On 30th January 1948, at around 5:15 p.m. Nathuram Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi. He shot him thrice at the point blank range, his face turned pale, his clothes rinsed in red blood and with the words ‘Hey Ram’ his body fell on the ground. Immediately he was carried inside the Birla house where he was staying and about 5:40 he died. ‘The light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere’. With these words the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, broke the news to the nation.
This was not the first attempt to kill Gandhi, in the time span of 14 years some 6 attempts were made to assassinate him, the last one being successful. Godse was a Brahmin of Puna and when asked by the reporters, reportedly said that he was not sorry of killing Gandhi. Godse is supposed to be a Hindu hardliner, according to whom Gandhi was responsible for the partition and the plight of the country. But am not here to talk about who Godse was or what he believed in.
Gandhi was not just a man, but an ideology in himself. An ideology with which he not just revolutionised one country, but an entire era. Gandhi is a symbol of non violence, a figure of peace, harmony, freedom and love. Throughout his life he stood for what he believed was right, what we all knew was right. He wanted to build a nation with prosperity all around. He aspired for a country with equality and opportunity. He wished for a state with love, peace and freedom, and for this he devoted his life and ultimately gave it away for the realization of this dream.
When Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi, it was not just a man who died. Along with him died a lot of other things, things for which he fought for throughout his life. Things which he wanted to see in a free and independent Bharat and things which are still missing from our behaviour, nature and society. Where are the things for which he gave away his life? Where are those principles and morals on which his entire life was based upon?
But Gandhi is someone who cannot be written off so easily. No matter what we do, or the ways, in which we do, we still believe in his teachings. Because we all know what he preached was right. Gandhi was a great man, and his greatness lay not just in his principles or preaching but in the fact that this man of principles followed what he preached. And this is his biggest asset. He set numerous examples in front of the world and proved that violence is not the solution, but a problem itself.
It does not matter if we call his path ‘Gandhiwad’ or ‘Gandhigiri’. What matters is we still have respect for his path and ways. He is a symbol of non violence and around the globe people tribute him with murals, scriptures and posters. We talk about him, want and take him to be our idle. We talk about his ideology, and we appreciate efforts to rekindle his thought.
Godse shot him thrice, killed once. But he is still being killed by us, at some point or the other. I agree that we have made mistakes and we are still committing them. There were times when our methods were wrong, and they are still needed to be corrected. There have been instances when we hurt people, nation, humanity and that too knowingly. On this martyr’s day let us try to make right what we all think is wrong, what we all know is wrong. I am sure that this great man will forgive us for our mistakes and in this New Year, let us try to build a new nation. A nation about which our father of nation dreamt of and was more than game for. Because we all know that the light has not gone from our lives. It is still there and will always be with us to fight against the darkness.