Godsays last words


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Godse's final speech moved all, says secret document
Satyen Mohapatra
The Hindustan Times

15th Feb 1999

Nathu Ram Godse who shot Mahatma Gandhi had brought tears in the
eyes of those who heard his statement in court 50 years ago, says a
top secret communication made by the then Superintendent of Police,
CID, to Intelligence Bureau Director.

"The Press representatives were warned that Godse's statement in
lower courts had been banned. Most of the passages relating to his
speech were censored... by the local CID," the official adds. The
letter forms part of the Mahatma Gandhi murder trial papers on
display at the exhibition "Bapu_The Undying Flame" at the National
Archives. The letter is a communication sent by the SP, CID at
Simla on 13.5.49 to the Director of IB, Ministry of Home Affairs, R
S Karam Chand, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Inspector
General of Police, Delhi, and Senior Superintendent of Police, Delhi
and Superintendent of Police, CID, Delhi.

The letter says that during the course of arguments by Godse the
court room was crowded with visitors. "His final speech appears to
have moved almost all those who were present in the hall,
particularly the ladies, who were noticed shedding tears or blowing
their noses and wiping their eyes. His last words created lot of
sympathy for him in the minds of the audience. It was noticed that
Nathu Ram's brother who was also present in the court, received some
invitations to tea etc., extended by local people," the letter

He wrote that the "local opinion though not against Mahatma Gandhi
appears to be definitely favourable towards NVG" and some of the
people are "openly seen sympathising with him." The counsel for
Madan Lal and Apte (accused), Mr Banerji, requested the court to
adjourn the case on sentimental grounds for 45 minutes i.e. till
the lunch hour. The Advocate General objected and the court also
refused to adjourn, he adds.

Nathu Ram Godse arguing his own case for the last seven days
concluded his arguments with eulogies to the High Court Judges and
pointed out that the court was the only place left in India where
bribery and favouritism did not exist. He looked forward to the
judges to pass their verdict without fear or favour and without
allowing any outside factor to influence them, the letter adds.

He pointed out to the judges that he had never put any appeal for
himself nor would he ever ask for mercy because he had shown no
mercy to the Great Man of India he had killed. The only favour he
wanted was the permission to have a stroll sometimes during the day.

"He was confined to a cell in the jail which measured about 8-foot
by 10-foot and it meant a sort of slow death for him. He requested
the court that either he should be executed immediately or permitted
to leave his cell for a short time in the evening."

The exhibition has another letter written by Nathu Ram Godse to
Chief Commissioner of Delhi making a fervent plea for an interview
with his parents in Poona. The letter dated Feb 23, 1949 is written
in his own handwriting. He made the request afresh stating that
earlier authorities had not agreed to his plea of meeting his
parents as he could not be taken to Poona and his parents were too
old to take the strain of journey from Poona to Delhi. But that was
before "death sentence was passed on me."

He wanted his "request be considered more from the humanitarian
point of view rather than within the strict technique of the four
corners of law under such special circumstances." Interestingly the
files also contain the then Secretary of Home H V Iyengar's note
that he had discussed the issue with the Home Minister who agreed
that Godse should not be transferred to Pune as it would be
politically 'unwise.'

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Last updated: February 23, 2000 .