An Assassin/Asshat Speaks
June 15, 2003 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Meet Gopal Godse, last surviving conspirator in the 1948 assassination of Mohandas Gandhi. Still proud of what he, his brother, and the other co-conspirators did, and still looking forward to "the day when India's Muslims convert to Hinduism."
Or die.
"He speaks almost gleefully about religious riots last year in the western state of Gujarat that killed about 1,000 people, most of them Muslims. 'If (Muslims) get the reaction like they did in Gujarat, they will get to know that Muslims are not supreme,' he said." The greatest tragedy of our age is that a civilized monster like him remains hopeful.
posted by wendell (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If this were my site and not Matt's, I'd have added to the FPP that he'd be pretty popular at Little Green Fartballs.

More of the Godse spin, from "An Assassin Speaks" a play by Pradeep Dalvi about brother Nathuram, banned (of course) in their home state, and previous interviews with Gopal at TimeAsia in 2000, India's and The New York Times in 1998, (not sure of the last link, a cut-n-paste job on the personal site of Sam Sloan, a true all-star who is at least enough a human being to NOT murder his enemies).
posted by wendell at 1:13 PM on June 15, 2003

BTW, I first read the AP story in the dead-tree Los Angeles Times, but used the slightly-differently-edited Taipei Times version to avoid registration.
posted by wendell at 1:15 PM on June 15, 2003

/me runs out to register
posted by oog at 1:33 PM on June 15, 2003

/me runs out to register

(sorry Matt!)
posted by matteo at 2:03 PM on June 15, 2003

The greatest tragedy of our age is that a civilized monster like him remains hopeful.

Biased much?

Not all civilization is good, nor all peace. In fact there's a lot to be said for anarchy and war at the appropriate time and place (such as when systematic destruciton of liberties is the alternative). I'm not trying to be a hama7/dagny troll here - I probably fall a bit left of most of metafilter - but your above quote seems like a very close-minded statement.

Some people are so hopelessly wired for greed that they will not stop their quest for gain at the expense of the freedoms of others until dead, and when this applies to an entire nation's leadership, or to every individual of a large group (certain corporations), then the halting of that leadership or group by lethal means is appropriate.

If the Islamic people in question refuse to accept any thinking but anti-freedom, and are willing to kill to advance this mindset, then they must be slaughtered. I mean, what other alternative do you have? Virtual enslavement? Death?

I don't believe the above is true concerning the Muslims in India/Pakistan, but I'm sure Godse believes it is so. Provided his givens were true, his reaction is appropriate - what he needs is a correction of his givens, not to be called 'a civilized monster' in some laughably pompous fashion.
posted by Ryvar at 4:11 PM on June 15, 2003

Ryvar, your statement is a weird mix of moral relativism and absolutism - on the one hand, we should try to accept that in some circumstances Godse's views would be correct, but on the other, it is justified to slaughter wholesale an entire religious group that is perceived as threatening freedom? Something doesn't add up there.

I'm not too much of a philosopher, mind you. But looking at the realities of the subcontinent, I don't think that I could make the claim that the 50 years of conflict in post-partition India/Pakistan has been a great thing. Whether or not Ghandi would have been able to work to heal the divisions is very much in debate. But he was a moral force calling for understanding, non-violence, and peaceful co-existence, and to the extent that he could have continued to be such a force, Godse's part in the conspiracy is monstrous.

He was willing to kill a fellow Hindu because that person stood in the face of Godse's belief that Muslims should be killed. His hatred of Muslims, and his belief that he was justified in killing one who disagreed with him, have continued unabated. Yes, I agree he needs a correction of his 'givens', but I think the name monster is wholly appropriate.
posted by Chanther at 5:51 PM on June 15, 2003

Funny thing, if Gandhi had lived and 'delivered his nation to its enemies' by his non-violence, then his way would be discredited by history and nobody, from Martin Luther King, Jr., on, would have emulated him, and the world would be safe for religious fundamentalist war-mongers of all religions. However, if Gandhi had lived and Muslim Pakistan failed to conquer its Hindu neighbor, imagine the historical lesson THAT would have told us. But, thanks to Godsi and his ilk (I'm sure the assassins of Sadat and Rabin talked the same way), our only lesson is "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall get stabbed in the back in this world".
posted by wendell at 6:33 PM on June 15, 2003

you know if theres one thing that really pisses me off, its when the reporter decideds to make up your mind for you.

so instead of letting the guy speak (in this article about 5 sentences) you get to hear the reporters cliche ridden copy of what a devil this man supposedly is.

yeah he killed mahatma, we all *know* he sucks, no need to spell it out for us.

probably the bloke was so far gone he didnt have anything intelligble to say or just kept repeating himself, so instead of canning the story you get this crap.

subject interest *****
story quality *
posted by carfilhiot at 7:45 PM on June 15, 2003

So, what you're saying is that religion makes people do insane things?

posted by xmutex at 8:33 PM on June 15, 2003 (NSFW.)

posted by homunculus at 10:01 PM on June 15, 2003

religion makes people do insane things?
Gee, I thought insanity was religion's primary symptom. ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:39 PM on June 15, 2003

So, what you're saying is that religion makes people do insane things?

Try that sentence with "money" instead of "religion". Works just as well doesn't it? Now how about "power"? My point being that most religious people are demonstrably not insane.
posted by walrus at 3:43 AM on June 16, 2003

Right, they just believe in big people that live in the clouds.
posted by NortonDC at 8:25 AM on June 16, 2003

That's not insanity, but keep the clever quips coming by all means. Happily I don't have to go through the exercise of examining all of your beliefs until I can find a silly one to point out, because I'm sure that a logical person could see the point I'm making.
posted by walrus at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2003

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