Gandhi, Godse and Pragya Thakur
In Indian history, two Hinduu leaders had changed the course of Hindu destiny for the worst. One was Raja Jaichand of Kannauj, whose treachery led to the establishment of Muslim rule in India. The other was Mahatma Gandhi, who treated Bhaarat as his personal fiefdom and Hinduus as his slaves. Gandhi lived and died for Muslims.
He commenced his political career in Bhaarat by heading the Khilafat movement which was patently an anti-national and anti-Hindu act. Before his death, he went on a fast to pressurise the Government to release Rs 55 crore to Pakistan. The Government had withheld the amount because Pakistan had invaded Kashmir. This was one of the points made by Nathuram Godse in his deposition before the court as to why he had killed the Gandhi.
About 70 years ago, Karam Chand Gandhi was killed by Godse, a Brahmin from Pune. Eight persons including Vinayak Savarkar, Bar-at-Law from Bombay, were charged with murder. The trial commenced in Red Fort on June 22, 1948 before Atma Charan, a senior member of the ICS. Of the eight persons charged, Savarkar was acquitted; five were awarded life sentence, and Godse and Apte were sentenced to death.
Appeals against these sentences were filed before a bench comprising Justice Bhandari, Justice Achhruram and Justice GD Khosla. Justice Khosla records that normally a bench comprising of two judges is constituted to hear such appeals but considering that a leader of the stature of Gandhi had been killed, a three-judge bench was constituted. All the accused were represented by their lawyers except Godse who was permitted to argue his appeal himself.
The highlight of the appeal was the discourse delivered by Godse and reproduced by Justice Khosla in his book, The Murder of the Mahatma. This was, in fact, a part of the written statement made by Godse and reads: "In 1946 or thereabouts the Muslim atrocities perpetrated on Hindus under the Government patronage of Suhrawardy in Noakhali made our blood boil. Our shame and indignation knew no bounds, when we saw that Gandhiji had come forward to shield that very Suhrawardy and began to style him as Shaheed Saheb. Gandhiji persisted in reading passages from the Quran as a part of the prayer in that temple in spite of the protests of the Hindu worshippers. Of course, he dared not read Gita in the mosque in the teeth of Muslim opposition. But he could safely trample upon the feelings of the tolerant Hindu. To belie this belief, I determined to prove to Gandhiji that the Hindu too could be intolerant when his honour was insulted."
It further reads: "Gandhiji's inner voice, his spiritual power and his doctrine of non-violence, of which so much is made of, all crumbled before Jinnah's iron will and proved to be powerless." As to the impact of Godse's defence on the audience, Mr Justice Khosla records: "The audience was visibly and audibly moved. There was a deep silence when he ceased speaking. Many women were in tears and men were coughing and searching for their handkerchiefs... I have, however, no doubt that had the audience of the day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse's appeal, they would have brought in a verdict of not guilty by an overwhelming majority".
Both Godse and Apte were executed and cremated on November 15, 1949, in a jail at Ambala. The cremation ground was ploughed up and the ashes were secretly submerged at a secluded spot in river Ghaggar, Madhya Pradesh.