Monday, November 07, 2005

Hey Ram!? Na re...

Got a recent forward of a TIME interview with Gopal Godse, the brother of Nathuram Godse. He claims that the most famous thing about Gandhi's death did not happen, which means that he did not utter Hey ram! as he died. Below is the excerpt from his interview which says so

TIME: But surely it takes more than good publicity to create a Gandhi?
Godse:
There is another thing. Generally in the Indian masses, people are attracted toward saintism. Gandhi was shrewd to use his saintdom for politics. After his death the government used him. The government knew that he was an enemy of Hindus, but they wanted to show that he was a staunch Hindu. So the first act they did was to put "Hey Ram" into Gandhi's dead mouth.

TIME:
You mean that he did not say "Hey Ram" as he died?
Godse:
No, he did not say it. You see, it was an automatic pistol. It had a magazine for nine bullets but there were actually seven at that time. And once you pull the trigger, within a second, all the seven bullets had passed. When these bullets pass through crucial points like the heart, consciousness is finished. You have no strength.

When Nathuram saw Gandhi was coming, he took out the pistol and folded his hands with the pistol inside it. There was one girl very close to Gandhi. He feared that he would hurt the girl. So he went forward and with his left hand pushed her aside and shot. It happened within one second. You see, there was a film and some Kingsley fellow had acted as Gandhi. Someone asked me whether Gandhi said, "Hey Ram." I said Kingsley did say it. But Gandhi did not. Because that was not a drama.

Whew...fans more slightly anti-Gandhi feelings (not in the exact sense, but something like that) in me, the root of which was made by a movie(!) which impacted me to a great extent - Raj Kumar Santoshi's The Legend of Bhagat Singh in which the immortal Bhagat Singh is enacted by Ajay Devgan in possibly the finest role in his career. Gandhi's principles were good, no doubt, but was he possibly using them in the wrong place at the wrong time? Would we probably have become independent a few years earlier had Bhagat Singh lived on and overshadowed Gandhi's popularity?

These answers will forever remain unanswered...

And for those of you who think Bhagat Singh was just being a bit too violent, there is a powerful scene in TLOBS which clarifies this to an extent. This scene involves Bhagat Singh and friends going to meet a professor in a Kolkata college to learn the technique of bomb-making. The prof refuses saying "Gandhi rocks, u buggers r too violent", etc etc. Bhagat Singh suddenly attacks him, pinning him down onto the ledge of the chemistry lab. The prof manages to reach out to some acid bottle and is about to smash it on Bhagat's head when Bhagat eases his grip on the prof. And then he asks "Did you nearly commit an act of violence now? No, because you attacked me in return when I attacked you. This is called self-defence, not violence and there is a lot of difference between the two. And it is self-defence against the British atroicities that we are carrying out as revolutionaries, not violence"

Needless to say, not only does the Prof teach them the art of making a bomb, but also stays loyally with Bhagat Singh till he dies after a hunger strike when he is imprisoned with Bhagat and friends. This is a movie you should not miss, mainly for the powerful dialogues, Ajay Devgun, Sushant Singh...and the awesome music by A R Rahman. If this man really existed like what he was in the movie, then I would certainly worship Bhagat Singh...

2 scribbles:

Blogger Nirav says...

Yep... it was an awesome movie. And if you remember, it starts with kid Bhagat Singh being a Gandhi-fan at the time of the Non-Coop movement, and then his respect for Gandhi turning into anguish when the movement was abandoned at its peak, post the Chauri Chara incident.

This is one place where even I think that Gandhi made a folly, and had he not disbanded the movement, India might have gained independance earlier... but as you said, we will never know for sure

5:34 AM  
Blogger Vinayak says...

Too easy to think about what should have been done in hindsight. I'm sure years down the line, our descendants would be thinking , our generation should have taken some strong decisions against the degradation of the environment, terrorism, etc.

10:45 PM  

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