The Gandhians suffer from an apparent handicap. They hardly study, but tend to be up to their neck in work. Needless to say, I am, too, one of them. But the moment there was commotion at Mumbai and Delhi in reaction against the staging of Pradeep Dalvi's play, 'Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy' [I, Nathuram Godse Speak], they woke up with a start as it were. Thanks to the write-ups of Prakash N. Shah, Jagan Fadnis, Ramesh Oza and others and particularly to my conversations with Prakash, I gathered more relevant information than I was aware of. This furnished a vital context to the writing of this brochure. We could venture to present it to the readers because of the zest of friends who wished to disseminate it. While preparing this booklet I was not unmindful of the facts that the bigot followers of all religions had fallen a prey to dogmatism culminating into fanaticism, intolerance, and violence and also that Hinduism was regarded the world over as one of the most pluralistic religions and catholic in essence and practice. I was also aware of the fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party had very recently, in its organ "BJP Today", had come out with an article which implied that Godse played a tool in the hands of the British Imperialists. Indeed, no sane person, not to talk of a national party, could own up a heinous crime as the one committed by Godse. But I must add, much more will have to be done to clear the dust gathered till now.
I am sorry, there
might be some insinuations against RSS in this small work, and that
too in spite of the organisation's publicly disowning of the
perpetrator of crime. But its anti-Muslim and anti-Gandhi mindsets
are two handicaps—one born and the other acquired. These are also
denied, but its followers and their deeds tell a different story
altogether. I wish I were wrong.
I am thankful to
Shri Bang Saheb of Sarva Seva Sangh who expressed his readiness to
send its Hindi version round the Hindi speaking world while at the
same time assuring me to endeavour to render it in all the other
Indian languages as far as possible. Gandhi did not belong to
Gujarat alone, nor to India alone either. He belonged to the whole
of humanity. He admitted of no frontiers of caste, creed or
nationality that tend to divide man and man. We thought it
desirable, that this little document of facts, centering round the
assassination of Gandhi, were also put in the world language. And
hence the English version for readers at home and abroad.
Professor Ramesh Dave, putting aside all his commitments, attended to my SOS and took
great care while translating the original Gujarati into English. I
am happy to see that it reads as if it was originally written in
English. His Epilogue is a sensitive summing-up.
I can't help
acknowledging the contribution of Dr Pravin Sheth, Shri C.N. Patel
and his daughter Dina Patel, and my young colleague Sagar Rabari who
shared my concern for improving the book as far as possible.
The encouraging response of so many readers who have read this little book has
overwhelmed me. This is the real source of support to my endeavors.
I shall feel
gratified if this little book enables me to serve a little the cause