Gandhi’s Assassins

“It is far too early to dismiss the possibility of a future Hindu State in India. However, the possibility does not appear a strong one. The secular state has far more than an even chance of survival in India” (India as Secular State, 1963).

It was the early sixties when American political scientist Donald Eugene Smith commented about the “possibility of a Hindu state in India”. Today, even to a layperson, the secular state in India seems to be standing on very weak foundations, and the possibility of a Hindu State is far stronger than it was half a century ago, in 1963.

Perhaps, a pertinent expression of this transformation of India is the metamorphosis we witness in the image of Nathuram Godse – the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, as part of a conspiracy which was hatched by many bigwigs of the Hindutva Supremacist movement. The makeover in the image is for eveyone to see: from a murderer, a conspirator, terrorist to a ‘martyr’ who supposedly ‘deserves’ a temple in his name everywhere. We also learn that after the ‘successful’ run of a drama in Marathi called Me Nathuram Boltoy (I Nathuram Speak) for the last few years, plans are afoot to have a movie made on him, supposedly to communicate his ‘viewpoint’. With the changed political situation, where even the censor board of the country is populated by rightwing people, one can guess that it won’t have any difficulty in release. And with an ambience which is more prone to illiberal ideas, one can as well prophesy that it will have a good run.

Read the full text here.

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