Early life

Nathuram Godse was born in Baramati, Pune District. His father, Vinayak Vamanrao Godse, was a post office employee and his mother was Lakshmi (Godavari before marriage). Upon birth, he was named Ramachandra by his parents.

A commonly held theory suggests that Nathuram was given his name because of an unfortunate incident. Before he was born, his parents had three sons and a daughter. All three boys died in their infancy. Fearing a curse that targeted male children, young Ramachandra was brought up as a girl for the first few years of his life, including having his nose pierced and being made to wear a nose-ring (“Nath” in Marathi). It was then that he earned the nickname “Nathuram” (literally “Ram with a nose-ring”). After his younger brother was born, they switched to treating him like a boy. However, other biographers dismiss this claim, together with claims that Godse was a homosexual, as a fabrication by the Congress Party of India, meant to exploit the prejudices against transvestites and homosexuals in conservative Indian society in order to demonize Godse.

Nathuram Godse attended the local school at Baramati up through the fifth standard. Then he was sent to live with an aunt in Pune so that he could study at an English-language school. During his school days, Gandhi was an idol to him.

In 1930, Nathuram’s father was transferred to the town of Ratnagiri. While staying with his parents at Ratnagiri, the young Nathuram first met Veer Savarkar, a proponent of Hindutva.