கேள்வி: நீங்கள் ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸில் ஓர் அங்கமா?
கோபால் கோட்சேயின் பதில்: நாதுராம் (காந்தியைக் கொன்றவன்) தாத்தாத்ரியா நான் (கோபல் கோட்சே) கோவிந்தத் ஆகிய நாங்கள் சகோதரர்கள் அனைவரும் ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸில் இருந்தோம் எங்கள் வீட்டில் வளர்ந்தோம் என்பதைவிட ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸில் வளர்ந்தோம் என்றே கூற வேண்டும். எங்களுக்கு அது ஒரு குடும்பம் போல் ஆகும்).
கோபால் கோட்சேயின் இந்தப் பதிலுக்கு பிஜேபியினர் இதுவரை என்ன சமாதானம் சொல்லி இருக்கிறார்கள்? நாதுராம் கோட்சே உயிருடன் இல்லை – காந்தியாரைக் கொலை செய்த வழக்கில் ஆயுள் தண்டனை பெற்ற கோபால் கோட்சே தன்னை ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸ் என்று சொல்லுகிறாரே. இதற்கு என்ன பதில்? தூக்குத் தண்டனை பெறாததால் கோபால் கோட்சேக்குப் போனஸ் மார்க்குக் கொடுக்கப் போகிறார்களா?
கேள்வி: நாதுராம் ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸில்தான் இருந்தாரா? அதைவிட்டு வெளியேற வில்லையா?
கோபால் கோட்சே பதில்: ஆர்.எஸ். எஸில் ஒரு பவுதிக் காரியவா (அறிவுப்பூர்வப் பணியாளர்) ஆக இருந்தார் நாதுராம் கோட்சே. ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸை விட்டு தான் விலகியதாக அந்த அறிக்கையில் (காந்தியார் கொலை வழக்கின்போது நாதுராம்கோட்சே அளித்த அறிக்கையில்) அவர் குறிப்பிட்டு இருந்தார். காந்தியார் கொலை செய்யப்பட்டு இருந்ததைத் தொடர்ந்து ஆர்.எஸ்.எசுக்கும் கோல்வால் களுக்கும் பெரும் நெருக்கடி, பிரச்சினைகள் ஏற்பட்டதன் காரணமாக அவர் அப்படிக் குறிப்பிட நேர்ந்தது. ஆனால் உண்மையில் நாதுராம் கோட்சே ஆர்.எஸ்.எசை விட்டு விலகவேயில்லை)
ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸாக இருந்தாலும் சரி, அவர்களுக்கு வக்காலத்துப் போட்டு வாதாடும் ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸின் அரசியல் கூடாரமான பி.ஜே.பி.யாக இருந்தாலும் சரி, சங்பரிவார் வட்டாரமாக இருந்தாலும் சரி, நாதுராம் கோட்சேயின் உடன் பிறப்பின் இந்தப் பேட்டியை மறுத்து இதுவரை கருத்துத் தெரிவித்ததுண்டா?
கோபால் கோட்சே பேட்டி வெளிவந்து 20 ஆண்டுகள் ஓடி விட்டன; அதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வரிகூட பதில் சொல்ல வக்கில்லாத வர்கள், இன்றைக்கு ராகுல்காந்தி அதே குற்றச்சாற்றை வைக்கும்போது வாயிலும், வயிற்றிலும் அடித்துக் கொள்வானேன்?
அந்தத் தகவல்களுக்கு ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸ்., பி.ஜே.பி. வட்டாரம் பதில் கூறியதுண்டா?
ஆர்.எஸ்.எசுக்கும்; நாதுராம் கோட்சேக்கும் சம்பந்தம் இல்லை என்று அத்வானி கூறுகிறாரே என்ற கேள்விக்குக் கோபால் கோட்சே சவுக்கடி பதில் கொடுத்தார்.
இது கோழைத்தனமானது – அவரது கூற்றை நான் மறுக்கிறேன் – போ, காந்தியைக் கொல்லு! என்று ஆர்.எஸ். எஸ். தீர்மானம் போடவில்லை என்று வேண்டுமானால் கூறலாம். ஆனால் நாதுராம் கோட்சேவுக்கும் ஆர்.எஸ்.எசுக் கும் சம்பந்தம் இல்லை என்று நீங்கள் கூற முடியாது. இந்து மகாசபை அப்படிக் கூறியது. ஆனால் ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸின் பவுதிக்காரியவா ஆக இருந்தபோது, 1944இல் இந்து மகாசபையில் நாதுராம் பணியாற்றினார் என்று அத்வானிக்கு கோபால் கோட்சே பதிலடி கொடுத்தாரே.
அதற்கெல்லாம் எப்போழுதுமே பதில் சொல்ல முடியாதவர்கள் – பரிதாபம் இப்பொழுது புலம்புகிறார்கள்
நன்றி :: விடுதலை கோட்சேவை ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸ்., என்று சொல்லலாம் இதோ ஒரு நீதிமன்ற தீர்ப்பு!
Gopal Godse: ‘Nathuram did not leave the RSS’
One trait that seems common to rabid advocates of Hindutva – be it the demolishers of the Babri Masjid or the murderers of the Mahatma — is lack of remorse at what they do in furthering their cause, despite the sense of shock and anger their act sends across the nation, and beyond. Gopal Godse, younger brother of Nathuram Godse and one of those convicted in the Gandhi murder case, comes across as one such stereotype fundamentalist in this interview he gave Arvind Rajagopal, Frontline, January 1994. Excerpts:
Ø Were you a part of the RSS?
All the brothers were in the RSS. Nathuram, Dattatreya, myself and Govind. You can say we grew up in the RSS rather than in our home. It was like a family to us.
Ø Nathuram stayed in the RSS? He did not leave it?
Nathuram had become a baudhik karyavah (intellectual worker) in the RSS. He has said in his statement that he left the RSS. He said it because Golwalkar and the RSS were in a lot of trouble after the murder of Gandhi. But he did not leave the RSS.
Ø Advani has recently said that Nathuram had nothing to do with the RSS.
I have countered him, saying it is cowardice to say that. You can say that RSS did not pass a resolution, saying that, ‘go and assassinate Gandhi.’ But you do not disown him (Nathuram). The Hindu Mahasabha did not disown him. In 1944 Nathuram started doing Hindu Mahasabha work when he had been a baudhik karyavah in the RSS.
Ø When was the plan to kill Gandhi made?
Nathuram had a teleprinter, as editor of the Hindu Rashtra, a daily. On the teleprinter, he saw that Gandhi has decided to undertake a fast on the next day. (The fast was to demand that the amount of Rs. 55 crore not be withheld from Pakistan, against the Government’s decision to withhold payment until Pakistan’s aggression in Kashmir had been resolved. The Rs. 55 crore was part of the settling of post-Partition accounts between India and Pakistan). Immediately it must have struck Nathuram – now put a fullstop. So that was the turning point.
But there were many occasions on which people may have thought of killing Gandhi. In the refugee camps. That he is the person who brought us disaster, so why not kill him? It many times happens… that the clouds gather in the skies and we assume that in the next 15 minutes it will be a rainfall – and a heavy one. But the things are otherwise. Winds blow, don’t know from which side, and take away all the clouds… So what is required for that rainfall? That particular atmosphere, the particular degree of temperature to be connected with the particles of water in the cloud. And then they take the shape of water to drop on the earth… So there might have been conspiracies and conspiracies, and the wind might have come and blown them away. But when everything was just in order, this conspiracy proved to be fruitful. So far as the conspirators were concerned. Fruitful in the sense, materialised. Their aim was achieved.
Ø What was your involvement with (VD) Savarkar?
No question – we were all taking him to be our guru – a political guru. We read all his writings. So if we say we have understood Savarkar to the fullest, it will be a folly on our part to ask him whether we should do it. A guru’s blessings are required for a weak-hearted person. Supposing the guru ties your hands (saying) – ‘You fools don’t do any such thing,’ and some third person of his own does it, can we say, ‘Oh, we would also have done the same thing, but the guru tied our hands?’ That would be shielding our own fear and defaming the guru.
Ø What was Savarkar’s response to the murder?
The same as that of the general leaders. “I was aghast at the news of the communication which reached me here” and so on. That was his public response.
Ø Many writers have argued that Gandhi was responsible for bringing Hindu culture into the national movement and thereby giving the movement a broader, more popular base. What do you think?
Had it really been the case, Gandhi should have helped our government to declare this a Hindu state. But he did not want it. And this story that Gandhi died saying He Ram is a fabrication of the Congress. He said no such thing. The story that Gandhi died saying He Ram is the first use of Ram by the Congress for political purposes.
Ø One criticism some people have made of Gandhi is that his interpretation of Hinduism was “effeminate” and that he did not emphasise the “more manly, virile” aspect of Hinduism. What do you think about this criticism?
You see, this is very much an ambiguity. For instance, he sent telegrams to Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler, all the warlords – to stop war. And when Pandit Nehru asked him, “Shall I send the army to defend the place?” he said yes, Why didn’t he send troops with charkhas? What is the sense then? You only teach others – you don’t adhere to your principles.
Ø When Uma Bharati or Sadhvi Ritambara says that “we must be more aggressive,” that Hindus have been cowards for too long, that ahimsa is actually weakening the Hindus…
I disagree. In my country I am never said to be aggressive. Let us take the case – I have been attacked by malaria. The doctor gives me some injections. The foreign attack of malaria has been diminished or wiped out. Should I say that I should be aggressive against malaria, that imposition of malaria is itself an aggression? So wiping it out can be a retaliation. In my country if I want to remove every germ of malaria from my body, I cannot be called aggressive.
Ø In what ways do you find a continuity between the Hindu Mahasabha and the BJP?
All of them have to come to the way of a Hindu Rashtra. All of them. There is no alternative. There is going to be polarisation as Hindus and Muslims mingle. And the stage will come like Bosnia.
Ø There will be a civil war?
It is bound to be. And these people only will bring it. Because of the appeasement and infiltration of the Muslims – for the sake of the votes. The BJP is not bold enough to play the Hindu card straightforwardly. They are not. Whatever you do, you cannot count on Muslim votes. One time you are doing this Ayodhya Ram Mandir. And then you are begging votes from the Muslims. These things will not do.
Ø What do you think of the cultural background of the people involved in the social reform and nationalist movements? Many of them seem to have come from the Chitpavan Brahmin community.
This Brahminical class – Peshwas – right from the top, you will find the revolutionaries – the link is all Brahminical. Mangal Pandey, for instance, the first hero of the War of Independence, was a Brahmin. Then you go to Maharashtra, Vasudev Balwant Phadke, who led a revolt, and died after transportation to Aden in 1883. Then came the Chapekar brothers, who killed (Walter Charles) Rand (authoritarian chairman of the Plague Committee in Poona in 1897). Then Lokamanya Tilak was a Brahmin. Vishnu Shastri Chiplunkar, Ranade…
Ø How do you explain that?
They were the thinkers and with a feeling of sacrifice to do something for the nation. So one who has integrity does it. Maharashtra was not directly affected by Partition and yet it was Maharashtra which had sympathy for the provinces that were cut and the atrocities that were going on… Why should a Maharashtrian go to a place 2,000 miles away? It is called national integrity. This tradition has moved with that spirit, that idea behind it. These papers – you can call it yellow journalism – they use the name Peshwai to defame, to put them in the class of Brahmins and Brahminism. That is the tradition because they want to appease the so-called weaker sections, or Bahujan Samaj as they call it.
Ø You do not see any validity in those distinctions?
As I explained, at the time of Partition, no person was spared. All were slaughtered. Whoever comes as a target of the Muslim dagger is the proved definition of Hindu. So we come together in the graveyard. But while alive, we say, ‘No, I’m not a Hindu.’ The Muslim determines who is a Hindu. It so happens – to give a simile, one who gets some ancestral property without any trouble for himself just becomes spendthrift, goes in for some vices – because he does not know the value of it. Hindudom has come to these people like that.
Ø Which people?
All these people who criticise Hindutva. And, therefore, they do not know the value of it.
Gopal Godse’s daughter Asilata has married Ashok Savarkar, son of Savarkar’s younger brother Narayan. Both families are still close to the Hindu Mahasabha (the party Nathuram belonged to and Savarkar was president of for several years); Gopal Godse was until recently its general secretary.
‘If We Can Have Bullet For Bullet, Why Not Blast For Blast?’ The niece of Nathuram Godse (She is the daughter of Gopal Godse, married to Veer Savarkar’s nephew, is the president of the Abhinav Bharat.( Abhinav Bharat Society (Young India Society) was a secret society founded by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar)
However, doubts remained about the extent of the conspiracy; the behaviour of the Bombay and Delhi police between January 20 and 30; and the evidence of V.D. Savarkar’s involvement. In 1965, the Government of India set up a Commission of Inquiry into the Conspiracy to Murder Mahatma Gandhi, headed by Justice Jivanlal Kapur of the Supreme Court. It examined evidence not produced during the trial, including the testimony of Savarkar’s bodyguard Appa Ramachandra Kasar, and his secretary Gajanan Vishnu Damle. Had they testified in 1948, Savarkar would have been convicted. The evidence confirmed Godse and Apte’s visits to Savarkar on January 14 and 17, 1948. Kasar told the Commission that they visited Savarkar again on or about January 23, upon their return from Delhi after the bomb incident. Damle stated that Godse and Apte saw Savarkar “in the middle of January and sat with him in his garden.” Justice Kapur’s findings were clear. He noted the deadly negligence of the police. And he concluded that the facts taken together undermined “any theory other than the conspiracy to murder by Savarkar and his group.” (Noorani, March 2003)
On 12 November 1964,a religious programme was organised in Pune, to celebrate the release of the Gopal Godse, Madanlal Pahwa, Vishnu Karkare from jail after the expiry of their sentences. Dr. G. V. Ketkar, grandson of Bal Gangadhar Tilak,former editor of Kesari and then editor of Tarun Bharat, who presided over the function, revealed six months before the actual event, that Nathuram Godse disclosed his ideas to kill Gandhi and was opposed by Ketkar. Ketkar said that he passed the information to Balukaka Kanitkar who conveyed it to the then Chief Minister of Bombay State, B. G. Kher. The Indian Express in its issue of 14 November 1964, commented adversely on Ketkar’s conduct that Ketkar’s fore-knowledge of the assassination of Gandhi added to the mystery of the circumstances preceding to the assassination. Ketkar was arrested. A public furore ensued both outside and inside the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and both houses of the Indian parliament. There was a suggestion that there had been a deliberate dereliction of duty on the part of people in high authority, who failed to act responsibly even though they had information that could have prevented Gandhi’s shooting. Under pressure of 29 members of parliament and public opinion the then Union home minister Gulzarilal Nanda, appointed Gopal Swarup Pathaka, M. P. and a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, in charge of inquiry of conspiracy to murder Gandhi. Since both Kanitkar and Kher were deceased, the central government intended on conducting a thorough inquiry with the help of old records in consultation with the government of Maharashtra, Pathak was given three months to conduct his inquiry. But as Pathak was appointed a central minister and then governor of Mysore state, the commission of inquiry was reconstituted and Jevanlal Kapur a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India was appointed to conduct the inquiry – Jagdishchandra Jain : Gandhi the forgotten Mahatma