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Nathuram Godse on Why he Killed Mahatma Gandhi ? Was his Act Justified ? Who was Nathuram Godse ? And Death Cause

Updated on February 23, 2015
Mahatma Gandhi with his Charkha
Mahatma Gandhi with his Charkha

Who was Gandhi ?

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi all over the world was born on October 2nd 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal city, now part of Gujarat.

Mahatma Gandhi was know for his preachings and staunch belief of Non-Violence and he magnetically spread it all over India under the British Rule. He had a strong inner belief that with non violence even the hardest of things can be achieved.

Mahatma Gandhi studied Law at London and became famous for his first civil rights fight for Muslims and Hindus in South Africa, using his famous technique of non violent civil disobedience.

Mahatma Gandhi then returned to India in 1915 and started organizing people to fight collectively towards taboos spread among them and also the unfriendly laws under the British Regime.

Soon he took over the Leadership of Indian National congress and had a huge mass of followers backing him up with his non violent actions and preachings.

Along with his followers Gandhi performed the famous Dandi March in 1930, walking 400 km (250 miles) to protest against the Salt tax implied by the British regime.

Then he conducted the famous Quit India movement in 1942 asking the British to end their rule and free India from the shackles of slavery.

Gandhi at last with his non violent techniques was able to convince the British government to end their rule in India and freed the country from the Shackles on 15th August 1947.

India obtained freedom as a secular nation for the first time and Gandhi was attributed as Father of the Nation.

Mahatma Gandhi was a vegetarian and lived a modest life. He even wore clothes that were woven by him using his famous Charkha.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse on 30 January 1948 as he believed that Gandhian principles on which the nation thrived were not good for the sake of the Hindu's.

30 January is now observed as Martyr's day in India and the birth of Gandhi, 2nd October is observed as Gandhi Jayanti in India, a holiday, observed as a day of non violence.

Mahatma Gandhi along with Jawaharlal Nehru
Mahatma Gandhi along with Jawaharlal Nehru
Nathuram Godse
Nathuram Godse

Who was Nathuram Godse ?

Nathuram vinayak Godse born on 19th May 1910 in Baramati, Pune was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.

Nathuram Godse shot Mahatma Gandhi using a Berreta M semi automatic pisto, three fire to the chest from point blank range.

Nathuram was convicted for this act and was hanged to death on 15th November 1949.

Nathuram was born in a Hindu Brahmin family and did schooling in Pune. During his school days he used to admire the writings of Lokmanya Tilak and Gandhi.

Soon Nathuram dropped from school to join Hindu activists group and worked effectively towards eradication of discrimination between different Hindu casts.

Nathuram regularly used to organize events for Hindus in which both low and high cast people used to eat together.

Nathuram Godse also published newspaper called Hindu rahstra and effectively worked towards spreading Hinduism.

He was attracted to Hindu philosophy and culture from his childhood and had a deep respect towards his fellow Hindu leaders.

Justifications as cited by Nathuram Godse before he was hanged

Nathuram was always a stauch Hindu follower and had great respect for Mahatma Gandhi in his childhood days.

But as Nathuram grew up his revere for Hindu history, religion and culture grew abundantly and he vouched to safeguard the interests of 300 million Hindus over the country with all means possible.

In 1920, after Lokmanya Tilak's death and exit from Congress, Nathuram soon discovered that Mahatma Gandhi was becoming a dictator of his own terms as a leader of Congress.

Nathuram's justification for Killing Gandhi listed below:

  • Nathuram felt that Gandhiji was the only Judge and person in control within Congress and he did what he thought was correct.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was the master of Civil disobedience movement and he knew when to start and when to withdraw it. Whether the movement succeeded or failed or brought a disaster, it never mattered to Gandhiji and his principles.
  • Nathuram started contradicting Gandhi's principle of non violence. He took a leaf from Hindu ancient history where Rama fought the evil Ravana as depicted in Ramayana, Pandava's killed Kauravas to conquer the truth, in Mahabharata and coming onto More recent times, Chatrapati Shivaji killed the Evil warrior Afzal Khan, for humanity to prevail. Guru Gobind Singh and Rana Pratap all lost their lives fighting against bad and evil people. Thus Nathuram saw Mahatma Gandhi's non violent principle as a act of insult to these great warriors who lost their life fighting for their Motherland and more of a incapability on Gandhi's part to revolt back.
  • Nathuram saw Gandhi as favoring Muslims at the expense of Hindus. Gandhi tried to popularise Hindustani, a mix of Hindi language and Urdu to please Muslims but at the cost of adulterating the pious language Hindi of Hindus. Nathuram felt that he went too far pleasing the Muslims and soon Hindustani went off the books as Hindi became popular among Indians and national Language for India.
  • There was a always a tussle between the Hindu league and Muslim league and in 1946, private armies of Muslim League slowly started slaughtering Hindus at will and soon there was Hindu blood all around from Bengal to Karachi, then also Mahatma Gandhi Kept quiet and asked his followers to restrain with Non Violence.
  • Gandhi was never able to push his will against the iron will of Muslim league leader Jinnah and soon with the Independence of India in 15th August 1947, Muslims dissected part of the Indian territory into Pakistan.
  • Gandhi again favored the minority Muslims when he decided and went on a fast to grant 55 crores of money to Pakistan. Naturam saw this as a unpleasant act against Hindus and felt that Gandhi was clever enough to know when and where to do a hunger fast to death. Gandhi knew that if he did fast against any Muslim act to be stopped, like the slaughter of Hindus, it would never capitalise and he would eventually die fasting. But on the other hand as Hindus looked him up as the Father of Nation he was able to emotionally make them do what he liked by using his Fast mechanisms.
  • After this act Nathuram at last decided to Kill Gandhi on 30th January 1948, as he thought that under Gandhi's leadership India will again be enslaved under Muslim or some other religion and Hindus would never be able to retaliate or defent theie honor.
  • On the evening of 30th January 1948, Nathuram fired three shots to the chest of Mahatma Gandhi from a point blank range and then surrendered himseld to the police.

Naturam Godse's last words before he was hanged to death "I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I would get back from the people would be nothing but hatred,if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time, I felt that Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and be powerful with armed forces. No doubt, my own future would be totally ruined, but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan.

I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus. There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book, and for this reason I fired those fatal shots.

I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me. I did fire shots at Gandhiji in open daylight. I did not make any attempt to run nor did I try to shoot myself. It was my ardent desire to give vent to my thoughts in an open Court. My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled of against it on all sides. I have no doubt, honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof some day in future."

Nathuram Godse Court room trial
Nathuram Godse Court room trial
Nathuram Godse Court room trial
Nathuram Godse Court room trial

Was Nathuram's Act Justified ?

Naturam Godse did bring in valid points justifying the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi but yet again we can't over shadow the selfless acts done by Mahtma Gandhi for the nation.

Gandhi in all forms was the greatest leader in the history of India and thought good for the country and it's fellowmen.

As every leader he did get into enjoying the essence of power and got carried away with his acts and started Judging everything from his own standpoint.

I see Nathuram's act though evenly Justified, just an act of uncontrollable anger which erupted in the form on Killing Gandhiji on the evening on 30th January 1948, leaving the whole country in a deep silence of mourning and sadness.

Full Length movie on Gandhi - Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi

© 2013 mr-veg


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    • profile image

      DHIVESH 2 years ago


    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

      Thanks Smith !!!

    • smithneo profile image

      Smith Roger 4 years ago from India

      Thanks for sharing such a nice post.I really enjoy this.

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Thanks Cat for honoring the hub with your comments :) yeah taking life is never justified.. Am happy that you liked the hub !!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York


      Wow, even over here in America, Gandhi is talked about, taught and admired. He's been in my History books since elementary school all the way through graduation. I think that his message was as important then as it is now and I think he and his message is inspiring and something we should all strive for. I admit, you did point out some valid reasons, at least to Godse, as to why he assassinated Gandhi, but wouldn't you agree that there are more productive ways than the taking of a life? As much as I thought I knew about Gandhi, I didn't even know his assassin's name and now, thanks to you and your wonderful written hub, I know a lot more behind the scenes of Ghandi's history. This was very well done and I'm happy I finally got over here to read it!

      Your fan,


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      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      @Rajan Glad that you liked the hub ! Thanks for stopping by..

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting and and I now know the reasons why Godse assassinated Gandhi.