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Gandhiji and Godse
Satbir Singh Bedi | 29 Jan 2015

Gandhiji who needs no introduction, was murdered on 30th of January, 1948 by Pandit Nathuram Godse. Just as Gandhiji was intensely loved and worshipped for his love of the suffering humanity and fiercely hated for his appeasement of Muslims, his assassin Godse was equally intensely loved for his love for his nation and fiercely hated for killing a Saint like figure.

Both of them were called great patriots by their admirers and both of them were called traitors by their opponents. They both had dictatorial tendencies. Gandhiji said that if people would not follow him, he would kill himself while Godse said that if someone did not agree with him, he would kill him.

Many people thought that Gandhiji was a coward while Gandhiji thought otherwise. In fact, he stated that if ever he had to choose between cowardice and violence, he would choose the latter. However, Gandhiji was a devotee of non-violence and followed the path of passive resistance for fighting the British empire while Godse was ready to go in for violence to achieve his cause. For Gandhiji, means must be correct to achieve any goal but for Godse means justified the ends.

Gandhiji was an apostle of peace and stood for suffering humanity while Godse was a great nationalist and patriot who stood for his people. However, due to his love and compassion for the people of the world, it is Gandhiji who stood taller and even Godse acknowledged this as he bowed before Gandhiji before shooting him. Some people may not agree that Godse was a patriot but they need to read his speech before the Trial Judge to know about him.