There are some things you learn in your young age which you remember throughout life. I distinctly remember this line from my Class-2 History book: “Mahatma Gandhi was tragically shot by a madman Nathuram Godse.”
I was rudely shocked when I recently came across Godse’s quote in which he declared that he had killed Gandhi and surrendered to the police to prove that he was NOT a madman.
After Godse shot him, instead of running away, he shouted, “Police!”, stood his ground and surrounded.
Nathuram said, “No one should think that Gandhi was killed by a madman.”
It is common knowledge: History is written by the victors. They naturally exaggerate. But reversing the complete nature of a person?
I decided to investigate.
I went through the entire speech made my Nathuram Godse in his defense. Having heard his speech, a judge (GD Khosla) even remarked that had there been a jury, “they would have brought a verdict of ‘not Guilty’ by an overwhelming majority.”
You can find the transcript of the speech here: Nathuram Godse’s Moving Speech at Trial
This article is not written to debate about the murder of Gandhi. Opinions about such issues vary.
This article mainly raises the highly pertinent question: Why is the history we study in textbooks so unabashedly false?
- Evidences suggest Godse knew what he was doing and was thoroughly convinced of the purpose behind his action. How can textbooks call him a madman?
- Controversies rage about the smallest of issues. Gandhi’s secretary said that after being shot, his last words were “Hey Raam”, his former PA said that they were “Oh God” and Nathuram said quite frankly that he just said “Uhhh!” Why then in textbooks do we read just the sanctified version? Are they history textbooks or fairytales?
- Why are there entire chapters dedicated to Gandhi while almost no mention is made of other heroes like Syama Prasad Mookerjee who had to be poisoned to curb their popularity? Not to mention Nehru’s letter to Attlee where he blatantly betrayed Netaji.