Gandhi became a victim of religious hatred when he was killed by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948. Godse claimed that his main provocation was the Mahatma’s constant and consistent support to the muslims, culminating in his last pro-muslim fast which at took him to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhi should be brought to an end.
Godse was a follower of Gandhi during the Civil Disobedience Movement and he went to jail also. However from 1937 communalism took the centre stage of the Indian national movement. Leaders like Veer Savarkar warned hindus of the danger of being dominated by the muslims. He propagated the idea that hindus have become helots on their homeland. Listening to the words of Savarkar, Godse took the communal path and swore an oath of allegiance to him. He also joined Savarkar’s Hindu Rashtra dal founded in 1942 in Poona. The subsequent events culminated in hatred against Gandhi.
Gandhi in order to prevent partition proposed Jinnah’s name for Prime Ministership during the Cabinet Mission Plan and later on to Mountbatten. But hindu fundamentalists in the process thought that Gandhi was responsible for partition. Godse in his newspaper ‘The Agrani’ supported the ‘Black Day’ protest against partition. Further in the year 1947 at the initiative of Gandhi, the Congress passed a resolution on the rights of the minorities in India. This was strongly opposed by Golwalker, who in the RSS rally asserted, according to ‘Hindustan Times’ – “we aim at the solidarity of the hindu society, with this ideal the sangh will march forward on its path and will not be deterred by any authority or Personality.” Here the authority refers to Congress and the personality refers to Gandhi. In the same period there was large number of violence throughout Delhi. The muslims were beaten up and killed. To prevent the violence and bring peace Gandhi went on a fast and said “I would not allow the muslims to crawl on the streets in India, they must walk with Self-Respect.” Hindu fundamentalists including godse thought Gandhi was supporting muslims, and hindus are defenseless in the violence. They asked why Gandhi did not call the muslims in Pakistan to stop the violence against hindus. In the same fast Gandhi also demanded the Indian government to pay the sum, which was accepted in the pre-partition agreement, to Pakistan. Nehru and Patel refused on the ground that it will be used against India. Later on the demand was accepted by the Indian government. In addition, Gandhi used to read Quran during hindu prayer meetings which also provoked Godse. All these events led Godse to kill Gandhi on 1948.