POLITICS

No Mention Of Nathuram Godse In India's Largest Gandhi Museum Based In Gujarat

"...a person stepped out from the crowd to touch his feet."

29/06/2017 4:18 PM IST | Updated 29/06/2017 4:44 PM IST
Mondadori via Getty Images
Mug shot of the Indian political activist Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the killer of Gandhi sentenced to hanging. India, 12th May 1948 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

There is no mention of Nathuram Godse at Dandi Kutir, India's largest museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, based in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Godse, a Hindu extemist, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on 30 January 1948 in Delhi. Last year, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha unveiled a bust in memory of its former member on 2 October, Gandhi's birth anniversary.

The Hindustan Times reported today on how the Gandhi's assassination is narrated at the museum: "Vallabhbhai (Patel) had come to meet Gandhiji. Abha told him (Gandhi) he was late and 500 people were waiting outside. As the Mahatma went out, a person stepped out from the crowd to touch his feet. Manu tried to stop him but he pushed her and took out a pistol and... (sound of three gunshots are played)."

M.H Bagda, director of Museum and Archeology, told HT, "It (Gandhi's assassination) is a matter of research... Dandi Kutir does not mention Godse."

The conception and construction of the state-of-the-art museum, shaped like a salt mound, came about when Narendra Modi was chief minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state. Modi was prime minister when he inaugurated the building in January, 2015.

Godse, who was tried for Gandhi's assassination by a special court, was found guilty and sentenced to death under the Indian Penal Code's Section 302. The Punjab High Court upheld the verdict in the summer of 1949. He was hanged in Ambala jail on 15 November, 1949.

Godse explained his actions in a statement that was banned by the court. An excerpt published in Scroll reads, "The accumulating provocation of thirty-two years, culminating in his last pro-Muslim fast, at last goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhi should be brought to an end immediately...."

"Gandhi had done very well in South Africa to uphold the rights and well-being of the Indian community there. But when he finally returned to India, he developed a subjective mentality under which he alone was to be the final judge of what was right or wrong. If the country wanted his leadership, it had to accept his infallibility; if it did not, he would stand aloof from the Congress and carry on his own way," he said.

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