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The Murder of The Mahatma and Other Cases from a Judge's Note-Book
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The two condemned prisoners were led out of their cells with their hands pinioned behind them. Godse walked in front. His step occasionally faltered. His demeanour and general appearance evidenced a state of nervousness and fear. He tried to fight against it and keep up a bold exterior by shouting every few seconds the slogan ''Akhand Bharat'' (undivided India). But his voice had a slight croak in it, and the vigour with which he had argued his case at the trial and in the High Court seemed to have been all but expended. The desperate cry was taken up by Apte, who shouted ''Amar rahe'' (may stay for ever). His loud and firm tone made an uncanny contrast to Godse''s, at times, almost feeble utterance. The Superintendent of the gaol and the District Magistrate of Ambala who had come to certify the due execution of the High Court''s order observed that, unlike Godse, Apte was completely self-possessed and displayed not the slightest sign of nervousness. He walked with a firm step with his shoulders thrown back and his head held high. Taller than Godse by several inches, he appeared to dominate over him. There was, on his face, a look not so much of defiance and justification of what he had done, as of an inner sense of fulfilment, of looking forward to a rightful end to the proceedings which had occasioned so much sound and fury. It was said afterwards that Godse had, during his last days in gaol, repented of his deed and declared that were he to be given another chance he would spend the rest of his life in the promotion of peace and the service of his country. Apte, on the other hand, maintained an unrelenting attitude. Till the very end he refused to admit his guilt, nor did he plead his innocence in the cringing tones of a beaten adversary. The study of Bhagvadgita and his own experiment in writing a treatise on philosophy may have taught him the futility of protest or prayer, or it may be his naturally stoic temperament, but he walked to his doom with the self-assurance and confidence of a man who is about to receive no more and no less than the expected and deserved reward for doing his duty.

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