26 July, 2021

The Mastermind?

Outlook sources records from the National Archives to see if the RSS icon had any role in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Mastermind?
"Yashasvi hohun ya (Be successful and return)."
—V.D. Savarkar’s parting shot, quoted in police records, to Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse and co-conspirator Narayan Dattatreya Apte

Barely two km from Parliament House where the BJP has been stalling proceedings to defend Veer Savarkar’s ‘honour’ is the newly built annexe of the National Archives of India. It contains hundreds of documents that link the Hindu right-wing icon to the country’s most famous political murder. The dusty ‘Gandhi murder trial papers’ contain testimonies, police records and special branch reports which prove that Savarkar was not only close to Godse but also part of the conspiracy to kill the Mahatma. In fact, he was among the eight accused who were tried for the Mahatma’s assassination on January 30, 1948. Here is what the archival records, sourced by Outlook, reveal:

Savarkar was Godse’s mentor: Among the exhibits submitted to the special trial court is a letter Godse wrote to Savarkar on February 28, 1938. It clearly proves that the man who...

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