On 30 January 1948, Nathuram Godse shot Mahatma Gandhi in the chest as the latter made his way to a prayer meeting. With the Father of the Nation dying soon after, Godse faced trial for murder and was eventually sentenced to death. There were several socio-political repercussions too. Alongside the death of a powerful icon, the Hindu Mahasabha faced flak and the the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha was banned for some time.
Over the years, many have attempted to paint Godse in a different light. While there was an attempt to make a film titled Desh Bhakt Nathuram Godse, others elevated him to divine status. In 2017, the Hindu Mahasabha had laid a foundation stone for a temple in his name, despite the refusal of the Gwalior district administration to permit construction.
On Sunday morning, Godse became the topic of yet another Twitter debate, and for some time, was a trending topic on the social media site. And while some tried to call him the "real hero" of India, others were most certainly not having it.
"Godse was the Real Hero of India not Gandhi. Godse knew that Gandhi was wavering NOT in favoring Hindus so Godse had no choice but to save India. Godse knew if Gandhi lives any longer than it would be bad for Hindus & India. Don't get me wrong, Gandhi was Good BUT Godse was GOD," a Twitter user had claimed a few days ago.
While some accused the user, whose Twitter bio identifies her as an activist and author, of posting deliberately sensational comments to gain a following, others began a heated debate.
"Are u serious? Praising a murderer, a killer who assassinated Gandhi? With friends like u , India doesnt need enemies. I suppose u also celebrate Dr. King’s assassination as well as Lincoln’s murder (sic)," asked Canadian journalist and author Tarek Fatah.
This in turn prompted BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy to weigh in, contending that Godse was an "agent of Lord Mountbatten.
"Godse by killing Gandhiji empowered Nehru-who in turn blamed Home Minister Sardar Patel by word of mouth. He banned RSS and defamed Hindutva forces. Thus Godse was defacto, if not dejure, an agent of Mountbatten who was hell bent on restraining Gandhiji from dissolving Congress," Swamy opined while responding to Fatah's post.
The discussion however does not seem to have put the debate to rest and many continue to tweet out their opinions on the topic. While there are people on both sides of the argument, a significant portion of Tweeple seem to be convinced that there was much more to the topic that the above mentioned tweets cover.