Friday, January 23, 2015

Godse, God and a little history


Indian history is poised to take some interesting diversions.  One of the many rewritings will be the deification of Nathuram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi.  The Hindu Mahasabha has been threatening (or promising, depending on which side you are) to construct a temple with Godse as the deity.   As India is going to celebrate the 65th anniversary of its secular Constitution in a function solemnised by none other than the President of a country which exported secularism whenever it found it opportunistic to do so, it may be worthwhile to take a look at the contribution of the new god being added to the country's overcrowded pantheon. 

Poona, 15 August 1947 – a flashback adapted from Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre

Independence from British rule is being celebrated.  The flag slowly moving up the staff in the centre of the 500 men assembled is not the flag of the independent India.  It is a saffron triangle with the swastika emblazoned on it.

The swastika was on the saffron flag for the same reason as it had been on the banners of Hitler’s Third Reich.  The men gathered about it in Poona were all members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS].  Though India had extricated itself from a protracted alien rule, the men around the fascist flag in Poona cherished another historic dream, to reconstitute a Hindu Empire that stretched from the Indus River to Burma (Myanmar), from Tibet to Kanyakumari.  They despised Gandhi and his vision founded on religious tolerance, love of truth and nonviolence.  They held that the Hindus were the descendants of the Aryans, the people for whom Hitler committed unforgettable and unforgivable atrocities.  The Hindu Empire should only have those Aryans and not the descendants of the Mughals or the British colonisers.

The man standing in front of the gathering in Poona was Nathuram Godse, a man who would soon commit national parricide and then wait for over six decades in the tomb of history to be resurrected as nothing less than a god.  He was then just 37 years old.  With pads of baby fat still clinging to his cheeks, he looked innocent if not divine.  He delivered a moving rhetoric to the 500 listeners.  He told them that India was not yet free.  It contained people who were still alien.  All because of that man called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. 

The RSS had made no significant contribution to the freedom struggle.  In fact, at times it colluded with the British government.  Now when the British had left, Godse felt like a great leader. 

“All his life, from his school examinations through half a dozen trades, Nathuram Godse had been a failure at everything he’d undertaken.”  [Quoted verbatim from Freedom at Midnight]  Religion, particularly religious extremism, is a handy tool for such people.  Godse plunged into his religion, delved deep, swam in it and emerged as a polemicist.  Now he saw for himself a new role which he would carry out with vengefulness.  Not only that, he would also make sure that his soul would transmigrate into the very air of India and remain there for six and a half decades... and then transmute into a god, yet another god in the country of infinite gods.


16 comments:

  1. Hello beautiful people and awesome writers, they say we write to inspire others and for sure you have inspired and motivated me to write some more. Hence, I nominate you for "Very Inspiring Blogger Award" and for more details check this link http://myviewsinmywords.blogspot.com/2015/01/very-inspiring-blogger-award.html.
    Congratulations :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm obliged, Shruthi. But I'm already through with this. Please follow the link:
      http://matheikal.blogspot.in/2015/01/thanks-rekha.html

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. History contains much more information, friend.

      Delete
  3. History is nothing but complex, complicated and corrupted web.. I wonder why this fascination of humans with history and histrionics.. It gives nothing but only controversies.. Wish everybody could live in present and love each other.. To deify or mortify someone is different sides of same coin.. But that's the world and its illusions..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We should live in the present but also know our past. Ignorance invites exploitation as is happening now. Ironically we now live in an information technology-driven society but are more ignorant than our previous generation.

      Delete
  4. Hitler did not last beyond the second world war.It took Germany a 40 year's exodus to get their promised land of democracy in the late 80's.. What is not good for the society and human being will not last long. What is good and beneficial will endure through centuries and good civilizations evolve..Let us have faith in our Indian civilization and its resilience. It had over the centuries..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. But there will be some interim damage which can be avoide .

      Delete
    2. Thats why proabaly we -you and I and the like are the exodus people - for the transition period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????? Are we seeing a Modern Moses in the making?????????

      Delete
  5. Good article. Congrats.

    Are you a Science teacher or History teacher? or both?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An English teacher who takes interest in almost everything.

      Delete
  6. Really, he is considered God? No wonder, God is such a over used word in our country. And I really want to know RSS, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal contributions to this great nation (if any).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice Post !
    Happy Weekend :)

    www.ananyatales.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your posts are important to keep the balance and have the other point of view...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that, Rajeev. Frankly, my endeavour is to do precisely that: to raise the "other" voice amid the rising absurd cacophany.

      Delete

The group is always right

While having a frugal breakfast of dosa with chutney, I watched my wife’s face.   Pain was writ large on it.   Two days of struggle ...