Mahatma Gandhi, a man who stood for “Ahimsa” and used non-violence to win India its Freedom, met a violent death on 30 January 1948. Nathuram Godse was responsible for the assassination of Gandhi. In today’s India, the Nathuram Godse is not just a name of an individual but also was the disciple of “Vinayak Damodar Savarkar” and was a representative of the ideology of “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh” (RSS). He is a symbol of the ideology that believes that India belongs to Hindus alone.
Godse and his choice to kill Gandhi are being celebrated more than ever before, it is the murder that is applauded and it’s no surprise that those praising Godse for killing Gandhi at “Dharam Sansads” are the same people calling for the killing of Indian Muslims and other religious minorities.
The Hindu religious extremists in these “Dharam Sansads” praise Gandhi’s assassin, they are of the view that the “Godse” is like a god to them and they worship him by declaring him the symbol of truth, justice, and courage. Gandhi’s vision of a secular India, where every Indian can live peacefully and can enjoy all rights as an equal citizen regardless of their caste, religion, and sect, has been completely demolished by the blind faith followers of Savarkar’s “Hindutva ideology.”
Recently, the ultra-nationalists and religious extremists moved from the periphery to the mainstream, acquiring more political and social power, thus adversely affecting states’ policies and religious Minorities. Because Gandhi’s diverse, tolerant and non-violent India is not their idea of India. Today, their voices are louder and more mainstream. While a couple of them, such as “Yati Narsinganan” and “Kalicharan” are in police custody, for now, many are free and their viral hate videos against Gandhi and his vision of India gather thousands of views daily.
While India’s top leaders are silent on those c, celebrating Gandhi’s murder. Every 30th January in recent years, we see hashtags like “#Nathuram_Godse Zindabad” (long live Nathuram Godse) trending on Twitter, These are not driven by artificial robots, but the real “Godse” fans, some of them are the members of “Hindu Mahasabha.”
Meanwhile, in the different cities statues of Godse are worshipped every year on 15th November, the day when he was hanged. They even built a Godse temple in Gwalior. And it’s no surprise that hating Muslims and Christens is their other pastime. Their
Vice president “Sadhvi Deva Thakur” said Muslims and Christians must undergo forced sterilization to control their populations. Meanwhile, one of their state secretaries “Munnaa Kumar” claimed that it is legal to attack a church and it’s a misconception that Godse’s fans are limited to the tiny Hindu Mahasabha.
In 2014, BJP MP “Sakshi Maharaj” called Godse a “Patriot”, he withdrew his remarks but still got the election ticket in 2019. And in the year 2019 BJP’s parliament member “Pragya Thakur” called Gandhi’s assassin a “Desh bhakti”. Since then, the list of tributes to BJP leaders has only grown. Madhya Pradesh cabinet minister “ Usha Thakur”, BJP’s MP “Anant Kumar” and “Nalin Kumar Kateel including other cabinet members like “Ramesh Naidu”, have all hailed “Godse”, but the BJP leadership has not taken any action against them.
On Gandhi Jayanti, in 2019, the Indian Prime Minister “Narendra Modi” wrote an op-ed for the “New York Times” with the title of “why India and the world need Gandhi.” He has praised Gandhi repeatedly even in his speeches, but when the religious leaders like “kali charan” in a public speech in “Raipur” abused Mahatma Gandhi and thanked “Nathuram Godse” for killing him, there was silence by the ruling party. No action was taken against such hate speech against the man, who fought a non-violent war with the colonizers and won freedom for India.
The image of Gandhi is being used by the Indian Prime Minister to just harvest the soft power of Gandhi’s global stature; the op-ed in New York Times by Narendra Modi was an example of it. In today’s India, Godse is no longer the hero of just a few because there are many more takers for his hate and violence. While Mahatma Gandhi and his “Ahimsa” are being questioned and abused this is an alarming circumstance for India and its citizens