Within just over five months of India gaining freedom and the wounds of partition being yet very fresh and bleeding, the unfortunate assassination of the Father of the Nation severely rattled the nation and the nascent free government like an earthquake, rudely shocked and benumbed, There was an unconfessed but inherent feeling at having failed to take adequate measures and precaution to provide security and save the life of Bapu. In this abnormal situation the administration woke up to appear to be rising to the occasion and doing something drastic and strong.
The administration swung into action. It banned the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), arrested its supreme leader sarsanghchalak M. S. Golwalkar “Guruji” charging him an accused in the Gandhi murder and arrested thousands of RSS workers. It took not long before the Nehru government had to withdraw the charges against Guruji having failed to link Guruji to the case, lift the ban on RSS and release the arrested workers.
It was in this background that the word “Godse” was declared unparliamentary. The reason was that one Nathuram Godse was involved and later sentenced to death for the Gandhi murder.
Godse was the surname of Nathuram and every Godse or Nathuram could not be seen as a criminal. In Punjab and some parts of Haryana the name of the village is the surname of every resident of that village irrespective of his caste or creed, like Kairon, Badal, Dhindsa, Majithia and the like. It was a queer logic to declare a particular surname as a word unparliamentary.
Numerous individuals, ministers and politicians have, in the past, been convicted of murder, rape, corruption and other heinous crimes. But that cannot render the political party they belong or their caste, name or surname to be considered as culprit and their names being declared unparliamentary.
The Lok Sabha speaker has taken the right decision in right spirit. It has taken more than 60 years to undo the wrong. But better late than never. ***
By – Amba Charan Vashishth
The writer is a Delhi based political analyst.