Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Men Who Killed Gandhi by Manohar Malgonkar

Image result for the men who killed gandhiIn recent months the national discourse has been about Nathuram Godse, the man who shot the Mahatma. I, like most Indians have little idea about this man, except that the Hindu extreme right consider him as a savior and the left and centrists think of him as evil personified who was egged on by the Hindu right to plan and then the execute the assassination of MK Gandhi. The truth as in most cases was completely different.

1947, the year of liberation, what should have been a time of celebration and joy had turned into grief, desperation and for people in Punjab and Bengal, sheer horror! Jinnah, had called for Hindus and Sikhs to be driven out of their homes from East and West Pakistan to make partition a success and ensure a homeland for Muslims. Tens of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs were murdered, women raped and paraded naked. Millions more were displaced from their homes. Hindus and Sikhs responded by culling hundreds of Muslims in Hindu dominated areas in Punjab.

During this time of upheaval and chaos, Pakistan sent its troops disguised as tribal into Kashmir to annex it,  the Hindu king of Kashmir called on Patel and Nehru for help, India flew its troops to Kashmir to stop the massacre. This meant India and Pakistan were now officially at war.

During these times of cacophony, their was the Mahatma, the harbinger of peace. Gandhi, now touching 80, wanted Hindus and Sikhs to stop the violence and even implored them to go back to their homes in Pakistan. The refugees were dumbstruck they could not believe their ears, they came to Delhi for support and refuge instead Gandhi wanted them to go back, to what? slaughter? more rape? To compound their troubles, Gandhi went on a fast to death urging the newly formed Congress government to release 100 crore to Pakistan, this during the time of war with Pakistan.

At the other end was Godse and his partner Narayan Apte, In Pune, they both ran a nationalist news paper. They were appalled by what Gandhi was doing, as per them he was holding the nation to ransom and was anti Hindu. they also blamed him and the leadership of Congress for the split of Mother India. It was then that they deiced to kill Gandhi. They did not know how, when and where but in their head if India had to live then Gandhi had to die.