MUMBAI(PTI): As Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi faces a case of defamation over his statement that RSS killed Mahatma Gandhi, a relative of Nathuram Godse on Thursday claimed that the Mahatma’s assassin was a member of the saffron organisation “till the last moment of his life”. However, Nathuram had maintained that he alone was responsible for the assassination, said Satyaki Savarkar, grandnephew of both Godse and Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
“After the assassination the Sangh did boycott Nathuram and condemned the killing. However, neither was he expelled, nor did he leave the organisation till the last moment of his life,” Satyaki told PTI.
“Rahul Gandhi’s statement is politically immature because after the assassination the court awarded death to Nathuram and sentenced others to life imprisonment. Nathuram had clarified that the decision to kill Gandhi was his own and RSS did not have any role in it,” he said.
If Rahul Gandhi still thought that RSS killed Gandhi, it also amounted to contempt of court, said Satyaki, a software engineer and son of the late Himani Savarkar, daughter of Nathuram’s younger brother Gopal. Himani was also the daughter-in-law of Narayan Savarkar, the younger brother of Vinayak Savarkar. Gopal was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Gandhi assassination case.
Owing to ideological differences, Nathuram parted ways with the Sangh in the 1940s and started Hindu Rashtra Dal, but he never resigned from RSS nor was he expelled, Satyaki said. “He was a staunch follower of Veer Savarkar’s ideology of Hindutva and when (Keshav) Hedgewar was the RSS supremo, the organisation followed Savarkar’s ideology. However after (M S) Golwalkar took over, Nathuram thought RSS was deviating from the main path and he started distancing himself from RSS,” he said.
Nathuram thought RSS was deviating from Savarkar’s main idea of political empowerment of Hindus. RSS began to stress the cultural binding of the Hindu society and the social work “which irked Nathuram”, Satyaki said.
In 1946, Nathuram also fell out with Savarkar’s Hindu Mahasabha over the issue of whether the flag of independent India should be the tricolour or a saffron flag.
Satyaki said he was now trying to revive the Mahasabha.