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BJP RETURNED T0 POWER: GANDHI’S KILLERS BELIEVE THEIR STAND VINDICATED

BJP RETURNED T0 POWER: GANDHI’S  KILLERS BELIEVE THEIR STAND VINDICATED


RSS or the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sang believes that lndia was,  glorious nation before its occupation by the foreigners and all inhabitants of the Subcontinents are all Hindus. If they are not they will have to adopt the lndian way of life. The RSS ideology is anti Muslim and Christian , while they treat Sikhs as merely the kesdhari (hirsute) Hindus. They hold Mahatma Gandhi responsible for the division of Hindustan in 1947 and murdered him for his ‘pro-Pakistan' approach. We reproduce here an interview of Gopal Godsey by John F. Burns of New York Times . (This  was written on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections results in March 1998. Gopal died on November 26, 2005)

lf lndia's general election brings a Hindu nationalist government to power, the event will have a special resonance for a courteous but hard eyed old man who has made his two- room walk-up apartment in this old garrison city Pune, a shrine to Hindu nationalism and to its role in one of history's most notorious assassinations .On Jan.30, 1948, Gopal Godse was a 28-years-old storekeeper at an lndian Army barracks in Pune. At 6 P.M All lndia Radio announced that a lone gunman in New Delhi had shot and killed Mohandas K.Gandhi, the 79-years-old , apostle of non violence who led lndia to independence .
The assassination stunned lndia . but came as no surprise to Mr. Godse The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was his elder brother. The two men had been active in the Hindu nationalist movement since the 1930's and planned the assassination along with several others.
Their purpose was to punish Gandhi, a Hindu, for his evenhanded attitude toward Muslims-in particular for acquiescing in Britain's partition of lndia and Pakistan.
Gandhi was killed with pistol shots to the chest as he walked to an 'evening prayer meeting at Industrialist Birlas house where he stayed during his €sojourns in New Delhi.
Nathuram Godse was sentenced to death for the killing and hanged on Nov.15, 1949. Another conspirator, Narayan Apte , found by the court to have been the mastermind of the plot , was hanged besides him. Four men including Gopal Godse were sentenced to life in prison. He was released on parole after 18 years  in 1967 . Now, Mr. Godse after the election results,  is quietly triumphant.
For more than a decade after Gandhi's assassination RSS and Hindu Mahasabha the Hindu nationalist organizations were banned, and for at least 20 years after that the creed remained so tainted that Hindu nationalist parties were virtual pariahs. As late as 1989 the group that jis the main Hindu nationatist standard- bearer now, the Bharatiya  Janta Party, won only 89 of 543 seats in Parliament. But every major opinion poll in the current election had pointed to the party's best showing ever--one that could finally bring them to powei"in New Delhi and assuage the bitterness tha men like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Prime Minister, feel over their years in the political wilderness.
Mr. Vajpayee has repeatedly condemned the Gandhi Killing, but other, more hard-line party leaders have been more equivocal.
" The B.J.P. will get maximum number of seats, you will see,’  Mr. Godse said during a discussion in his apartment before the results were out that was punctuated by the rhythmic chanting of his wife, Sindhu, 76 as she performed her morning puja, " This will be a vindication for my brother and for myself, of course, but it will be much more than that. lt with be a vindication for all Hindus."
Mr. Godse, the last surviving member of the group that plotted the Gandhi Killing, described the ascent of the Hindu Rashtra," or Hindu nation  a nationalist concept that hearkens back to ancient Hindu Kingdoms that ruled before the first Muslim invaders arrived. "lt's been 1,400 years, but we've kept the faith, and now it is going to happen," he said. "Finally, we will have our Hindu Rashtra."
The decor of Mr. Godse's apartment speaks for his unrepentant attitude toward the Gandhi assassination. A glass-fronted cabinet serves as a shrine, with photographs of Nathuram Godse, Mr. Apte and Vishnu Karkare, another conspirator, arranged around the pewter urn used for Nathuram Godse's ashes. The arrangement is completed by a flower that is replaced each day by Mr. Godse and by the swastika symbol that has served as a talisman since ancient times.
Gandhi is no more
 Another case contains a library of books and pamphlets justifying the Gandhi killing, many written by Mr Godse after his release. Mr. Godse is particularly proud of one book available to visitors for 40 rupees, a hagiographic account of the assassination and  the  aftermath.
The book describes Nathuran Godse walking to the gallows alongside Mr. Apte, with the two exulting about the 'clear winter light filtering into the Punjab prison yard -- "bestowed on us by our Motherland at this heavenly juncture, according to the words the younger Mr Godse attributes to his condemned brother.
Gopal Godse offered a razor sharp recollection of his own role in the 'killing, from the moment when Nathuram Godse asked him if he would take part - "l gave my consent immediately'  to a first, botched attempt on Jan.20, 1948, 10 days before the assassination. The conspirators detonated explosives in a wall at the New Delhi house with a view to drawing people away from Gandhi but  stopped short of tossing a grenade on their intended victim for fear of killing bi standers.
Mr. Godse said he fled and returned by train to Pune, meeting up again in Bombay a few days later with his brother, who told 'him that he was returning to New Delhi to carry out the assassination alone. Gopal Godse went back to his duties as an army storekeeper and said he had heard nothing more until the radio announcement of the assassination.
"You know, I had mixed feelings," he said. " I knew I was going to lose a brother, and I had no doubt that I was going to be arrested and share his fate. On the other hand, our target had been fulfilled. We had done away with somebody who was not only satisfied with the creation of Pakistan, he wanted to see Pakistan progress. He was in fact the father of Pakistan.
" So if you ask me, did I feel any repentance, my reply is no, not in the least. We had taken the decision fully knowing what we were doing. We knew if we allowed this person to live any longer  he would do more and more harm to Hindus, and that we Could not allow it."
Pausing for a sip of sugary tea, Mr. Godse added : " So you see, it is not as if we had gone to New Delhi to steal Gandhi's watch. That would have been a sinful, dirty thing. But that was not the case. We killed with a motive to serve the highest interests of our people'. (Courtesy : New York Times lnternational)

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