25gandhi godse1

A film that seeks to discover ‘alternate historical past’ cannot be so superficial, sighs Utkarsh Mishra.

25gandhi godse1

Over a decade in the past, with my restricted studying on the topic, I usually tried to discover the thought of what would have occurred had Mahatma Gandhi survived the assassination try by Nathuram Vinayak Godse and others on January 30, 1948.

Later, once I received to learn a little bit extra, I realised that it was not totally a matter of hypothesis because the one during which he was killed was not the one try on Gandhi’s life.

In reality, the boys who lastly received him had failed a few instances earlier; considered one of them was additionally arrested after an unsuccessful bid solely days earlier than Gandhi was really killed.

All Gandhi did was to reward his attackers and say, ‘Bacche hain (they’re children). They do not perceive. After my dying, they might realise that the budda (the previous man) was proper.’

Therefore, once I first heard {that a} movie is being made — by Rajkumar Santoshi, no much less — on an imaginary dialogue between Gandhi and Godse, I used to be intrigued to look at it, even whereas being apprehensive about it, given the instances during which we live.

It turned out to be worse than I feared.

And whereas I did count on a benign therapy of Godse, to see such a diabolical try and redeem him was certainly a shock.


Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh relies on playwright Asghar Wajahat’s play Godse@Gandhi.com. The title of the play is itself suggestive of what the author wished to do, bringing Godse’s darkness to Gandhi’s gentle.

The film, then again, seeks to attain the alternative.

First and foremost, the screenplay is simply too lazy, lifting a lot of the dialogues and sequences phrase by phrase from the play. Even the therapy of points exterior the play is simply too parochial.

The scenes the place we see giants like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Dr B R Ambedkar, J B Kriplani and others discussing issues of nationwide significance, appeared like a flowery costume competitors at a faculty the place kids dressed as outstanding figures parrot probably the most stereotypical strains attributed to them.

There are infantile makes an attempt at humour even whereas dealing with such a critical topic, dishonest portrayals of a number of pro-Partition episodes in Delhi that give leverage to Godse’s arguments later and an pointless sub-plot, which though is part of the play however might have been averted within the film to make it extra pointed.

Not to say the sub-par appearing by a lot of the forged, particularly by debutantes Tanisha Santoshi — enjoying Sushma, a younger lady who desires to spend her life in service by being with Gandhi — and Anuj Saini, who performs Sushma’s lover, Naren.

Chinmay Mandlekar as Godse is the one actor definitely worth the salt, which, sadly, goes in opposition to the spirit of the play, as a result of the play by no means makes an attempt to indicate Godse as some sort of enlightened man, who determined to choose up the gun in opposition to a tyrant as he might see no different approach out.

The play depicts Godse as a person of restricted understanding by making him repeat the identical strains time and again.

He couldn’t give you any argument in opposition to Gandhi aside from the oversimplified one which ‘Gandhi is accountable for the Partition of Akhand Bharat as a result of he hates Hindus and loves Muslims’.

The film, then again, reveals Godse as extra intellectually inclined that he really was.

In actuality, Godse was not very educated.

He failed his matriculation examination with very poor marks in English. In his personal phrases, ‘he gave up college without end in disgust and capriciousness’.

Godse’s solely declare to erudition is his assertion in the course of the trial the place he lists his causes for killing Gandhi.

However, because the Mahatma’s nice-grandson and famous creator Tushar Gandhi writes, ‘The assertion was positively not written by Godse, who by no means displayed such a masterly command over language. His writing type was loud, crass, abusive and threatening. The doc has been very cleverly written to emotionally exploit and affect even probably the most liberal of minds.’

Tushar Gandhi suggests, and verily so, that the assertion was drafted by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who ‘had absolute mastery over such hypnotic use of language’.

Godse was additionally not as audacious because the film reveals him to be.

He was not the one pulling the set off within the group’s preliminary plan to assassinate Gandhi.

In his ebook The Men Who Killed Gandhi, creator Manohar Malgonkar particulars Godse and his accomplices’s plan to kill Gandhi.

They had determined to shoot the Mahatma from the window of considered one of Birla House’s rooms that missed his seat on the prayer assembly.

Godse’s confederate Digambar Badge, who later turned approver, was to tug the set off and lob a grenade.

Another member of the group, Madanlal Pahwa, would explode a gun cotton cost earlier than this act to create panic.

The different members of the group had been Nathuram’s brother Gopal Godse, Vishnu Karkare, a Hindu Mahasabha chief, and Shankar, Badge’s servant.

All 5 had grenades with them that they might throw into the group after Badge would hearth the primary shot, not caring concerning the variety of casualties it will trigger.

But the leaders of the group — Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte, each of whom had been later hanged for the Mahatma’s assassination — who had hatched this sinister plot didn’t carry any arms with them. Their job was to ‘information the operation by giving indicators’.

Such was the ‘bravado’ of Godse who’s offered earlier than us as some sort of revolutionary!

This assassination bid that they carried out on January 20, 1948, failed as a result of Badge developed chilly toes and couldn’t hearth. But Pahwa had already exploded the gun cotton cost and was arrested. The relaxation fled the spot.

It was after this failed try that Godse determined to hold out the duty himself.

As against common perception, Godse didn’t give up after lastly succeeding in killing Gandhi on January 30, 1948. He tried to flee, however was caught and pinned down.

In the play, Godse continuously credit one ‘Guruji’ for serving to him discover the trail that he has discovered.

He is thereby made to sound like a brainwashed, indoctrinated, disciple quite than an mental whose beliefs have advanced after crucial pondering.

But the film makes no such effort.

Not simply that, whereas lifting the dialogues of the play in most scenes, the film has omitted the half the place Gandhi grills Godse about Savarkar’s beliefs and actions. As effectively because the half the place Gandhi tells Godse that the map of his ‘Akhand Bharat’ is definitely a map of British India and leaves out giant elements of areas the place the Aryans as soon as lived or areas that had been as soon as underneath the Mauryan Empire.

These scenes within the play sought to indicate Godse as reckless and irresponsible. Not together with them within the film gave extra weight to Godse’s character.

On the opposite hand, the film does not overlook to make Godse insult Nehru by telling Gandhi, ‘Woh tumhara, woh kya naam hai uska?‘ to which Gandhi replies in a low voice ‘Jawahar’.

And the viewers bursts unto laughter.

While it made makes an attempt to dispel a few of the wrongly held notions about Gandhi, there is no lack of misrepresentation of historic details.

Yes, Gandhi did write a word on January 27, 1948, three days earlier than his dying, that ‘the Congress in its current form and type, as a propaganda car and parliamentary machine, has outlived its use’ and that ‘the AICC resolves to disband the present Congress organisation and flower right into a Lok Sevak Sangh’.

But it was not a diktat. Rather, Gandhi wrote it as part of ‘Draft Constitution of the Congress’ and he was killed earlier than it may very well be put earlier than the social gathering.

This draft was later launched to the press after his assassination and that is the supply of the widespread declare in the present day that Gandhi wished to dissolve the Congress.

As Tushar Gandhi writes, ‘What he meant was {that a} coalition of individuals subscribing to disparate political ideologies might now not survive… so it will be finest to disband the coalition and constituents should freely type extra homogenous political events.’

Though the play has the identical sequence, the film ought to have cared extra concerning the nuance and will have handled it in a greater method.

But the most important travesty within the film is how Godse makes Gandhi realise his folly in not letting Sushma marry Naren.

In the play, Gandhi realises it after Kasturba seems in his dream and makes use of some robust phrases and after Sushma’s mom, who can also be his ardent follower, warned him with penalties if something occurs to her daughter.

The film did present the sequence of Kasturba showing in Gandhi’s dream however it’s ultimately a sermon by ‘Nathuram Vinayak Godseji‘ that lastly gained over Gandhi.

The climax is even worse, which is an improvisation that’s not a part of the play.

It reminds the viewer of Kamal Haasan’s Hey! Ram, during which a possible murderer is reworked by coming into contact with Gandhi but it surely completely lacks the depth that such an improvisation requires, or that Hey! Ram had.

Overall, the film’s largest downside is attempting to indicate a play meant for the stage as it’s on huge display screen. A play, particularly a satirical one, is allowed to make use of drama, loud appearing, foolish humour and reductio advert absurdum.

But a film that seeks to discover an ‘alternate historical past’ can’t be so superficial.

It has to concentrate to nuance and likewise make the viewers perceive it, particularly at a time when there is a should be extraordinarily cautious whereas coping with historic topics.

Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh Review Rediff Rating:


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