Fresh evidence is claimed to have surfaced on links between Nathuram Godse, the man responsible for murdering Mahatma Gandhi, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), this time from the from the London archives of India Office Library & Records.
Being interpreted as fresh armour in the hands of those who seek to nail the RSS which claims it had no links with Godse, an “outward telegram” is being quoted to say that “it was sent by the British Foreign Office on February 13, 1948.
The telegram claimed, “It has now been established that Godse, arrested as Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, was a member of the ‘R.S.S.S.’ (sic) and of the Mahasabha”. The telegram also records: “…the initial disturbances were clearly spontaneous acts of indignation, provoked too in some places by R.S.S.S. demonstrations welcoming the assassination…”
It continues, “In particular Jai Prakash Narain, the leader of the Socialist Party of India…called upon the Government to crush the Muslim League, Mahasabha and the R.S.S.S., and to resign as a symbolic atonement for its ineffectiveness in preventing the death of the Mahatma. He also demanded a change in the appointment of the Home Minister ( Sardar Patel, right wing)…”
The telegram was sent to ‘His Majesty’s Representatives’ at various capitals including Washington, Moscow, Berlin, Paris, Cairo and Kabul, says a report, adding, “The RSS has always denied any responsibility for Gandhi’s assassination, pointing out that Godse had left the RSS before committing the act.”
The RSS claims itself to be a ‘cultural organisation’ having nothing to do with politics. I also claims that neither the Gandhi assassination trial by the special court in Red Fort nor the two subsequent inquiry commissions had found enough evidence to link the RSS with the killing.
Those who have strongly pointed towards links between RSS and Godse include well known personalities like American historian and writer Larry Collins, French writer and historian Dominique Lapierre and AG Noorani, Indian lawyer, historian and author, among others.
They have suggested that the RSS itself was an offshoot of the Hindu Mahasabha. Gopal Godse has also confirmed in various interviews that his brother had never left the RSS and that he might have denied association with the RSS to shield the organisation after the assassination.
Significantly, Noorani, among others, have pointed out that Digambar Badge, the approver in Godse’s trial, had told the court that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who lived till 1966, was part of the conspiracy to assassin Gandhi.
However, as there was not enough evidence, the court gave him the benefit of doubt. Savarkar is considered, among others, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as top the militant freedom fighter of India.