as promised, here is the first part of the 7-part series:
it Please your honour part 1
May it Please your honour
The court Statement of
Shri Nathuram Vinayk Godse
"If devotion to one's country amounts to a sin, I
admit I have committed that sin. If it is meritorious, I humbly claim the merit
thereof. I fully and confidently
believe that if there be any other court of
justice beyond the one founded by the mortals, my act will not be taken as
unjust. If after the death there
be no such place to reach or to go, there is
nothing to be said. I have resorted to the action I did purely for the benefit
of the humanity. I do say that
my shots were fired at the person whose policy
and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to lakhs of
Shri Nathuram Godse
occurred near the compound wall of Birla House, New Delhi, the capital of India,
on the evening of January 20, 1948. It was of a non-cotton
slab. It damaged
Gandhiji was staying at Birla House in Delhi then.
He had his prayer meetings on the lawn there. There atmosphere in Delhi and
other parts of the country
was charged in those days and feelings were tense.
This was due to the vivisection of Hindusthan a few months before.
'Sthan' stands for 'Land'. A part of Hindusthan was carved out to
create a theocratic Moslem independent State, 'Pakistan' (meaning holyland). The
of Hindusthan which became simultaneously independent from the British
yoke was renamed Bharat.'
The Indian National Congress was a
party to the fore in politics. The leaders of the Congress then had a fancy for
Hindu-Moslem unity and secularism. Contrary
to their urge and call for the
principles, they .agreed to recognise a theocratic Moslem State on the Hindu
land. It was the leaders defeat and the defeat
of their principles. They were
hypocrites and brazen enough to impose dictatorially their principles on the
Hindus. To camouflage the defeat, they did
not recognise Hindus to be a
Nation but considered them to be only a sect. They enforced secularism in their
,own style on India.
The word India' is in fact a perverted
form of `Hindusthan' adopted by the British. `Bharat' too is an ancient name of
Hindusthan and connotes complete
undivided India. But the leaders thought of
avoiding ,any name for the country that might indicate predominance of the
Hindus and offend Moslems in Hindusthan.
Thus, in practice, secularism meant
appeasement of the Moslems.
The pangs of partition brought
in its trail mass- killings, rape, violence and exodus on-masse which became the
order of the day.
Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma, a
great soul, had played a prominent role in politics. Hindus affected ' by
partition and those who shared universal
brotherhood with them' were enraged
against him. Police were posted at Birla House to protect him from ,any possible
The explosion on January 20, 1948 was not aimed at
Gandhi. It was almost a hundred and fifty feet away from the dais where he sat.
It was however, revealed
later, by the police that the explosion was a part
of the plan to bump Gandhi off.
Madanlal Pahwa was
apprehended on spot on the day. He was one of the Hindu sufferers of partition.
'The police got information that Madanlal had other accomplices
in the plot,
that the plan did not work and that his co- conspirators had fled. The police
spread a net all over India, to apprehend others. As a consequence,
Government reinforced the police force and security measures were tightened at
The police could hardly make any progress in
apprehending others within the next ten days. All of a sudden, on January 30,
1948, Gandhi was shot point blank
in the evening at 5.00 P.M. by Nathuram
Godse while the former was on his way to the dais for the prayer meeting.
Gandhi, with almost feeble or faint `ah',
possibly as a reflex action and
shock, fell to the ground. He went unconscious instantaneously and breathed his
last some twenty minutes later.
Nathuram after firing shots
raised his hand with the gun and called for the police. He was
Nathuram was one of the persons the police had
been looking for in connection with the explosion that took place earlier on
January 20, 1948.
Investigations were confined mainly to
Bombay, Delhi and Gwalior.
Special Court was constituted to conduct the trial. Shri Atma Charan Agrawal, I.
C. S. was appointed as the Judge.
The venue of the court was
the memorable Red Port, Delhi. This was to be the third historical trial to be
witnessed here. The first was of Bahadur Shah
Jafar and other accused. They
were among those who waged War of Independence against the British in 1857. The
second was in 1945. The officers of the Indian
National Army commanded by
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose were charged with revolt against the British rule
during the Second World War. The third was to
be for Gandhi murder.
A row of cells in one of the walls of the fort was turned into a
jail for the accused.
Twelve persons were accused or.
different charges. Three of them were absconding. The nine produced before Shri
Atma Charan on May 27. 1948 and onward were
(1) Nathuram Vinayak Godse, 37,
Pune, (2) Narayan Dattatraya Apte, 34, Pune, (3) Vishnu Ramkrishna Karkare, 37,
Ahmednagar, (4) Madanlal K. Pahwa, 20,
Bombay (originally from Dist.
Montgomery, Pakistan) (5) Shankar Kistaiya, 20, Solapur, (6) Gopal Vinayak
Godse, 27, Pune, (7) Digambar Ramchandra Badge,
40, Pune, (8) Vinayak Damodar
Bombay, and (9) Dattatraya Sadashiv Parchure, 47.
The three absconding persons were (1) Gangadhar
Dandavate, (2) Gangadhar Jadhao, and (3) Suryadeo Sharma, all from
Accused No. 7. Digambar
Badge turned approver. V. D. Savarkar then got No. 7 in the serial. Savarkar had
a glorious selfless background as a fiery revolutionary.
The history of
Independence of India cannot be complete without a reference to him. He had
plunged into the freedom movement right from his teens. To
independence is a pious duty' was his motto. 'The British rule over
India is an unnatural yoke and unjustifiable and any means to remove it from
neck are justifiable' was his preaching. He fired the imagination of
the Indian youth with the philosophy of Joseph Mazzini, the stalwart of the
Liberation Movement. Savarker was the pioneer who for the first time
advocated that the rise of 1857 was not a mere mutiny of the sepoys as dubbed by
British, but it was a War of Independence.
was accused of sedition and sentenced to transportation for life twice, the
sentences, queerly enough, to run consecutively. It was in 1910. He
only in 1937, from any restrictions imposed on him.
time the Congress under the leadership of Gandhi had made considerable headway
towards appeasement of the Moslems.
Savarkar was bestowed
upon the title of Swatantrya Veer, the Stalwart of Independence, by the people.
He re- entered politics and headed the Hindu Mahasabha,
organisation for independence with a just place of honour and dignity to the
He insisted on freedom of the country without its
vivisection, and advised people to refrain from Moslem appeasement policy to
avoid partition. He encouraged
Hindus to join army, though under the British,
since he regarded it as a rare opportunity to handle arms and advised the youth
to be prepared to use the
arms for the sake of freedom when time came. The
revolutionary fervour of Veer Savarkar was the source of inspiration for Netaji
Subhash Chandra Bose.
It is a little known fact that they had met for
confabulations to chalk out the course of armed action that Netaji was to take
later for throwing off the
British yoke. Rash Bihari Basu, a revolutionary in
exile in Japan and the Hindu Sabha President there, was their common link. It is
also a little known
fact that Veer Savarkar was in correspondence with his
comrade Rash Bihari Basu while the latter was abroad.
Savarkar had forewarned years' before the actual partition that
the leading party i.e. the Indian National Congress would deceive the people and
India to appease Moslems, and then it would also appease Moslem
sentiments in the rest of India. If would be at the cost of legitimate rights of
There was a perpetual tussle between the apposing schools of thought.
Gandhi and the Congress condemned the revolutionaries as of violent cult'.
spoke of purity of means and methods to be adopted for freeing the
country from British domination. The differences of approach were aired while
Tilak was still living. Gandhi had his own view of: looking at the
Geeta. It differed from that of Tilak. Tilak did not see violence in good cause
with renunciation. Like Aurobindo, Tilak equated, the nation
with religion (Dharma). Gandhi ardently thought that non-violence or Ahimsa was
precondition of a person striving for attaining `Anasakti' or
Tilak and Savarkar held identical views.
In fact Savarkar would go a step ahead of Tilak. Savarkar's guideline also was
the `core' of the wisdom of the.
ancients but only to the extent it suited
the need of the time. One should not tie down oneself to the text of the script
but one should rise above it
in the context of the changing times, was his
view. What is relevant should be accepted and implemented but whatever hinders
the progress of mankind today,
is outdated and should be discarded, he
advised. For him freedom of Hindusthan was the first duty and top priority. He
made people adore the noble sacrifices
and spirit of martyrdom of the
revolutionaries, which superficially appeared like acts of violence. Gandhi had
more than once set his face against the
revolutionaries and their cult of
violence' for the cause of freedom.
Savarkar stood for
certain national ethics. In the interest of the nation he logically condemned
the policy of Moslem appeasement of Gandhi and the Congress.
It was easy for
the prosecution, guided by the Congress Government, to book Savarkar for the
murder. The prosecution could cash on flagrant distortion
of the ethics when
he was directly implicated, rather than deal on abstract concepts for which he
The other accused in the case were the hardcore
opposed to partition and dictatorial practice of making the people swallow the
pernicious logic. The accused,
who were staunch followers of Veer Savarkar,
never for a moment denied the fact nor ,did Veer Savarkar deny that the
conspirators were his adherents. This
also enabled the prosecution to build
its story on some flimsy imaginary third rate hearsay evidence to plead that the
murder of the Mahatma was committed
with Savarkar's blessings.
It was indeed an irony of fate. Those who were responsible for the
ruin and massacre of lakhs of people by vivisecting the country and should have
in the dock for the anti-people crimes, now in power, had put the noble
patriot in the dock.
Accused No. 2, Narayan Apte was B. Sc.,
B. T. He was a very popular teacher. He conducted private classes as well. He
stayed at Ahmednagar, a District place,
70 miles off Pune, where Karkare,
accused No. 3, was residing. They both came in touch with each other in their
activities of common interest,- the Hindu
Sanghatan-organising the Hindus.
Apte had started a rifle club to train the youth in the use of fire arms.
It was later in 1944 that Apte and Nathuram jointly launched Hindu
Rashtra' a Marathi daily from Pune for propagating the cause of Hindu Sanghatan.
last issue of the daily on January 31, 1948 carried the news of Gandhi's
assassination and mentioned the name of the assassin, Nathuram Godse, who
Apte and Nathuram Godse worked together
for 5 to 6 years under the banner of the Hindu Maha Sabha. Apte was present on
January, 20 and 30, 1948 on the spot
at Delhi. The prosecution described him
as brain behind the conspiracy'. Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were destined
to die hand in hand, shoulder to
shoulder, with 'Vande Mataram' on their lips
for the cause of national integrity they held dearer than their life.
Apte was handsome. He was married and had a male issue. The child
expired when twelve. It was after Apte's execution.
Karkare had a lodging and boarding house at Ahmednagar. He was an active
political worker. When Noakhali in Bengal (now in Bangla Dash) had become
slaughter house of the Hindus there, Karkare, with a batch of ten had gone there
to mobilise the Hindus and adopt a militant posture in their defence.
raised a number of shelter camps under the Hindu Maha Sabha banner. This was in
1946-47. He was present on the spot on January 20 and 30 at Delhi.
Karkare was married but had no issue.
Madanlal, who had
exploded the gun-cotton slab, was a refugee. He was a witness to the awful
events of massacre, loot and arson. Caravans, miles together
in length and
comprising lakhs of humans driven out of their hearth and home, were on their
way to truncated India. Madanlal has narrated his poignant
sufferings in his
statement before the Court.
He was unmarried then.
Shankar Kistaiya, accused No. 5 was unmarried. He served Digambar
Badge, the approver. He was in Delhi on the spot on January 20, 1948.
Gopal Godse is a brother of Nathuram Godse. He was accused No. 6
in the case. He served in the Ordnance Department. He had gone overseas in the
War and on return he was posted in Khadaki Depot near Pune. He
was charged with conspiracy as he was present at the Birla House on January 20.
He was married
and had two daughters.
Digambar Badge a
Hindu Sanghatanist, was a dealer in arms. He held a conviction that Hindus
should be armed in the pockets in which they were in minority
and be able to
retaliate in case of attack from the Moslems. The prosecution claimed that it
was Badge who had supplied the gun-cotton slab ignited by
Madanlal. A hand
granade too was recovered from Madanlal. Some more ammunition was recovered from
Badge. He was present on the spot on January 20 at Delhi.
Accused No. 8, D. S. Parchure, was a Doctor. He practised at Gwalior. He
was an able Hindu organiser. He met attacks by the Moslems by
He was involved on the charge that Nathuram obtained the
pistol from him. A confession was extracted from him under pressure. He was
married and stayed
in his own house with his family.
The accused had engaged counsels. However,
replies to the charges were to be given by the accused themselves, which they
did. Before doing so, they submitted
their written statements.
Nathuram, in his written statement, Detailed, particularly from
Part II onward, the reasons of his decision to kill Gandhi. The prosecution had
of it before-hand. It raised an objection to the reading, which
was over-ruled by the Judge.
The statement was read out. The
press published portions of it the next day.
Government would not take it lying down. It would not yield to the supremacy of
the judiciary. With the stranglehold of authority it banned the
its reproduction or publication in part or in full.
motive on the part of the Government was obvious. It did not like Gandhi to be
exposed to the public by what Nathuram Godse had stated. It wanted to
atmosphere of prejudice against the assassion to continue and suppress the
truth, probably, in its own fashion of thinking, as a befitting reverence
the memory of the Mahatma.
The Government's action remained
unchallenged and the ban continued for years till the law was annulled. It is
after a lapse of about three decades that
the statement reaches the
Nathuram preferred to argue his own case. He argued
for two days without challenging his conviction under the murder charge. The
Press had no free choice
to publish the proceedings in their true
The prosecution produced
149 witnesses. The hearing was closed on December 30, 1948 and judgment
reserved. It was pronounced on February 10, 1949.
Savarkar was acquitted.
Digamber Badge was granted pardon
and set free for having deposed against his co-accused.
Vishnu Karkare, Madanlal Pahwa, Gopal Godse, Shankar Kistaiya and
Dr. Parchure were to suffer, inter alia, transportation for life.
Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were sentenced to be hanged.
No sooner the sentences were announced the packed Courtroom echoed
to the thundering of spontaneous slogans from the convicts, `AKHAND BHARAT AMAR
!', `VANDE MATARAM !' and `SWATANTRYA LAXMI KI JAI !'
Nature of the Special Act
Gandhi enjoyed supremacy
in the otherwise democratic set- up of Government. A Special Act, viz, Bombay
Public Security Measures Act, was extended to Delhi
before constituting the
Special Court and the Act came into force with retrospective effect for the
trial of the accused.
Equality before law and other
inalienable rights were denied to the people through the provisions of this Act.
The Supreme Court of India was not constituted
then. Subsequently it declared
the Act ultra vires. Since retrospective effect was not provided to the
annulment, the convicts were deprived of the benefits.
Unlike in other cases under the normal law, death sentence was not required
to be confirmed by the High Court in conformity with the Special Act. The
limit to prefer appeals was only fifteen days instead of sixty or ninety
days in normal casses.
seven convicts submitted appeals through the jail authorities to the Punjab High
Court. Formerly the High Court functioned at Lahore. But Lahore,
said to have been established by Lava, one of the mighty sons of Lord Rama, and
the city then known as Lavapur, was now by a strange travesty
of fate, in
Pakistan and a part and parcel of the Country The High Court had become a
`refugee' and had its seat at Simla in the vivisected India.
Nathuram preferred appeal against his conviction for conspiracy
and other charges and not against the death sentence. He prayed for permission
his own case and it was granted. By that time all the convicts in
the case were transferred from the Special Jail, Red Fort, Delhi to Ambala Jail.
Was taken to Simla where he was lodged in a special jail. Other
convicts were represented by their counsels.
Bhandari, Achhru Ram and Khosla J.J. heard the appeals in May and June 1949.
They pronounced their judgement on June 22, 1949. They, found
Kistaiya and Dr. Parchure not guilty and acquitted them.
The sentences of Vishnu Karkare, Gopal Godse and Madanlal Pahwa
The Judges also, confirmed the death
sentence .of Narayan Apte. Nathuram's death penalty was automatically
obvious that the High Court was struck by the conduct and ability of Nathuram.
It has made a special reference to it while recording the judgement.
Justice Achhru Ram :
"Of all the appellants Nathuram V.
Godse has not challenged his conviction under Sec. 302 of the Indian Penal Code,
nor has he appealed from the sentence
of death passed on him in respect of
the offence. He has confined his appeal and also his arguments at the Bar only
to the other charges which have been
found proved against him...... He
personally argued his appeal, I must say, with conspicuous ability evidencing a
mastery of facts which would have done
credit to any counsel."
As regards Nathuram's power of thinking, the Judge noted:
"Although he failed in his matriculation examination, he is widely
read. While arguing his Appeal, he showed a fair knowledge of the English
rid a remarkable capacity for clear thinking."
In the course of arguments, Nathuram had made a plea that on
January 20, 1948 he was not present at the Birla House. The judges rejected the
plea. In support
of their rejection, they referred to their observations of
the strong will power of Nathuram, Shri Achhru Ram says :
"We have seen quite enough of Nathuram during the period of more
than five weeks we were hearing' these appeals and particularly during the eight
days while he was arguing his own case, and I cannot imagine that a
man of his caliber could have even entertained the idea (of remaining
after retirement. in a pen picture of the Court scene as it then passed before
his mind's eye has said:
"The highlight of the appeal before
us was the discourse delivered by Nathuram Godse in his defence. He spoke for
several hour' s, discussing,, in the first
instance, the facts of the case
and then the motive which had prompted him to take Mahatma Gandhi's life
"The audience was visibly and audibly moved. There
was a deep silence when he ceased speaking. Many women were in tears and men
coughing and searching for
their handkerchiefs. The silence was accentuated
and made deeper by the sound of an occasional subdued sniff or a muffled
"I have however, no doubt 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 in a verdict of `not guilty' by an
Nathuram had displayed the same
ability while arguing his case before Shri Atma Charan, the Judge of the Special
Court, Red Fort, Delhi.
The fate of the absconding accused hinged on Dr. Parchure's
conviction or acquittal. On Dr.Parchure's acquittal the three appeared before a
Gwalior. They were set free.
The Press was muzzled in respect of Nathuram's arguments in
the High Court as well. His exciting plea made with an impassioned appeal and
rare poise naturally interested the Press, and the
correspondents took it down verbatim. But as soon as the Judges returned to
their chamber, the police
pounced on the correspondents and snatched their
note books. They did not stop at that.
They tore down the
note books into pieces and warned the pressmen of severe consequences if they
published the true account of Nathuram's speech. The Press
was forced to toe
the Governments's instructions and accordingly disjointed and distorted reports
were carried by newspapers.
Some papers did write articles
evaluating the event in its proper perspective. h was after the ,death penalty
was executed. The papers were subjected to
heavy security and harassment.
Instead of having love for the truth, Government was allergic to it. Since it
called itself a Gandhian Government the contrast
Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were
executed in Ambala jail at 8 A. M. on Tuesday, November 15, 1949 i.e. after
twenty one and a half months of the shooting
incident. Several versions, some
of them quite distorted, have been put out and published about their conduct.
The writer along with Karkare and Madanlal
was with the condemned prisoners
till twenty minutes before the execution. Both of them looked composed, steady
and with their wits about them. They did
not seem to need any special efforts
to maintain that composure. Their faces looked calm and peaceful. They talked
and chitchatted. They talked among themselves,
with the Jail staff, and with
We had tea and coffee. When the tray of coffee was
brought by the sepoy, Nathuram just looked at the Superintendent Shri Arjun Das
who was standing by,
Shri Arjun Das was not
in mood to smile back. He was going to kill both these condemned convicts a few
minutes later. He took it to be a misfortune for
had developed friendship with the two. He sat and talked with them for hours. He
had political understanding of the events. He knew the feelings of
integrity of the two. Otherwise, he thought, why should these
persons from Maharashtra get upset when Punjab, a province over a thousand miles
torn? Why should they feel sorry for the persons uprooted there and
plunge themselves into fire ?
The Superintendent had seen
bloodshed in the wake of India's freedom. He cursed the hypocrites who uttered
now and then of having got independence without
shedding a drop of blood ! On
whose account is this bloodshed of Punjab to be debited? He thought.
The Superintendent was going to add to the bloodshed in cold blood
We saw the Superintendent push back his tears behind his
sighs. How could he smile back at Nathuram ?
Yet he felt, it
might be the last with of the condemned convict. Why not please him ? He, forced
a smile on his face and looked inquisitively at Nathuram.
"Do you remember, Shreemanji," said Nathuram. "I had told you once, `I
don't mind the gallows, but I must have a cup of coffee before the swing'! That
is here I Thank you very much !"
Shri Arjun Das did
not sob !
Nathuram then turned to the Doctor. He said, "Dr.
Chhabda, I have left your book with Shri Trilok Singh, Assistant Superintendent,
with my autograph on
it. I hope you don't need any more signatures !"
Nathuram talked with the same ease with which he had talked to his
maternal uncle the previous day. He had said, "Mama, I have arranged for the.
of your thousand rupees."
Narayan Apte reminded
the Superintendent of the dispatch of his thesis. Apte had written during the
last ten days a thesis on the Administration set-up.'
The superintendent had sent it to Government. But Government has not, so
far, passed it on either to Apte's wife or to his brothers.
The Magistrate of the District, Shri Narottam Sahgal who was
present there ascertained if the two had a passport to the unknown and if so
whether it was
The two started for their journey
beyond life. They had carried with them in their hands the Bhagwat Geeta, a map
of undivided Hindusthan and a Saffron
wins situated behind the condemned yard.' The beam could accommodate three at a
On the way, Apte seemed enjoying the morning sun in
the midst ' of winter. He had experienced it after a long lapse.
He exclaimed, "What is pleasant sun shine Pandit !" He used to
call Nathuram `Pandit' on occasions.
Nathuram said, "You are
seeing it after a long time. In Simla it is usual."
it is heavenly:"
"Bestowed on us by our Motherland at this
heavenly juncture !" endorsed Nathuram.
On reaching the
platform they recited a verse of devotion to the Motherland.
Obeisance to thee ever, O Sacred Mother ! In the lap of Hindu Land
have I been nurtured by thee in happiness.
auspicious, Oh Sacred land,
For thy sake I lay down my
Obeisance to thee. Obeisance to thee.
Their hands were tied at the back. The hangman put the noose
around their necks and left the surplus rope on their shoulders. He also tied
with a cord the toes of each.
Narayan shouted slogans which reverberated over the radius of a hundred feet in
the silent atmosphere around.
`Akhand Bharat Amar Rahe
gave the green signal to the hangman. The hangman in turn Pulled the lever. The
bridge grove way.
Nature embraced the two in gravitation and
gave their souls a lift in her invisible chariot to the unknown.
The operation was over with the drop of the rope but without any
drop of blood .
Nathuram's death was instantaneous.
Narayan's knees once tried to reach his chin. He shook in that unconscious state
for a couple of minutes and then life
was completely extinct.
The Assistant Superintendent Shri Ram Nath Sharma performed the
last rites before the bodies were cremated.
carried by the two in their hands were passed on to the writer.
The cremation was carried out within the Jail.
Nathuram's will (reproduced at the end of this book) was passed on
to Dattatraya, his younger brother the next day.
The Government accorded unusually harsh and cruel
treatment to the three life convicts, particularly, in respect of their release.
It took shelter behind
the' term transportation for life. It did not
transport them anywhere to allow them free life. It was for its own convenience
and not at the request of
the convicts. On the other hand, for its own
pleasure it had an evil eye on the life of the three by keeping them imprisoned
till they died.
Remission in sentence is granted to a
convict. under rigorous imprisonment commensurate to his. work and conduct as a
prisoner. A life convict is termed
as a prisoner under rigorous imprisonment.
The remission so granted is meant for consequent shortening of the convict's
sentence to that extent.
Besides doing all what was expected
from him, the writer, while under life sentence donated blood, whenever there
was a call. Government grants ten day's
remission on this score each time. it
recorded, it in his case but never gave effect to it. It was like the
Secretariat's dishonouring a valid demand draft
of the Reserve Bank. The
Government wanted from the writer his death date so that it could give effect to
the remissions to his credit.
There were unending.
postponements of consideration of his release.
Those at the
helm of the Government must have acted with a conviction that through such
deceitful tricks, they were accomplishing nonviolent deaths of
convicts.who staked their lives for undivided Hindusthan, and thereby
were serving the cause of nonviolence. They must have had a notion that they,
of Gandhiji, would please the departed soul with such deaths.
Otherwise cheap tricks like asking for blood donation beyond the scope of the
remission for it, and then usurping the donated blood and
also the remission of the convict in Gandhi murder case, cannot be reasoned
When the writer found out that he had been tricked by
the cheats who were physically powerful he donated blood but without accepting
their so-called generosity
of remission. He respected the call of the Nation,
but never the persons who taught honesty to others, but who themselves were
devoid of simple honesty.
When some such persons go to Raj Ghat, pay homage
to Gandhiji and repeat the vow of abiding by Truth and Nonviolence, the writer
feels that there i., an
everlasting field in our country to be fool the
The author moved the Supreme Court of India
twenty-two times on the issue of his release. He could not prove corruption and
dishonest intention on the part
of Government. It claimed absolute prowers
over convicts under its disfavour and wished to keep them confined vindictively
till death overtook them.
One of his petitions was pending
and Government was served with a notice. He and the other two in the case were
released in the mean time on October 13,
1964. All of them by then had
completed over twenty six years inclusive of remission. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
had expired a few month before.
Although the author could
not secure any judgement by the Supreme Court in his favour, it is true that but
for the existence of the Supreme Court the Government
would never have cared
to release him and his co-accused.
Life after release
Shri Vishnu Karkare and the writer attended a reception organised
by their friends and well-wishers to celebrate their release after seventeen
incarceration. The Government resented the reception. Detention Act
was invoked to put both of them behind the bars again within forty days of their
They were not charged with any offence. The High Court had no jurisdiction
to go behind the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority. The
harassment lasted for over a year and six days.
The writer has since taken to writing. His first book in Marathi
on the episode is titled 'Gandhi Hatya Ani Mee.
other subjects it exposes Government for its falsehood. The Government,
therefore, `imprisoned' the book this time !
The High Court
lifted the ban and decreed the Government for Rs. 3000/- towards legal expenses
the book has since been reprinted and translated in other
The writer has written some other books as well.
The statement of Nathuram Godse has already been published in regional languages
He is the proprietor of. the publishing institute
Vitasta Prakashan. Vitasta is the Vaidic name of the river Jhelum (running
through Kashmir.) He stays
at Pune with his family.
Vishnu Karkare continued his business at Ahmednagar till he
expired of heart attack on April 6, 1974. His wife looks after the
Madanlal Pahwa who married after his release
manages purchase and sale for some paper mills in Bombay.
Veer Savarkar expired in Bombay on February 26, 1966, ironically,
after he suffered the rigours of sentences and detention both during the British
and also when India was free. His fault : He urged for just rights for
the Hindus and opposed vivisection of India.
The statement in the following pages is
a part of record of the Mahatma Gandhi Murder Case, which can be found in
Printed Volume II, Criminal Appeals No.
66 to 72 of 1949 Punjab High Court,
(then at) Simla.