At 6.00 pm, Friday, January 30, 1948 an All India radio broadcasts said: "Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi at twenty past five this afternoon. His assassin was a Hindu."
Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, was born on the 19th of May in 1910 at Baramati District, near Pune, in Maharashtra, India. After passing his fourth standard in primary school, he was sent to live with his aunt in Pune for his English education. It is said that in his childhood he was more sentimental than rational.
After completing his schooling, Godse joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (R.S.S.), a Hindu extremist organization which was gaining popularity at that time.
Godse took part in the agitation led by the Hindu Mahasabha in 1938 and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment with his companions. After the imprisonment he started a newspaper for the Hindu Mahasabha. The name of the newspaper was 'Agrani', which was some years later renamed as 'Hindu Rashtra.' After the publication of the last issue on the 31st of January in 1948, the newspaper went out of publication.
January 30, 1948:
Gandhiji was attending a prayer meeting. Godse was wearing a loose and long shirt so that he could hide his pistol in the pocket of his trousers. Gandhiji started moving towards the prayer ground. He was a little late for the prayer meeting and was upset about it. He said to Abha and Manu who were near him, "You are my watches, why should I consult a watch? I do not like this delay at all. I cannot tolerate even one minute's delay for prayers." Meanwhile Godse was nervous but determined to accomplish his task. Manu saw an advancing stout young man in a khaki dress. Godse took the pistol from his pocket while he pretended to bow to touch Gandhiji's feet. Manu thought he wanted to touch Gandhiji's feet, and so she gently came in the way and murmured, "Brother, Bapu is already ten minutes late". At that instant, Godse pushed Manu aside and before she could recover, he pulled the trigger three times. All the three bullets passed through the slender body of Gandhiji. He could only gasp, "He Ram!" before slumping on the ground.
Godse was executed on November 15, 1948.
"My mind is clean. Though many would entertain varied thoughts regarding my act, my mind is not perturbed even for the fraction of a second. If there is anything such as heaven, my place has been assured there and hence there is no necessity for me to offer a special prayer. If at all there is anything as such salvation, I am eligible to it..."
(From the last letter which Godse wrote to his parents)