Talking to ET, Satyaki Savarkar, grand nephew of Nathuram Godse and Veer Savarkar, said the family has preserved all important writings of both Nathuram and Gopal Godse, some of which, according to him, clearly indicate that Nathuram Godse was a dedicated member of the RSS but had increasingly become disillusioned with the sangh for not being radical enough.
Grandson of Gopal Godse, the younger brother of Nathuram Godse and also a convict in Gandhi assassination, Satyaki, is a software professional who is now reviving the original Hindu Mahasabha, founded by hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar.
“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.
Satyaki said that Nathuram had led a protest against the Nizam of Hyderabad under the Hindu Mahasabha banner in 1938-1939 that many RSS swayamsevaks were also a part of.
“He was also jailed for that. It was a “muktisangram” in 1938-1939 in Bhagyanagar against the nizam of hyderabad. Naturamji was totally against the idea of islamic state that the Nizam wanted to establish in Hyderabad and he was torturing the hindus. He was part of the discrete project to identify and mark hindu households in Hyderabad, unite them and bring in outside help in the State. He used to send articles to a newspaper there and many were published. Many of such writings have been preserved by our family,” Satyaki said.
Satyaki said the relationship between Nathuram Godse and RSS sarsangchalak then, M S Golwalkar had soured over the latter taking credit for translating Babarao Savarkar’s book Rashtra Mimansa in English. “Nathuram formed his own organisation called Hindu Rashtra Dal in 1942 on the day of Vijayadashami. Though he resigned from his Hindu Mahasabha position in 1946 over the issue of partition, the organisation was the only one that supported him through his legal procedures,” Satyaki said.
The RSS however is firm that Nathuram Godse had quit the organisation before Gandhi’s murder in 1948. A senior sangh leader said Godse could have been part of the RSS at some time but “at the time of the murder, he was not part of the organisation.”
“There is enough proof that he was extremely critical of the RSS and had severed ties with it. There is no process of expulsion followed in the RSS,” he added.
In an interview in 1994 Gopal Godse had said that all the three Godse brothers – Nathuram, Dattatreya and Gopal were part of the RSS and had not left the organisation.
According to Satyaki Savarkar, there is no doubt that all three Godse brothers including Nathuram himself were members of the RSS “It is believed that Nathuramji continued organising hindutva shibirs, similar to an RSS shibir even in the 1940s. He however felt only a revolt could change the situation for the hindus then and that couldn’t be achieved through constitutional methods. ” Savarkar said.
Satyaki is the son of Gopal Godse’s daughter Himani Savarkar who passed away last year. She was running Abhinav Bharat that was originally started as a secret revolutionary movement in 1904 by Veer Savarkar for raising an armed struggle against the British.
Himani Savarkar was also among those questioned with regard to the organisation’s role in Malegaon bomb blast case.
Satyaki said the RSS has not just abandoned Nathuram Godse but also forgotten Veer Savarkar’s dream 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. 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,” Satyaki added.