Abdul Rashid and Godse

Recently (April 2023), the NCERT decided to make many deletions from School text books. Apart from the parts related to Mughal history, the mention of Gujarat violence and the origin of Caste Varna system, what stands deleted is also a part related to Gandhi murder.

One recalls that murder of Swami Shraddhanad was done by a Muslim Abdul Rashid. Gandhi condemned the murder but addressed Rashid as brother and said that he should not be blamed for this murder; instead, those who created the atmosphere of hate should be blamed. On the same lines Gandhi saw Godse being the manifestation of Hate prevalent in the society.

Of course, Gandhi was not there to opine about Godse after his murder but his attitude to the dastardly act became clear when in 1944 Godse tried to attack him with a dagger in Panchagani near Pune. In response Gandhi “asked Godse to spend eight days with him so that they could understand each other. In both the cases of Abdul Rashid and Godse, Gandhi was on the same wave length.

In a communiqué issued on February 4, 1948, the Central government said it was banning the RSS “to root out the forces of hate and violence that are at work in the country and imperil the freedom of the Nation and darken her fair name.”

In a letter to M.S. Golwalkar, Patel writes, “All their speeches (RSS members, added) were filled with communal poison… As a final result of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji.”

RSS propagates that mentioning the ban on RSS is half truth as the ban was lifted by courts as being illegal. The Paragraph which has been deleted precisely mentions that ban was imposed for sometime only. As such from Gandhi to Patel and Nehru they all realised that more than Godse as a person it is the Hate which is responsible for the violence, including that of murder of Swami Shraddhanand and later of Gandhi. While RSS ban was not valid on legal ground, its ban was prompted by RSS spreading the Hate which led to violence and murders, including that of Gandhi. While paying lip service to Mahatma, RSS continues to do what it began, spreading Hate against Muslims and at the same time glorifying the old hierarchical society.

Understanding hate imbibed by Abdul Rashid and Godse in today’s context will mean that those youth who are waving lathis, swords and pistol in the religious processions are guilty of course but the bigger blame has to be apportioned to the indoctrination of Hate ideology, hate speech and the social media which is constantly blaring the Hate against religious minorities. Looking in the neighbourhood it confirms that nationalism in the name of religion is the main weapon which is creating and propagating Hate. In a way India is following the path of Pakistan and Srilanka. In Pakistan (Islamic Nationalism) the Hate manufactured against Hindus and Christians did result in their persecution there. In Srilanka (Buddhist Sinhala Nationalism) Hindus (Tamils) and Muslim- Christians, have been on the receiving end of consequences of Hate.

Now with these deletions in text books those upholding Hindu nationalism and their advocates are further intensifying the Hate.


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Vol 55, No. 46, May 14 - 20, 2023