Hindu Mahasabha; and a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu paramilitary volunteer organization; and a popularizer of the work of his mentor Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who had created the ideology of Hindutva. Godse had failed in two unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi in 1944 before he succeeded the third time. After the 1948 assassination, Godse claimed Gandhi favored the political demands of British India‘s Muslims during the partition of India in 1947. Soon after Mahatma Gandhi had fallen from the fatal shots at the prayer meeting, and while the attendant crowd was in shock, Godse was grasped and restrained by Herbert Reiner Jr., a vice-consul at the new American embassy in Delhi who was also attending; eventually, Godse was taken away by the police. Godse had plotted the assassination with Narayan Apte and six others.
After a trial that lasted over a year, Godse was sentenced to death on 8 November 1949. Although pleas for clemency were made by Gandhi’s two sons, Manilal Gandhi, and Ramdas Gandhi, they were turned down by India’s prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel, and Governor-General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, and Godse was executed at the Ambala Central Jail on 15 November 1949.