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Why Did We Kill Gandhi?

Rukaiya Joshi

Author: Rukaiya Joshi

Date: Mon, 2017-01-30 16:19

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”
-- Albert Einstein on Mahatma Gandhi.

In a global survey on the most effective leader of the 20th century, the one name that stood far ahead was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader we call “Bapuji” or “Mahatma”.  If such was the stature of Gandhi, why did we kill him?  He was killed not by any enemy but by his own countryman.

From time immemorial, mankind has co-existed with people of different ideologies, faiths, view points etc.  Probably, it is the nature of life on this planet which has created varieties and dichotomies of all kinds.  Did we kill Gandhi because of difference in ideology?  What is the similarity that we see in the killing of Christ, Socrates and Meerabai?

Well, all these personalities were killed by people who believed in ideologies strongly opposite to what they stood for.  In the case of Gandhi, let us not go into details of whether he was killed because he agreed on partition or making a payment to Pakistan.  These cannot be the reasons because from 1934 onwards, there were six attempts to kill Gandhi.  It was the ideology of fundamentalism which killed Gandhi.  Fundamentalism is a culmination of long term systematic brainwashing which makes people or communities believe that nothing other than what they think is right, a view that any free society would condemn -- as much then as it would now.

History has witnessed innumerable times when differences have been resolved over dialogue.  But when the mind is cluttered with only 'I', 'me' and 'mine', it is not open to receive, accept any other point of view, regardless of the power and merits of the other thought.

The person who goes through this long term systematic brainwashing is a helpless person.  It is inability to manage one’s thoughts, feelings and action together in the larger, global, social environment of coexistence. This results in intolerance, and intolerance breeds violence. Such violence in thought continues to breed itself, like Hitler saying, “People belonging to 'X' faith do not have the right to live.”






It is the attachment to our idea and aversion to any other idea that covers the mind and locks it. One cannot see clearly; at this time if the brainwashing continues, there is a trap, and the person cannot see the other’s point of view or the truth. As Swami Vivekanada puts it, “Anger clouds our thinking and leaves us ineffective and irrational.”

According to the Gita, when anger is aroused in a person, it deprives him of his power of discrimination. He is unable to weigh the pros and cons of a question or a situation. He will not heed the consequences of whatever he does in a fit of rage. This delusion grows, man forgets in what relationship he stands with those around him, what he should do and what he should not, how he had planned to do a thing, and what he is actually doing. When the mind is clouded, man loses his reasoning abilities and exhibits violence.

Vedanta gives ways of cleaning up the layers of mind, through antakaran shuddhi.

The power that Christ, Socrates, Meerabai and Gandhi stood for is in alignment with the law of nature and therefore has the strength to be universal, not limited to time and space.  Whenever a fundamentalist thought tried to kill it, it has gone out to strengthen it and made it perpetual.  

If Gandhi did not die of bullets, what would he have done with Nathuram Godse?  

Fully grounded in the Bhagvad Gita, he would have been compassionate with him as he did to people who inflicted violence on him at the South African shore. He would have thought along the lines of what Christ said, “God, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Today (Jan.30), on the occasion of Martyrs' Day, let us resolve not to be intolerant, and not to kill many more Gandhis.




So beautifully and clearly written and so true...the depth in our hearts needs to be more than the breadth of our heads.

It is really a well crafted piece. GAndhiji is something that every Indian can relate too. Coming from a professor of a B-School, it's really amazing who often talk about processes and systems.

What would we have done with Nathuram Godse, well we are building temples now. In these times of increasing fundamentalism we need more such write ups.thank you Professor for writing &a sharing the piece.

The conclusion of blog has really moved me. It is apt that Bapuji would have prayed for Godse for forgiveness. I accept that fundamentalism is culmination of long term systematic brainwash. One should avoid getting carried on with Anger it being dominating the minds. It has effected many relations in personal life. The though of 'I', 'Me' & 'Me' is required to be changed.

Did Naturam killed Gandhi !!! in worldly sense yes.... but can he ?? can anyone kill Christ, Socrates, Meerabai ?? They are AVATAR for specific purpose.... Gandhi delivered it and left for us to nurture it... "dil diya hain, jan bhi denge, aiye vatan tere liya" his killing has left immense imprint in youth and followers.. it has created many miniature Gandhi... now its our duty to live upto his expectation and teaching.. nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ | na cainaṁ kledayantyāpo na śoṣyati mārutaḥ || 23 || "Atma can’t be cut by the weapons, fire can’t burn it, water can’t wet the Atma and the wind can’t dry the Atma."

Thoughts beautifully Put forward. A totally different view of total incidence & good learning from the article.Every individual needs to take control of his anger. Anger is perfectly normal human emotion but needs to dealt in a right manner. We all get angry from time to time , yet this feeling can lead us to say or do things which we regret later.

The ideology of Gandhi ji has been portrayed very nicely in this article. The way shown by this great personality is indeed the only way for sustainable survival of humanity. In today’s raging world, fundamentalism has created violence like never before. Millions are homeless, distressed, oppressed. Let us be his apostle to reinstate peace in our planet earth.

I never support the assassination of Gandhi Ji by Nathuram Godse. But where ideologies have different perceptions, conflict arises. In this case same might happen, Mahatma Gandhi used to see all issues on holistically, while other might not. None had dreamt independence at a cost of partition of the country and massive violence. Pakistan immersed as whole country while India lost a part of its body. Gandhi Ji always advocated for secularism and non-violence, but he supported the partition of India. Which created Pakistan, a country having one particular religion followed massive violence. It might disturbed many people that time. It is said that Nathuram Godse was one of the strongest supporters of Gandhi Ji during his youth days and even worshiped him for his ideologies related to life and nation. But during partition of country, he might found that ideology of Gandhi ji was different from his earlier ideology. It might heart him and as he was not in a position to oppose or challenge this ideology and therefore he could not control his nerves and did such sin. Therefore, I slightly differ from 'I', 'me' and 'mine' concept in terms of Nathuram Godse. It's completely my personal view and it is prone to be violated.

Gandhi was not only a human he was a thought, he is an ideology which is still alive, as said by Lord Krishna “The soul is unborn, eternal, never takes birth, and never dies. The soul is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.” It is not person who killed Gandhi, it is belief and over belief that killed Gandhi, in today’s world wherever an innocent human gets killed we kill Gandhi, every person who wants to live life peacefully and want to follow footsteps of Bapu is a reflection of Gandhi but in today’s world when everyone is restless and does not have true sense of direction it become very easy to misguide people, today there are many Nathuram Godse are roaming freely and killing Babu by misguiding people on the name of Cast, Creed and religion. There is great need of understanding what all region teach us and want us to follow, no religion tells that killing is right. Negative thoughts or hate should be dealt with utmost care and wisdom, it become important and critical to know and chose leader.

Nathuram Godse in his last statement before court said that his reasons for killing Gandhi were purely political. In my opinion, it was not politics that shaped his actions rather, it was his hatred of the secular ideology of Gandhi, the true Hindu spirit that he was finally opposed to. He tried to kill an ideology. But can an ideology be killed, I think no. The fact is that there is no action and no teaching of Gandhi that is exceptionable and this is why his global reputation as a politician has survived the decades intact.

If one’s going to read through each one’s biographies i.e. Bapu and Godse then for sure the conclusion shall be that both were true nationalist and sacrificed their lives for nation. There was a conflict of ideologies between them and eventually one became intolerant over the other. Godse’s last statement before court during his trial had made one of the judges to write ”I have, however, no doubt that had the audience of that day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse’s appeal, they would have brought a verdict of ‘not Guilty’ by an overwhelming majority”. The way Godse contested Bapu’s ideology shall have been more tolerant that is what I take from this sad incident.

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