Why I Killed the Mahatma | Dr. Koenraad Elst

It is common knowledge that Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead in 1948 by Nathuram Godse, shortly after India had both gained her independence and lost nearly a quarter of her territory to the new state of Pakistan. What is less known is Godse’s motives. Until now, no publication and no mainstream media has dealt with this question, except for the naked text of Godse’s own defence speech during his trial. It didn’t save him from the hangman, but still contains substantive arguments against the facile glorification of the Mahatma. Dr Koenraad Elst compares Godse’s case against Gandhi with criticisms voiced in wider circles, and with historical data known at the time or brought to light since. While the Mahatma was extolled by the Hindu masses, political leaders of divergent persuasions who had had dealings with him were less enthusiastic. Their sobering views would have become the received wisdom about the Mahatma if he hadn’t been martyred. Yet, the author also presents some new considerations in Gandhi’s defence from unexpected quarters. And why is it that the Hindu society never asked the questions that Dr Koenraad has addressed in the book? The speaker remarks in his book, “The RSS attitude of spurning the intellect and denouncing the intellectuals has worked as a self-fulfilling prophecy: since they left the intellectual field entirely to their enemies, the available intellectuals would not be “of any use to the nation”, meaning not sympathizing to the RSS programme. The political Hindu movement has paid a heavy price for this silly anti-intellectual prejudice.”

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