ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
Nathuram Godse is unarguably one of the most hated names in India. As the man who killed the Mahatma, he is deplored by the majority. But then there are those few who worship Nathuram and justify the murder of Gandhi apportioning various motives behind Godse’s actions. As any sensible human being should do, I too condemn his decision of taking a human life more so that of the father of the nation. But again, as any sensible human being should do, I like to hear both the sides of a story, however controversial it may be. In Godse’s case, we always get to hear only the majoritarian version because his statement during the Gandhi murder trial was banned from being published by the Indian Government. It was only in 1983 that the court lifted this ban and these statements got published. Nathuram Godse: The Hidden Untold Truth is an attempt by Anup Sardesai to bring to light Godse’s version of the events leading to Gandhi’s death and to justify his actions.
Nathuram Godse: The Hidden Untold Truth tells the story of Nathuram right from his birth, his growing up days, his association with Hindu Mahasabha and RSS, his relationship with Veer Savarkar, his growing resentment towards Gandhi and finally, his murder of Gandhi. Much lesser known but significant facts are also brought out in the book. One such exceptional fact is that Godse was not acting alone in the Gandhi murder conspiracy; he was helped by other like-minded people like Madanlal Pahwa, Digambar Badge, Narayan Apte, Vishnu Karkare, Gopal Godse and Shankar Kistaiya. Another unbelievable event mentioned in the book was the previous attempt on Gandhi’s life just 10 days before and the failure of the police to take necessary steps to ensure his safety. The author also explains in detail the unsuccessful attempts by Congress leaders to victimise Savarkar and pin the blame for Gandhi’s murder on him. There are many more hitherto unheard and unread facts mentioned in the book which would shock and upset the readers.
Nathuram Godse: The Hidden Untold Truth is a narrative biography. The problem with conversations and dialogues in a biography is that the line between fact and fiction becomes very thin and they often overlap. Anup’s writing style is plain and lacks elegance. There are quite a few editing mistakes as well in the book which could have been easily avoided. The author’s hatred for Gandhi is unmistakable and can be grasped within the first few pages. A more impartial and unprejudiced narration would have helped in bringing his point across in a better way.
In conclusion, books on such controversial topics and alternate perspectives are seldom published and reading them would give you an insight into the other side of the story.