Dawn of January 1948 saw the tragic assassination of India’s most admired man, Mahatma Gandhi. He was on his way to address a crowd when a lone assailant fired three bullets point blank. Nathuram Godse, the perpetrator who killed Gandhi, did it in retaliation to the ideologies and influence Gandhi had over the Indian nation.

While all eyes were focused on the “Father of the Nation”, Godse became an obscure character who was reviled because of his murderous act. Little is known about him and most books only characterize him as an evil man. But, who really is Nathuram Godse and why did he kill the most revered man in India?

Godse’s and his obscure upbringing

Born in 1910, Nathuram Godse was given the birth name Ramachandra. He had three other brothers who died during infancy and a sister. Coming from a superstitious family, his parents believed the family’s male children were cursed.

When Nathuram was born, his parents raised him as a girl. They used to dress him in a girl’s clothes to ward off the family curse. Nathuram even has a nose-ring or a Maharashtrian Nath. This was how he lived during the first few years of his life and the reason why he got the name Nathuram. The only time he was treated as a boy was when his younger brother was born.

The path that led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

Many people recount that Godse possessed great respect for Gandhi during his school days.  He was even a follower at the time when Gandhi was leading the civil disobedience movement that lasted for 25 days.

The instigator’s dissatisfaction for the national hero started when he became an activist for the Hindu nationalist organizations. It was intensified by Gandhi’s graciousness towards the Muslim population and his stance on India’s division.

Nathuram Godse approached Gandhi that fateful day during the evening prayers and shot him three times in the chest. Gandhi died instantly and Godse was condemned for his vile acts. The assailant and his accomplices were hanged November 15, 1949.