Godse was in Bengaluru before killing Gandhi: Doreswamy

Nathuram Godse was in Bengaluru a week before killing Mahatma Gandhi: H S Doreswamy

H S Doreswamy

Nathuram Godse had come to Bengaluru a fortnight before assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, according to freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, who has found himself at the crosshairs of some BJP leaders.

“Godse was here to take part in a RSS conference and stayed in the house of one of its members Vasudeva Murthy,” Doreswamy said in an interview. 

Recalling the freedom struggle, the centenarian said he had published a report on Godse’s visit in his paper Pauravani. “Some RSS leaders who read this sought a clarification, distancing RSS from Godse. However, I did not agree to this, as it would distort facts.”

‘Savarkar turned coward’

Doreswamy said Veer Savarkar contributed immensely to the freedom struggle. Savarkar had sourced as many as 20 rifles from England. He was arrested by the police and taken to ‘Kaala Paani’ where he spent three years. No one knows why in the end, he pleaded with the British to let him go, while pledging his allegiance to them. This topic merits a research, Doreswamy said.

Students in struggle

Students played an important role in the movement, according to Doreswamy. A group of students in Mysuru would get schools and colleges shut. Very soon, most of them were arrested, which is when some of them stepped in, Doreswamy said. Narrating an incident, he recalled: “Once, on Avenue Road, a 20-something wearing Gandhi cap, pelted a stone on a policeman, which created a ruckus. The police resorted to lathi-charge and the public then attacked the post office nearby.”

One year in jail

During the freedom movement, leaders used to make bombs which were not meant to hurt people, but to destroy government documents. “These bombs would be placed in post boxes to burn documents. A friend of mine used to make them. One person in the movement, Ramachandra, requested for a bomb. However, the police caught him and he gave my name away. I was also taken into custody,” he narrated. While Ramachandra later “confessed” to the police that he made the bomb himself, the police detained him (Doreswamy) for one year till December 1943, he recalled.