VEER VEER .
VEER SAVARKAR .
To: R Y Deshpande, Pushkar Chivate
PARTITION AND GANDHI’S MURDER
A group photo of people accused in the
Mahatma gandhi’s murder case. Standing:
Shankar Kistaiya, Gopal Godse, Madanlal
Pahwa, Digambar Badge (Approver). Sitting:
Narayan Apte, Vinayak D. Savarkar,
Nathuram Godse, Vishnu Karkare
Savarkar had become one of the fiercest critcs of Mahatma Gandhi, and attacked him and the
Congress leadership for acquiescing to the Partition of India During the intense communal
violence, Hindu Mahasabha activists were allegedly responsible for carrying out attacks on
Muslim civilians. Savarkar blamed Gandhi for weakening Hindu society in face of Muslim
separatism, and for agreeing to divide the Hindu homeland.
The anger of some Hindu refugees from Pakistan Provoked fears of assassination attempts
on Gandhi’s life. Gandhi’s fast-unto-death in January 1948, demanding immediate communal
peace and the payment of outstanding shares of the treasury to Pakistan in spite of the
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 increased the consternation and anger of many Hindu Mahasabha
activists, including Savarkar.
Following the murder of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948, police arrested the assassin
Nathuram Godse and rounded up his companions. Police investigation revealed that
Godse and his chief conspirator Narayan Apte had been a close Political confidantes of
Savarkar in the Hindu Mahasabha.
Despite having publicly denounced Gandhi’s murder, Savarkar was arrested on suspicion of
having inspired and planned Gandhi’s murder, and accordingly indicted.
Witnesses during the trial testified that Savarkar had blessed Nathuram Godse before he shot
Gandhi, with the words “Yashasvi howun yaa” (Marathi: Come back with success). Even before
the trial, However, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had, in a letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, clearly stated
his doubts over allegations that Savarkar had masterminded the murder.
In the court, approvers had testified to the intimate relationship between Savarkar and the Godse
brothers, but there was no corroborative evidence to nail down Savarkar’s assertion that he had had
merely formal relationships with them. Godse claimed full responsibility for planning and carrying
out the attack, in absence of an independent corroboration of the prosecution witness
Digambar Ramchandra Badge’s evidence implicating Savarkar directly, the court exonerated him
citing insufficient evidence.