24 January, 2021

What If Godse's Bullets Had Missed Gandhi?

Ambedkar wrote: "I think good will come out of the death of Mr Gandhi. It will release people from bondage to supermen, it will make them think for themselves and compel them to stand on their own merits." Harsh words...

P Dayal/CNS
What If Godse's Bullets Had Missed Gandhi?
Had Nathuram Godse failed to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi and the latter had lived a few more years he would have been the most frustrated man in India, marginalised and feeling totally unwanted. By early 1946, he had begun to sense his ebbing authority. His most devout followers had begun to desert him. That year he wrote to his friend Ghanshyamdas Birla: "My voice carries no weight in the Working Committee. I don’t like the shape things are taking and I cannot speak out."

In March ’46, when Gandhi was away in Bihar, the Congress Working Committee reluctantly, as Judith Brown put it, but realistically resolved that partition of the Punjab would be the only solution to the growing violence. Gandhi was deeply hostile to any partition on communal grounds and asked for an explanation from both Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel. Wrote Nehru: "I feel convinced and so did most members of the Working Committee that we must press for this immediate division so that reality might be brought into the picture." Patel said the decision was taken only after the deepest deliberation,...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from M.V. Kamath

Latest Magazine

February 01, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section