Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C

Home Whats New Trans State Nation One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search
Home > Truth is a Pathless Land > Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra >

Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra
- நடேசன் சத்தியேந்திரா



Mahatma Gandhi Video Presentation
Mahatma Gandhi's Last Will, 20 February 1940
Some Gandhi Reflections...
Gandhi as Others Saw Him...
Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate - �yvind T�nnesson
Why I killed Gandhi - Nathuram Godse, 5 May 1949
Gandhi Was a Hypocrite, Gopal Godse, 14 February 2000
Non Violence as a Political Strategy: Gandhi & Western Thinkers - Hugh Tinker, 1980 "...politics is concerned only formally with power and government and fundamentally with the moral development of human beings. Politics is about people, and how they endeavour to face the challenge of their times. M.N. Roy... put, his beliefs this way: "When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic society he may not be able to free the whole world . . . but he can to a large extent at least free himself by behaving as a rational and moral being, and if he can do this, others around him can do the same, and these again will spread freedom by their example." I don't think I can put it any better. If that is the goal, then Gandhi is more relevant than ever, both in India and in the West..."
One World & Mahatma Gandhi - R.R.Diwakar
A Summary of M.K. Gandhi's Technique for Political Action - Mary Selby, 1995
Reflections on Gandhi - George Orwell, January 1949
Letter from Birmingham Jail - Martin Luther King
Some Gandhi Reflections
Remembering Mahatma Gandhi on the 135th anniversary of his Birth - Sachi Sri Kantha, 2 October 2004
On Gandhi's 53rd Death Anniversary - Sachi Sri Kantha, 31 January 2001
Gandhi, Madras Hindu and the Brahmin Establishment - Sachi Sri Kantha, 15 April 1992
Mahatma Gandhi and Tamils - Sachi Sri Kantha, 15 June 1991

Mahatma Gandhi
- Writings on Line

An Autobiography: The Story of my Experiments with Truth - M.K. Gandhi also in PDF
Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule - M.K. Gandhi
Constructive Programme: Its Meaning and Place - M.K. Gandhi
Epigrams from Gandhi - S.R. Tikekar
The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi - R.K. Prabhu & U.R. Rao
Selections from Gandhi - N.K. Bose
Mahatma: Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - D.G. Tendulkar & V.K. Jhaveri
Brief Outline of Gandhi's Philosophy - Stephen Murphy
Mahatma Gandhi: A Biography - B.R.Nanda
Gandhi Audio
Gandhi: A Pictorial Biography - B.R. Nanda
Drawings on Gandhi - K.M.Adimoolam
Gandhi & Bhagat Singh
by Paresh R. Vaidya
Gandhi on Bhagat Singh

The Complete Site on Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi Research and Media Service
Mahatma Gandhi Foundation
Gandhi Today - Mark Shepherd
Itihaas: Modern: Profile -- Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi Ashram

Books by Gandhi
indicates link to Amazon.com bookshop on line

*M.K. Gandhi - An Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments With Truth, 1927
*Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Green (Editor) - My Life Story : The Later Years, 1920-1948 , 1985
*M. K. Gandhi - Ashram Observances in Action , 1983
*Mahatma Gandhi, et al - The Essential Writings of Mahatma Gandhi , 1993
*M.K.Gandhi - Letters to Mirabehn , 1983
*M. K. Gandhi - Satyagraha in South Africa , 1979
*Mahatma Gandhi - Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy Letters , 1987
*M.K. Gandhi (Editor) - The Bhagavadgita , 1986
*Mahatma Gandhi -The South African Gandhi : an abstract of the speeches and writings of M. K. Gandhi, 1893-1914
*M.K. Gandhi, et al - The Words of Gandhi/Cassette/CP 1740 , 1984
*M.K. Gandhi, K. Ed. Kripalani - All Men Are Brothers , 1982

Books on Gandhi

*Eknath Easwaran, Michael N. Nagler Gandhi, the Man : The Story of His Transformation 1997
*Catherine Clement, Ruth Sharman (Translator) - Gandhi : The Power of Pacifism (Discoveries) / Paperback / Published 1996
*Richard Attenborough - The Words of Gandhi, 1990
*Louis Fischer - Gandhi : His Life and Message for the World
*Louis Fischer - Essential Gandhi; An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work and Ideas, 1983
*R.K. Prabhu & U.R.Rao (Ed) - The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi Ahemedabad: Navjivan Publishing House,1960
*Homer A. Jack (Editor) - The Gandhi Reader : A Sourcebook of His Life and Writings, 1995
*Erik Homburger Erikson Gandhi's Truth : On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence 1993
*Raghavan Iyer (Editor) - The Moral and Political Writings of Mahatma Gandhi 1986
*Dennis Dalton (Editor) - Selected Political Writings Mahatma Gandhi, 1996
*Judith M. Brown - Gandhi's Rise to Power, Indian Politics 1915-1922,1972
Raghavan Iyer - Mahatma Gandhi - A Biography
Rajmohan Gandhi - The Good Boatman ( A Portrait of Gandhi)
Mahatma Gandhi - including Real Audio

Mahatma Gandhi - An Average Man
2 October 1869 - 30 January 1948

10 May 1998

"...When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall - think of it, always... Exploitation and domination of one nation over another can have no place in a world striving to put an end to all war..."

[see also Gandhi & Pirabaharan Gandhi & Tamil Eelam and Mahatma Gandhi and Salman Rushdie ]

Gandhi's Daily Resolution:

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day
I shall not fear anyone on earth
I shall fear only God
I shall not bear ill toward anyone
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone
I shall conquer untruth by truth
And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering

Mahatma Gandhi was an average man - at least, that is how he regarded himself. He laid no claim to be either a saint or a mahatma. He declared with humility:

"I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average ability. Nor can I claim any special merit for such non-violence or continence as I have been able to reach with laborious research. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith. Work without faith is like an attempt to reach the bottom of a bottomless pit."

These words were not the expression of a pretentious modesty. They reflected Gandhi's fundamental conviction that each one of us can achieve that which he had achieved - and more. For Gandhi, life was a permanent experiment with truth. He walked his talk - and where his walk did not coincide with his talk, he changed either his walk or his talk.

"I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough in me to confess my errors and to retrace my steps. I own that I have an immovable faith in God and His goodness and unconsumable passion for truth and love. But, is that not what every person has latent in him?"

Stephen Covey, the author of the best selling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, often refers to a story from Gandhi's life. The parents had brought their young child to Gandhi. They wanted Gandhi to advise the child against eating sweets. Gandhi told the parents to bring the child to him the next week. Seven days later, Gandhi advised the child. The parents then inquired from Gandhi why it was that he had not advised the child on their first visit. Gandhi replied: "I myself was eating sweets then."

That Gandhi's words are increasingly quoted by today's management gurus is a reflection of the deep underlying truths that Gandhi had touched in his own life - deep underlying truths which have a broad relevance to all human endeavour.

If Aurobindo was a raja yogi who openly declared his will to see God in his lifetime, and Jiddu Krishnamurthi a jnana yogi, to whom reality was the interval between two thoughts, then Gandhi was the karma yogi beyond compare, engaging in action, and consciously evolving by seeking at every turn a coincidence of word and deed.

Ahimsa and the Chakra were the twin pillars on which Gandhi founded India's bid for freedom.

For Gandhi, Ahimsa or non violence was not an expression of cowardice or weakness. In a famous article 'The Doctrine of the Sword' Gandhi wrote in 1920:

"I do believe that when there is only a choice between cowardice and violence.... I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless victim to her own dishonour. But I believe that non-violence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment.

Forgiveness adorns a soldier. But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is power to punish; it is meaningless when it proceeds from a helpless creature. A mouse hardly forgives a cat when it allows itself to be torn to pieces by her... But I do not believe India to be helpless, I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature... Let me not be misunderstood. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will...

I am not a visionary. I claim to be a practical idealist. The religion of non violence is not meant merely for rishis and saints. It is meant for the common people as well. Non violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute, and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law - to the strength of the spirit.

I have therefore ventured to place before India the ancient law of self sacrifice. For satyagraha and its offshoots, non co-operation and civil resistance, are nothing but new names for the law of suffering.

The rishis who discovered the law of non violence in the midst of violence were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves greater warriors than Wellington.

Having themselves known the use of arms, they realised their uselessness and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through violence but through non violence.

Non violence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evil doer, but it means the putting of one's whole soul against the will of the tyrant. Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honour, his religion, his soul, and lay the foundation for that empire's fall or regeneration.

And so I am not pleading for India to practise non violence because it is weak. I want her to practise non violence being conscious of her strength and power...

I want India to recognise that she has a soul that cannot perish, and that can rise triumphant above any physical weakness and defy the physical combination of a whole world.

I isolate this non co-operation from Sinn Feinism, for it is so conceived as to be incapable of being offered side by side with violence. But I invite even the school of violence to give this peaceful non co-operation a trial.

It will not fail through its inherent weakness. It may fail because of poverty of response. Then will be the time for real danger. The high souled men, who are unable to suffer national humiliation any longer, will want to vent their wrath. They will take to violence. So far as I know, they must perish without delivering themselves or their country from the wrong...."

And from his early days of political activity in South Africa, Gandhi was stubborn and unshakeable in his commitment to that which he believed. At a meeting of Indians in Johannesburg on 11 September 2006, to protest against the South African government's registration law he said:

"To pledge ourselves...in the name of God or with him as witness is not something to be trifled with. There is wisdom in taking serious steps with great caution and hesitation. But caution and hesitation have their limits, which we have now passed. The Government has taken leave of all sense of decency. We would only be betraying our unworthiness and cowardice, if we cannot stake our all in the face of the conflagration which envelops us and sit watching it with folded hands....But every one of us must think out for himself if he has the will and the ability to pledge himself. Resolutions of this nature cannot be passed by a majority vote. Only those who take a pledge can be bound by it...A word about my personal responsibility. If I am warning you of the risks attendant upon the pledge, I am at the same time inviting you to pledge yourselves, and I am fully conscious of my responsibility in the matter. It is possible that a majority of those present here might take the pledge in a fit of enthusiasm or indignation but might weaken under the ordeal, and only a handful might be left to face the final test. Even then there is only one course open to the like of me, to die but not to submit to the law. It is quite unlikely but even if every one else flinched leaving me alone to face the music, I am confident that I would never violate my pledge. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying this out of vanity, but I wish to put you, especially the leaders upon the platform, on your guard.."

Gandhi, some years later later spelt out in his own words, the path that had led him to non-violence:

" Up to the year 1906 I simply relied on appeal to reason. I was a very industrious reformer......But I found that reason failed to produce an impression when the critical moment arrived in South Africa. My people were excited; even a worm will and does sometimes turn - and there was talk of wreaking vengeance. I had then to choose between allying myself to violence or finding out some other method of meeting the crisis and stopping the rot; and it came to me that we should refuse to obey the legislation that was degrading and let them put us in jail if they liked. Thus came into being the moral equivalent of law.....

Since then the conviction has been growing upon me, that things of fundamental importance to the people are not secured by reason alone but have to be purchased with their suffering. Suffering is the law of human beings; war is the law of the jungle. But suffering is infinitely more powerful than the law of the jungle for converting the opponent and opening his ears, which are otherwise shut, to the voice of reason.....I have come to this fundamental conclusion, that if you want something really important to be done you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart too. The appeal to reason is more to the head but the penetration of the heart comes from suffering. It opens up the inner understanding in man."

If ahimsa sprang from the ageless spirituality of India, then the chakra gave the peoples of India self worth in the 'modern' material world. Gandhi pointed to the evils of modern day industrialism. He was reviled for looking backward and rejecting 'modernism'. But, perhaps he was an early 'post-modern'.

The chakra, just as much as ahimsa, brought the vast masses of India into the freedom struggle. Gandhi reached out to rural India. The chakra gave the peoples of India tangible proof of their own capacity to satisfy their material wants. It gave them 'thanmaanam'. They were not beggars always trying to 'catch up' with the 'modern' West. They were not a part of the 'third' world. They were part of the 'majority' world - the post modern world of the future, where India's spiritual heritage would make its special contribution, especially to a developing 'First' World no longer content to regard gross national product as the measure of 'development'.

Again, Gandhi was not an elitist who predicated social change to the transformation of a select few. The power of the salt march to mobilise a people surprised many, including Jawarhalal Nehru. On 31 December 1929, the Indian National Congress declared Poorna Swaraj (complete independence) as the goal of the Indian people. On 2 March 1930, Gandhi, after reflecting for two months, wrote to British Viceroy Lord Irwin:

"...The British system seems to be designed to crush the very life out of the peasant. Even the salt he must use to live, is so taxed as to make the burden fall heaviest on him. The British administration is the most expensive in the world. Take your own salary...It is over Rs 21,000 per month. The British Prime Minister gets Rs 5,400 per month... If India is to live as a nation, if the slow death by starvation of her people is to stop, some remedy must be found. If my letter, makes no appeal to your heart, I shall proceed with such co-workers of the Ashram that I can take, to disregard the provisions of the Salt Laws."

Initially, the British Viceroy, decided to ignore the march - 'a few Indians, picking up salt from the beaches, were not going to topple the British empire'. But as thousands upon thousands of the peoples of India flocked to the beaches to openly breach the law, the Viceroy concluded that there was an immense organisation behind this open defiance.

The British then set about arresting the 'organisers'. But as more and more 'organisers' were arrested and detained, the defiance increased and thousands more joined. The truth was that the salt march succeeded not because of skilful 'organisation' - the salt march was a 'self organising idea'. Yet again, Gandhi had dug deep and touched base with his fellow Indians.

A story is told about Gandhi and Bhagat Singh, a militant/revolutionary in the Indian freedom struggle. In the 1930s, Bhagat Singh was charged and convicted for dacoity and sentenced to death. In prison, awaiting death, Bhagat Singh declared:

" I have been arrested while waging a war. For me there can be no gallows. Put me into the mouth of a cannon and blow me off."

When asked by newspaper reporters for his response, Gandhi replied: ''His way is not my way. But I bow my head before one who is ready to give his life for the freedom of his people.''

Martin Luther King was one of those who was inspired by Gandhi - and today, Gandhi continues to inspire all those concerned with political change - change for the better, change so that the essential goodness in each one of us may find settled expression. His legacy remains.

Mahatma Gandhi's Will dated 20 February 1940

"All the wills made by me previously may be treated as cancelled and this may be considered as my final Will.

I do not regard anything as my personal property.

Nevertheless, of whatever may be regarded in custom and in law as my property, movable or immovable, and of the copyrights of the books and articles, published or unpublished, written by me hitherto before or that may be written by me hereafter, I appoint "Navajivan", of which Shri Mohanlal Maganlal Bhatt and I made a Declaration of Trust, which was registered on 26-11-1929, and of which Shri Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, Shri Mahadev Haribhai Desai and Shri Narahari Dwarkadas Parikh are the present Trustees, as the sole heirs.

From the net profits accruing from the sale of the said books and from their copyrights "Navajivan" shall contribute twenty-five per cent every year to the Harijan Sevak Sangh for Harijan work. I nominate Mahadev Haribhai Desai and Narahari Dwarkadas Parikh Executors for the purpose of this Will. In their absence, through death or any other reason, others will have the right to administer the property.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Malikanda, February 20, 1940

Witnesses: Pyarelal Nayyar, 20-2-40 Koshorelai G. Masiruwala, 20-2-40 From Gujarati: C.W. 2686 Courtesy: Navajivan Trust - The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, LXX1page 230

Probated on 9-5-1949 "

Some Gandhi Reflections...
"...What you do is of little significance, but it is very important that you do it..."
" My goal is friendship with the world and I can combine the greatest love with the greatest opposition to wrong..."
"...As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the World � that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves... We must become the change we seek in the world..."

"நாம் மனிதர் என்ற முறையில், எங்கள் திறன் உலகை மாற்றி அமைப்பதிலல்ல தங்கியிருக்கின்றது - எங்களை மாற்றி அமைப்பதில்தான் இருக்கின்றது. நாங்கள் உலகில் விரும்பும் மாற்றத்தை, நாங்களே வாழவேண்டும்."

"My religion has no geographical limits. If I have a living faith in it, it will transcend my love for India herself. ... Isolated independence is not the goal of the world states. It is voluntary interdependence. ... There is no limit to extending our services to our neighbours across state-made frontiers. God never made those frontiers."
"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any of them. Mine is not a religion of the prison house. It has room for the least among God's creatures, but is proof against the insolent pride of race, religion or colour.."
"I live for India's freedom and would die for it, because it is part of Truth. Only a free India can worship the true God. I work for India's freedom because my swadeshi teaches me that being born in it and having inherited her culture, I am fittest to serve her and she has a prior claim to my service. But my patriotism is not exclusive; it is calculated not only not to hurt another nation but to benefit all in the true sense of the word. India's freedom as conceived by me can never be a menace to the world."
"I hold that Democracy cannot be evolved by forcible methods. The spirit of Democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within ... I believe that true Democracy can only be an outcome of Non-Violence. The structure of a world federation can be raised only on a foundation of non-violence and violence will have to be totally given up in world affairs."
"There is no religion higher than Truth and Righteousness. You mush watch my life, how I live, eat, sib, talk, behave in general. ... The sum total of all those in me is my religion. ... It is my deliberate opinion that the essential part of the teaching of the Buddha now forms an integral pars of Hinduism. It is impossible for Hindu India today to retrace her steps and go behind the great reformation that Gautama effected in Hinduism. By his immense sacrifice, by him great renunciation and by the immaculate purity of his life he left an indelible impress upon Hinduism, and Hinduism owes an eternal debt of gratitude to that great teacher."
"What was the larger 'Symbiosis' that Buddha and Christ preached? Gentleness and love. Buddha fearlessly carried the war into the enemy's camp and brought down on its knees an arrogant priesthood. Christ drove out the money-changers from the temple of Jerusalem and drew down curses from heaven upon the hypocrites and the Pharisees. Both were for intensely direct action. But even as Buddha and Christ chastised, they showed unmistakable love and gentleness behind every act of theirs."
"In every great cause it is not the number of fighters that counts but it is the quality of which they are made that becomes the deciding factor. The greatest men of the world have always stood alone. Take the great prophets, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Mohamed-they all stood alone like many others whom I can name. But they had living faith in themselves and their God, and believing as they did that God was on their side, they never felt lonely."
"..The means can be likened to a seed, the end to a tree, and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. They say: �Means are, after all, just means.� I would say: �Means are, after all, everything.� As the means, so the end.........If we take care of the means, we are bound to reach the end sooner or later..."
�In its negative form, non violence means not injuring any living being whether by body or mind. I may not therefore hurt the person of any wrong-doer, or bear any ill will to him and so cause him mental suffering�.

In its positive form, non violence means the largest love, the greatest charity. If I am a follower of non violence, I must love my enemy. I must apply the same rule to wrong-doer who is my enemy or a stranger to me, as I would do to my wrong-doing father or son. This active non violence necessarily includes Truth and Fearlessness�. A man cannot then practice non violence and be a coward at the same time. The practice of non-violence calls forth the greatest courage."

"Nonviolence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute, and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law - to the strength of the spirit.. The best and most lasting self-defense is self-purification."
"There is no reason to believe that there is one law for families and another for nations."
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall - think of it, always. Exploitation and domination of one nation over another can have no place in a world striving to put an end to all war.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Peace will not come out of a clash of arms, but out of justice lived, and done, by unarmed nations in the face of odds. "Tit for tat" is the law of the brute of unregenerate man. To answer brutality with brutality is to admit one's moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to be friends to the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.

Hatred can be overcome only by love. Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.

Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt. Noncooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good.

In true democracy every man and woman is taught to think for himself or herself. Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep.

Nonviolence is the first article of my faith, it is also the last article of my creed. Nonviolence is not a weapon of the weak. It is a weapon of the strongest and bravest. Truth and nonviolence demand that no human being may debar himself from serving any other human being, no matter how sinful he may be.

My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all embracing and I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount the distress, or exploitation, of other nationalities. Hatred is not essential for nationalism. Race-hatred will kill the real national spirit.

The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.

A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.

Practice is the best speech and the best propaganda.

There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. - the voice of conscience, even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more a separation from friends, from family, from the state to which you may belong, from all which you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being.

The only devils in the world are those running around in our own hearts - that is where the battle should be fought.
"In the midst of death, life persists; in the midst of untruth, truth persists; in the midst of darkness, light persists; hence I gather that God is life, truth and light.."
As Others saw Gandhi..

Winston Churchill, 1930 "...It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious middle temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor..."

Albert Schweitzer - "Gandhi continues what the Buddha began. In the Buddha the spirit of love set itself the task of creating different spiritual conditions in the world; in Gandhi it undertakes to transform all worldly conditions."
Jawaharlal Nehru, 1948 "The light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere and I do not quite know what to tell you and how to say it. The light has gone out, I said and yet I was wrong, for the light that shone in this country, for these many years will illumine this country for many more years and a thousand years later that light will stiil be seen in this country, and world will see it and it will give solace to innmerable hearts. For that light represented the living truth and the eternal man was with us with his eternal truth reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom" -
Rabindranath Tagore - "This then seems to me to be the significant fact about Gandhiji. Great as he is as a politician, as an organiser, am a leader of men, as a moral reformer, he is greater than all these as a man, because none of these aspects and activities limits his humanity. They are rather inspired and sustained by it. Though an incorrigible idealist and given to referring all conduct to certain pet formula of his own, he is essentially a lover of men and not of mere ideas; which makes him so cautious and conservative in his revolutionary schemes. If he proposes an experiment for society, he must first subject himself to its ordeal. If he calls for a sacrifice, he must first pay its price himself."-
Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate by �yvind T�nnesson
"The Times, on September 27, 1947, under the headline "Mr. Gandhi on 'war' with Pakistan" reported: "Mr. Gandhi told his prayer meeting to-night that, though he had always opposed all warfare, if there was no other way of securing justice from Pakistan and if Pakistan persistently refused to see its proved error and continued to minimise it, the Indian Union Government would have to go to war against it. No one wanted war, but he could never advise anyone to put up with injustice.

If all Hindus were annihilated for a just cause he would not mind. If there was war, the Hindus in Pakistan could not be fifth columnists. If their loyalty lay not with Pakistan they should leave it. Similarly Muslims whose loyalty was with Pakistan should not stay in the Indian Union. Gandhi had immediately stated that the report was correct, but incomplete. At the meeting he had added that he himself had not changed his mind and that "he had no place in a new order where they wanted an army, a navy, an air force and what not"...

Gunnar Jahn (Nobel Peace Committee Chairman, 1947) in his diary quoted himself as saying: "While it is true that he (Gandhi) is the greatest personality among the nominees � plenty of good things could be said about him � we should remember that he is not only an apostle for peace; he is first and foremost a patriot. (...) Moreover, we have to bear in mind that Gandhi is not naive. He is an excellent jurist and a lawyer.""

Why I killed Gandhi - Nathuram Godse, 5 May 1949
Gandhiji Assassin Nathuram Godse's Final Address to the Court
G.T. Verghese

Nathuram Godse was arrested immediately after he assassinated Gandhiji, based on a F.I.R. filed by Nandlal Mehta at the Tughlak road Police staton at Delhi. The trial, which was held in camera began on 27th May 1948 and concluded on 10th February 1949. He was sentenced to death. An appeal to the Punjab High Court, then in session at Simla, did not find favour and the sentence was upheld.

The statement that you are about to read is the last made by Godse before the Court on the 5th of May 1949.Such was the power and eloquence of this statement that one of the judges, G.D.Khosla, later wrote, " I have, however, no doudt 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"

Why I killed Gandhi - Nathuram Godse

Born in a devotional Brahmin family, I instinctively came to revere Hindu religion, Hindu history and Hindu culture. I had, therefore, been intensely proud of Hinduism as a whole. As I grew up I developed a tendency to free thinking unfettered by any superstitious allegiance to any isms, political or religious. That is why I worked actively for the eradication of untouchability and the caste system based on birth alone.

I openly joined anti-caste movements and maintained that all Hindus were of equal status as to rights, social and religious and should be considered high or low on merit alone and not through the accident of birth in a particular caste or profession. I used publicly to take part in organized anti-caste dinners in which thousands of Hindus, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, Chamars and Bhangis participated. We broke the caste rules and dined in the company of each other.

I have read the speeches and writings of Dadabhai Naoroji, Vivekanand, Gokhale, Tilak, along with the books of ancient and modern history of India and some prominent countries like England, France, America and Russia. Moreover I studied the tenets of Socialism and Marxism. But above all I studied very closely whatever Veer Savarkar and Gandhiji had written and spoken, as to my mind these two ideologies have contributed more to the moulding of the thought and action of the Indian people during the last thirty years or so, than any other single factor has done.

All this reading and thinking led me to believe it was my first duty to serve Hindudom and Hindus both as a patriot and as a world citizen. To secure the freedom and to safeguard the just interests of some thirty crores (300 million) of Hindus would automatically constitute the freedom and the well-being of all India, one fifth of human race. This conviction led me naturally to devote myself to the Hindu Sanghtanist ideology and programme, which alone, I came to believe, could win and preserve the national independence of Hindustan, my Motherland, and enable her to render true service to humanity as well.

Since the year 1920, that is, after the demise of Lokamanya Tilak, Gandhiji's influence in the Congress first increased and then became supreme. His activities for public awakening were phenomenal in their intensity and were reinforced by the slogan of truth and non-violence which he paraded ostentatiously before the country. No sensible or enlightened person could object to those slogans. In fact there is nothing new or original in them. They are implicit in every constitutional public movement. But it is nothing but a mere dream if you imagine that the bulk of mankind is, or can ever become, capable of scrupulous adherence to these lofty principles in its normal life from day to day.

In fact, honour, duty and love of one's own kith and kin and country might often compel us to disregard non-violence and to use force. I could never conceive that an armed resistance to an aggression is unjust. I would consider it a religious and moral duty to resist and, if possible, to overpower such an enemy by use of force.

[In the Ramayana] Rama killed Ravana in a tumultuous fight and relieved Sita.. [In the Mahabharata] , Krishna killed Kansa to end his wickedness; and Arjuna had to fight and slay quite a number of his friends and relations including the revered Bhishma because the latter was on the side of the aggressor.

It is my firm belief that in dubbing Rama, Krishna and Arjuna as guilty of violence, the Mahatma betrayed a total ignorance of the springs of human action.

In more recent history, it was the heroic fight put up by Chhatrapati Shivaji that first checked and eventually destroyed the Muslim tyranny in India. It was absolutely essentially for Shivaji to overpower and kill an aggressive Afzal Khan, failing which he would have lost his own life.

In condemning history's towering warriors like Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Gobind Singh as misguided patriots, Gandhiji has merely exposed his self-conceit. He was, paradoxical as it may appear, a violent pacifist who brought untold calamities on the country in the name of truth and non-violence, while Rana Pratap, Shivaji and the Guru will remain enshrined in the hearts of their countrymen for ever for the freedom they brought to them.

The accumulating provocation of thirty-two years, culminating in his last pro-Muslim fast, at last goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhi should be brought to an end immediately.

Gandhi had done very good in South Africa to uphold the rights and well-being of the Indian community there. But when he finally returned to India he developed a subjective mentality under which he alone was to be the final judge of what was right or wrong.

If the country wanted his leadership, it had to accept his infallibility; if it did not, he would stand aloof from the Congress and carry on his own way. Against such an attitude there can be no halfway house. Either Congress had to surrender its will to his and had to be content with playing second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality, metaphysics and primitive vision, or it had to carry on without him.

He alone was the Judge of everyone and every thing; he was the master brain guiding the civil disobedience movement; no other could know the technique of that movement. He alone knew when to begin and when to withdraw it. The movement might succeed or fail, it might bring untold disaster and political reverses but that could make no difference to the Mahatma's infallibility. 'A Satyagrahi can never fail' was his formula for declaring his own infallibility and nobody except himself knew what a Satyagrahi is. Thus, the Mahatma became the judge and jury in his own cause.

These childish insanities and obstinacies, coupled with a most severe austerity of life, ceaseless work and lofty character made Gandhi formidable and irresistible. Many people thought that his politics were irrational but they had either to withdraw from the Congress or place their intelligence at his feet to do with as he liked. In a position of such absolute irresponsibility Gandhi was guilty of blunder after blunder, failure after failure, disaster after disaster.

Gandhi's pro-Muslim policy is blatantly in his perverse attitude on the question of the national language of India. It is quite obvious that Hindi has the most prior claim to be accepted as the premier language. In the beginning of his career in India, Gandhi gave a great impetus to Hindi but as he found that the Muslims did not like it, he became a champion of what is called Hindustani. Everybody in India knows that there is no language called Hindustani; it has no grammar; it has no vocabulary. It is a mere dialect, it is spoken, but not written. It is a bastard tongue and cross-breed between Hindi and Urdu, and not even the Mahatma's sophistry could make it popular. But in his desire to please the Muslims he insisted that Hindustani alone should be the national language of India. His blind followers, of course, supported him and the so-called hybrid language began to be used.

The charm and purity of the Hindi language was to be prostituted to please the Muslims. All his experiments were at the expense of the Hindus. From August 1946 onwards the private armies of the Muslim League began a massacre of the Hindus. The then Viceroy, Lord Wavell, though distressed at what was happening, would not use his powers under the Government of India Act of 1935 to prevent the rape, murder and arson. The Hindu blood began to flow from Bengal to Karachi with some retaliation by the Hindus.

The Interim Government formed in September was sabotaged by its Muslim League members right from its inception, but the more they became disloyal and treasonable to the government of which they were a part, the greater was Gandhi's infatuation for them. Lord Wavell had to resign as he could not bring about a settlement and he was succeeded by Lord Mountbatten. King Log was followed by King Stork. The Congress which had boasted of its nationalism and socialism secretly accepted Pakistan literally at the point of the bayonet and abjectly surrendered to Jinnah. India was vivisected and one-third of the Indian territory became foreign land to us from August 15, 1947.

Lord Mountbatten came to be described in Congress circles as the greatest Viceroy and Governor-General this country ever had. The official date for handing over power was fixed for June 30, 1948, but Mountbatten with his ruthless surgery gave us a gift of vivisected India ten months in advance. This is what Gandhi had achieved after thirty years of undisputed dictatorship and this is what Congress party calls 'freedom' and 'peaceful transfer of power'.

The Hindu-Muslim unity bubble was finally burst and a theocratic state was established with the consent of Nehru and his crowd and they have called 'freedom won by them with sacrifice' - whose sacrifice? When top leaders of Congress, with the consent of Gandhi, divided and tore the country - which we consider a deity of worship - my mind was filled with direful anger.

One of the conditions imposed by Gandhi for his breaking of the fast unto death related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by the Hindu refugees. But when Hindus in Pakistan were subjected to violent attacks he did not so much as utter a single word to protest and censure the Pakistan Government or the Muslims concerned. Gandhi was shrewd enough to know that while undertaking a fast unto death, had he imposed for its break some condition on the Muslims in Pakistan, there would have been found hardly any Muslims who could have shown some grief if the fast had ended in his death. It was for this reason that he purposely avoided imposing any condition on the Muslims.

He was fully aware of from the experience that Jinnah was not at all perturbed or influenced by his fast and the Muslim League hardly attached any value to the inner voice of Gandhi. Gandhi is being referred to as the Father of the Nation. But if that is so, he had failed his paternal duty inasmuch as he has acted very treacherously to the nation by his consenting to the partitioning of it. I stoutly maintain that Gandhi has failed in his duty. He has proved to be the Father of Pakistan. His inner-voice, his spiritual power and his doctrine of non-violence of which so much is made of, all crumbled before Jinnah's iron will and proved to be powerless.

Briefly speaking, I thought to myself and foresaw I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred and that I shall have lost all my honour, even more valuable than my life, if I were to kill Gandhiji.

But at the same time I felt that the Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and would be powerful with armed forces. No doubt, my own future would be totally ruined, but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan. People may even call me and dub me as devoid of any sense or foolish, but the nation would be free to follow the course founded on the reason which I consider to be necessary for sound nation-building.

After having fully considered the question, I took the final decision in the matter, but I did not speak about it to anyone whatsoever. I took courage in both my hands and I did fire the shots at Gandhiji on 30th January 1948, on the prayer-grounds of Birla House. I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus. There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book and for this reason I fired those fatal shots. I bear no ill will towards anyone individually but I do say that I had no respect for the present government owing to their policy which was unfairly favourable towards the Muslims. But at the same time I could clearly see that the policy was entirely due to the presence of Gandhi.

I have to say with great regret that Prime Minister Nehru quite forgets that his preachings and deeds are at times at variances with each other when he talks about India as a secular state in season and out of season, because it is significant to note that Nehru has played a leading role in the establishment of the theocratic state of Pakistan, and his job was made easier by Gandhi's persistent policy of appeasement towards the Muslims.

I now stand before the court to accept the full share of my responsibility for what I have done and the judge would, of course, pass against me such orders of sentence as may be considered proper. But I would like to add that I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me, nor do I wish that anyone else should beg for mercy on my behalf. My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled against it on all sides. I have no doubt that honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof some day in future.

Gandhi Was a Hypocrite, Gopal Godse, co-conspirator in Gandhi's assassination and brother of the assassin, looks back in anger - and without regret, 14 February 2000
Time On Line, 14 February 200
Hemant Pithwa/India Today

Fifty-two years ago, on Jan. 30, 1948, Mohandas Gandhi was shot dead by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. Godse believed that the Mahatma, or great soul, was responsible for the 1947 partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. Godse and his friend Narayan Apte were hanged. His brother Gopal and two others were sentenced to life imprisonment for their part in the conspiracy. Gopal Godse remained in jail for 18 years and now, at 80, lives with his wife in a small apartment in Pune. He is still proud of his role in the murder. Although Godse is largely ignored in India and rarely talks to journalists, he agreed to speak with TIME Delhi correspondent Meenakshi Ganguly.

TIME: What happened in January 1948?
Godse: On Jan. 20, Madanlal Pahwa exploded a bomb at Gandhi's prayer meeting in Delhi. It was 50 m away from Gandhi. [The other conspirators] all ran away from the place. Madanlal was caught there. Then there was a tension in our minds that we had to finish the task before the police caught us. Then Nathuram [Gopal's brother] took it on himself to do the thing. We only wanted destiny to help us -- meaning we should not be caught on the spot before he acted.

TIME: Why did you want to kill Gandhi?
Godse: Gandhi was a hypocrite. Even after the massacre of the Hindus by the Muslims, he was happy. The more the massacres of the Hindus, the taller his flag of secularism.

TIME: Did you ever see Gandhi?
Godse: Yes.

TIME: Did you attend his meetings?
Godse: Yes.

TIME: Can you explain how he created his mass following?
Godse: The credit goes to him for maneuvering the media. He captured the press. That was essential. How Gandhi walked, when he smiled, how he waved -- all these minor details that the people did not require were imposed upon them to create an atmosphere around Gandhi. And the more ignorant the masses, the more popular was Gandhi. So they always tried to keep the masses ignorant.

TIME: But surely it takes more than good publicity to create a Gandhi?
Godse: There is another thing. Generally in the Indian masses, people are attracted toward saintism. Gandhi was shrewd to use his saintdom for politics. After his death the government used him. The government knew that he was an enemy of Hindus, but they wanted to show that he was a staunch Hindu. So the first act they did was to put "Hey Ram" into Gandhi's dead mouth.

TIME: You mean that he did not say "Hey Ram" as he died?
Godse: No, he did not say it. You see, it was an automatic pistol. It had a magazine for nine bullets but there were actually seven at that time. And once you pull the trigger, within a second, all the seven bullets had passed. When these bullets pass through crucial points like the heart, consciousness is finished. You have no strength.

When Nathuram saw Gandhi was coming, he took out the pistol and folded his hands with the pistol inside it. There was one girl very close to Gandhi. He feared that he would hurt the girl. So he went forward and with his left hand pushed her aside and shot. It happened within one second. You see, there was a film and some Kingsley fellow had acted as Gandhi. Someone asked me whether Gandhi said, "Hey Ram." I said Kingsley did say it. But Gandhi did not. Because that was not a drama.

TIME: Many people think Gandhi deserved to be nominated TIME's Person of the Century. [He was one of two runners-up, after Albert Einstein.]
Godse: I name him the most cruel person for Hindus in India. The most cruel person! That is how I term him.

TIME: Is that why Gandhi had to die?
Godse: Yes. For months he was advising Hindus that they must never be angry with the Muslims. What sort of ahimsa (non-violence) is this? His principle of peace was bogus. In any free country, a person like him would be shot dead officially because he was encouraging the Muslims to kill Hindus.

TIME: But his philosophy was of turning the other cheek. He felt one person had to stop the cycle of violence...
Godse: The world does not work that way.

TIME: Is there anything that you admire about Gandhi?
Godse: Firstly, the mass awakening that Gandhi did. In our school days Gandhi was our idol. Secondly, he removed the fear of prison. He said it is different to go into prison for a theft and different to go in for satyagraha (civil disobedience). As youngsters, we had our enthusiasm, but we needed some channel. We took Gandhi to be our channel. We don't repent for that.

TIME: Did you not admire his principles of non-violence?
Godse: Non-violence is not a principle at all. He did not follow it. In politics you cannot follow non-violence. You cannot follow honesty. Every moment, you have to give a lie. Every moment you have to take a bullet in hand and kill someone. Why was he proved to be a hypocrite? Because he was in politics with his so-called principles. Is his non-violence followed anywhere? Not in the least. Nowhere.

TIME: What was the most difficult thing about killing Gandhi?
Godse: The greatest hurdle before us was not that of giving up our lives or going to the gallows. It was that we would be condemned both by the government and by the public. Because the public had been kept in the dark about what harm Gandhi had done to the nation. How he had fooled them!

TIME: Did the people condemn you?
Godse: Yes. People in general did. Because they had been kept ignorant.

Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home