The difference between Nathuram Godse and Gauri Lankesh’s killers


The hearse that brought the mortal remains of Gauri Lankesh to the ‘Veerashaiva Rudrabhoomi’ at the T.R. Mill compound in Chamarajpet in Bangalore last Wednesday, bore a small poster with her picture on the windshield.

“Those who killed Gandhi were those who killed Gauri,” read the text.

Writing in today’s New Indian Express, the veteran journalist T.J.S. George offers a different perspective.

Mahatma Gandhi‘s killer, he says, proudly owned up to his crime as did Indira Gandhi‘s and in a way Rajiv Gandhi‘s. Modern killers are cowards, using the cover of darkness to slip away, hiding behind powerful protectors who are themselves hiding.

“In the days of Nathuram Godse, things were straightforward and honest. When he shot Mahatma Gandhi there was no attempt to hide his identity.

“The courage of his conviction emboldened him to say bluntly: ‘I did fire the shots… I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me.’

“His final statement before the court was an eloquent defence of the Hindutva view of history….

“Today’s ideologues are different. They are ready to use the violence demanded of them, but they lack the conviction to own it up. They kill in clandestine operations, then run away into the safety of darkness. In that darkness, obviously, hide protectors powerful enough to protect them.

“The protectors also are cowards who hide themselves.”


In the Sunday Times of India, the excellent Amit Varma puts it succinctly through a limerick.

Read the full article: Assassins of old were honest
Photograph: courtesy The Indian Express