Stage Play: Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy
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The Mahatma, Father of our Nation, died on Jan 30, 1948. Also known as ’’little brown saint’’, he was shot dead by Nathuram Godse, an educated, young and idealist Maharashtrian Brahmin. History has described Godse as a fanatic, mad man and even a fundamentalist Hindu who murdered one of the greatest men that history has ever known. Many years after his death, author Pradeep Dalvi, brought before the society a Marathi play "Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy", the biography of the man who killed the Mahatma.
We all know who did it. What I and many of my fellow countrymen want to know is why he did it. This play was unnecessarily politicized and many influential politicians tried to get it banned (sometimes violently – in the name of the man who preached ahimsa or non-violence!!). I’ve seen this play more than once and I must say this:
1. This play DOES NOT SHOW ANY DISRESPECT FOR OUR MAHATMA
2. Please DO NOT read this review if you are not open minded.
Coming back to Godse, he was a freedom fighter, an educated idealist and editor of newspaper called ‘Agrani’. He looked up to Savarkar as his Guru. So why did such a man take life of the Mahatma. In his words, this was not a murder but a Political Assassination. Godse says that no can deny Mahatma’s place in our history nor does he want to do it. Godse accepted that world needed Mahatma’s principle of non-violence but if this principle considers a mans fight for his very survival as violence then the principle is wrong.
Like many other Indians, Godse opposed partition of the country. He argued that Bhagat Singh did not fight to free only Punjab nor Subhash Chandra Bose fight for freedom of Bengal. We all fought for freedom together for our country. If that is the case then a handful of Muslims desiring for a separate country and demanding partition of our mother land is wrong. If it was not wrong then Maulana Azad would not have stayed in India. There is no doubt that Gandhi was a great man. But no man is greater than the country. Gandhi’s decision to support partition and then give Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan were wrong. Any further decisions like this could prove fatal for the country. Today we gave a part of the country to the Muslims, tomorrow Hindus may demand a separate country, then someone else. Our country may end up in pieces!!
Pakistan did not deserve support of a man like our Mahatma. They did not even let immersion of Mahatma’s ashes in the Sindhu (Indus) river. Godse stated in his will that his ashes should be immersed in the Sindhu (Indus) river after the river is brought back in to unified India.
I’ll not give more details, you got to see this and decide for yourself.
About the play per se, the set is bare simple and direction is amazing. The over all effect of the set, direction and lights is impressive. The performance of the characters is very good, there is absolutely no over/under acting nor over-dramatization. The dialogues for the character of Godse are pretty long but he delivers them effectively. The play also brings out to a small extent the plight of Brahmin community which had to face the violent wrath of their fellow countrymen because a Brahmin had assassinated the Mahatma. Ironically, this violence was in the name of the man who spent his life preaching and practicing Non-violence.
I must say that Nathuram only assassinated the physical body of Gandhi. His spirit and teachings were murdered by his own followers who committed the violent acts against the Brahmin community after his assassination!!
Lastly, what do I personally think this of the play? I like the play and definitely recommend it as a must-see for all open minded people (not just Indians). I still oppose the assassination of Gandhi but I’ll not comment whether Nathuram’s decision was right or wrong. I need to know both sides of the coin, even if the other side is that of an assassin. I also must say this to all political parties involved in the efforts to ban this play – please do not decide what I should and should not watch. I’ll decide that for myself and my country’s constitution gives that to me as my fundamental right!!
For those who are interested in topic, you’ll find this URL useful:
For those who do not understand Marathi, this site also has the entire script of the play translated in English. This play is also available on VCD’s.