“At first I was amazed, but when you’re fighting for a just cause, helpful people seem to pop up, like right out of the pavement. Even when it is dangerous.
Doesn’t your New Testament say that when your enemy strikes you in the right cheek, offer him your left? People think that the phrase was used metaphorically, but I’m not so sure.
I have thought about it a great deal. I think Christ meant that you must show courage that you must be ready to take a blow, several blows and not bow. When you do that, it does something to the human nature of the oppressor, something that makes his hatred for you decrease and his respect, increase. I think Christ grasped that and I believe I have seen it work…..”
– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, to Rev. Charles F. Andrews, South Africa, 1897
New Delhi, India
There was a chill in the air that evening. Delhi in January is always near freezing.
The man was clean shaven, neatly dressed in a pair of khaki trousers, as was the norm those days. He had on a half-sleeved shirt, khaki too. The cold didn’t seem to bother him.
As he entered through the gate into the lovely garden, a crowd was gathering. Some had come, to sit in on the evening prayers and to catch a glimpse of the father, the great man. And there were others, like this man and his saffron-draped handler in the rickshaw outside, who were there to put to test which was stronger – love, or hate.
The man walked with the flow of the crowd around him. Like a leaf caught in the Yamuna current, he let himself be gently pushed and shoved toward the steps. It was when he was still about a hundred yards away that he saw the great man slowly making his way down, his two young nieces by his side for support. He was still a bit weak from all the fasting.
As for the young man in khaki, there was a much larger conspiracy here, with more insidious forces in play, but he had chosen to be the pawn. He knew that his life wouldn’t be worth two paises after that day, but so be it. Those days there were no suicide vests as otherwise, he would surely have worn one. What kept him going was the sense deep inside of him that some day, decades hence, he would be hailed a hero.
On seeing the Mahatma emerge on the steps, the man didn’t break stride. His face set, his eyes on target, he approached the great man, his steps resolute. And soon there he was, right in front of the Mahatma, kneeling down and touching his feet, ostensibly to seek his blessings.
That is the moment, when Nathuram Vinayak Godse made history. He suddenly straightened and rose with a jerk that made the Mahatma stagger back a bit. From his khaki trousers, the militant Hindu nationalist brought out a Beretta M1934 semiautomatic. The pistol, manufactured in 1934, was carried by an Italian officer during the invasion of Abyssinia and subsequently taken by a British officer as a war trophy. It is not known how the gun came to India, but it finally found itself thrust into Godse’s hands by his right-wing Hindu handlers.
Godse straightened his arm until the barrel was just a foot away from the Mahatma. For a moment it seemed as if the world came to a halt. Godse pulled the trigger three times, all three rounds slamming into the Mahatma’s chest, their force throwing him back, sending him sprawling on the lawn, his last words – ‘Hey Ram’ (Oh Lord).
Thus Mahatma Gandhi, the only man who could have transformed the world so it wouldn’t find itself in the abyss it is in today, passed into history.
Of the massive spectacle that was his funeral, Albert Einstein wrote……
“The object of this massive tribute died as he had always lived, without wealth, without property, without official title or office. Mahatma Gandhi was not the commander of armies, nor a ruler of vast lands. He could not boast of any scientific achievement or artistic gift.
Yet Kings and Presidents from all over the world have joined hands to pay homage to this little brown man in the loin cloth who led his country to freedom.
Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a man as this, ever in flesh and blood, walked upon this earth.”
As regards Gandhiji’s words to Rev. Andrews in the beginning of this post, he was being naïve. Gandhiji was the kind of guy who would “look into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and see his soul”. Like George W Bush did. Extreme, unadulterated naïveté.
History has shown us that peaceful resistance does not work. What Gandhi referred to as “the human nature of the oppressor” is a myth. Oppressors do not have human natures. The man who holds Gandhiji’s baton today, India’s ultra right-wing Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has working for him murderous “go-rakshaks” who do not have a human nature. They are bent upon making sure that India has no option but to be where it is today, a seething cesspool of of anti-minority resentment.
That lowlife Nathuram Godse felt, inside his dumbed down psyche, that he had no choice, pushed into a corner by what he was made to see as the ‘aggression of the infidel’.
There are many more dumb fucks like Nathuram Godse in the country of my birth today than there were in 1948, losers who are desperate to blames others for their pathetic lives. Collectively they are hell bent upon leading India, to it’s event horizon, the point of no return.
In May of 2009, one man certainly did breach his event horizon…….
His reconnaissance of Copenhagen over and the framework of a plot against the Jyllands Posten worked out with his Al Qaeda handlers, David Coleman Headley headed back to Chicago where he lived in the west side with his wife and four children.
The minute he landed, he was placed under round-the-clock surveillance by the FBI. The concern was whether there was a homeland plot brewing there. Anybody who came in contact with Headley became a target of surveillance. He couldn’t fart without the Americans not only hearing but even smelling it.
The FBI soon learnt that Headley was about to go over to Pakistan and from there on to Denmark once again, this time to carry through with his plan to take down Jyllands Posten building with everybody in it.
At O’Hare, the Feds let him check in through security in order to prove in court that he was actually headed to Pakistan. Then they arrested him. In custody, Headley was a canary, giving up the complete details of his Denmark terror plot. His FBI interrogators found his tone eager and chatty, as if he was at a street-side cafe with them on a balmy afternoon, cool and composed. It was like,” Look, I know I can’t beat this rap, so I’m going to help you guys. I’ll give you all the information you need and some.”
David Coleman Headley was touted by the American security establishment as a success story on the war on terror. The US National Security Agency immediately took the credit for the eavesdropping that eventually helped nab him.
But there was more. This canary was unstoppable. To the consternation of the FBI, Headley of his own confessed to another terrorist attack, one that had already been carried out, taking 166 innocent lives and searing indelibly into India’s psyche as it’s own 9/11. He told his interrogators that he had had an active role in every stage of the planning for the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist strike.
The confession that emerged was fascinating. It began to be clear to the Americans that without Headley’s involvement, the Mumbai attacks might never have got the go-ahead from the Pakistanis.
Six months earlier, Mumbai had been the scene of a horrific siege. For 60 hours, the world had watched as first an Indian icon, the five-star Taj Mahal Hotel, was set ablaze by ten Pakistani militants belonging to the terrorist outfit, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). The gunmen sought out those guests who held British or American passports and methodically gunned them down.
All the targets hit by the terrorists in Mumbai were chosen by David Coleman Headley, with his handy cam and winning smile..
Now in FBI custody and facing a possible death sentence, Headley bargained. Confessing that he worked for the Pakistani Intelligence agency, the nefarious ISI as well as the LeT, he agreed to be a witness for the prosecution.
Alas, America likes to show misplaced appreciation wherever it can. For his ready cooperation with his interrogators, Headley was given an appallingly lenient sentence of only 35 years. To me, as well as to most ordinary Indians, that seems like a horrendous travesty of justice. The son of a bitch should have been shot by a firing squad. To the FBI, what does the life of a waiter inside a restaurant at the Taj matter?
Headley disappeared into the American maximum-security prison system, known as the Supermax Prisons. If he was smart, kept his trap shut and followed orders, he could walk in 20 years, maybe even less.
David Coleman Headley could be a free man by the time he was 60. It isn’t for nothing that they call America the land of the free.
As to the deluded dumb fuck Nathuram Vinayak Godse, turns out he wasn’t a dumb fuck after all. He got his wish. He is a hero in today’s India.