The family of M.K. Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse, has joined in the ongoing controversy involving Rahul Gandhi and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In an interview with The Economic Times, Satyaki Savarkar, grand nephew of Nathuram Godse and Veer Savarkar, said that Godse was a dedicated member of the RSS who was neither expelled from the outfit nor did he ever leave it.
The observation comes at a time when Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is facing a defamation case for claiming that the RSS had killed Mahatma Gandhi. Initially, Rahul Gandhi had gone back on his earlier statement and modified his stance by claiming that he had not blamed RSS as an organisation but rather the persons behind Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. Later, accused of making a U-turn, he said he stood by his statements. "I will never stop fighting the hateful & divisive agenda of the RSS. I stand by every single word I said," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Speaking to ET, Savarkar, a software professional who is reviving the original spirit of Hindu Mahasabha, clarified that the family had preserved Godse's papers, which show he was actively involved with the RSS till his death by hanging in 1949. Some of this literature apparently indicates Godse's growing frustrating with the RSS for not being "radical enough".
"Nathuram joined the RSS when he was in Sangli in 1932. He remained a boudhik karyawah till his death. He was neither expelled nor did he ever leave the organisation," Satyaki said. "I am definitely upset with the RSS for denying the fact that he was a swayamsevak. I understand that they do not support the act of killing Gandhiji but they cannot run away from the facts," he added.
Savarkar, son of Gopal Godse's sister Himani Savarkar, who died last year, went on to outline the high points of Nathuram Godse's career with the RSS, such as his role in leading a protest against the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1938-39. On the day of Vijay Dashami, in 1942, Godse formed his own organisation, Hindu Rashtra Dal, as a mark of his difference from the prevailing ideology of the RSS.
Senior leaders in the RSS had claimed Godse wasn't part of the organisation by the time he was accused of killing Mahatma Gandhi, though Gopal Godse had said, in an interview in 1994, that all three Godse brothers — Nathuram, Dattatreya and Gopal — were part of the RSS and did not leave it.
Savarkar claimed the RSS has not only deserted Godse but it also deflected from its core ideology set by Veer Savarkar, of creating "a strong Hindu society".
"I have attended the RSS shakhas as a child. Not just my grand uncles, even some of my cousins were with the RSS. But I believe the RSS now is all about sewa and cultural binding," he said. "It has forgotten the original message of Savarkar to unite and militarise hindus to fight for political rights. Savarkar's Hindutva is different from the RSS Hindutva."
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