In the eyes of an extremist

It isn’t very surprising that Mahatma Gandhi’s death came as a result of murder. On this day, the 2nd of October, we celebrate the birth anniversary of man who changed the world with his ideology of non-violence. We know of his struggles, and we know the way he wielded his power to influence people. But there is so much more that we do not know.

The murder of Mahatma Gandhi

Nathuram Godse’s act of killing the Mahatma was actually the 6th murder attempt carried out on Gandhi. It happened on 30th January 1948. The previous five murder attempts took place in 1934, 1944 and 1946. It is quite astonishing to note that the first attempt to murder Gandhi came as early as 1934 – almost 14 years before the country attained independence. During these years, Gandhi did have a large number of followers. A number of people believed in his policy. But there were many others who didn’t. These people, who did not go the Gandhian way, were either Muslim extremists or Hindu extremists – the kind of people who took pride in their religion over the country. As long as the fight was between these 2 parties, the Mahatma had his way out in proving a point that internal fighting within the country led our nation nowhere.

The problem started to rise when India attained independence through Gandhi’s testified methods. One problem literally converted itself into other. The foreigners moved out of the country. But the extremists still didn’t find a solution to their ego. To feed their ego, they decided on partition. This is where Jinnah played an influential role. People believed his two nation theory was the only solution.

“I have no quarrel with Mr. Jinnah’s two nation theory. We, the Hindus are a nation by ourselves, and it is a historical fact that the Hindus and the Muslims are two nations.”

And thus the nation took to an anti-Gandhi policy – to split the nation based on religion. And how can one expect the Mahatma to silence himself on something that opposes his ideologies? Gandhi fought. But in vain. The decision to split the country was inevitable. However the death knell was hit when Gandhi performed an act, which angered a certain population of Hindu extremists. He fasted to order a sum of Rs. 55 crore to be paid to Pakistan to help the Muslims in their relocation. The Hindu extremists considered this to be a clear act of favoritism. It was their frustration about the Mahatma acting on his own will and terms according to his own ideologies. It baffled them.

Nathuram Godse was a child of the Hindu extremist group. When they could stand it no longer, they murder the greatest man of the nation for following himself. The world’s greatest leader was no more.

The man whose face is now printed on every currency in the nation, was killed in a war between a world of two extremists – the very same principle which he despised all his life.

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