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Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

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Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi Smriti Delhi.jpg
A memorial marks the spot in Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti), New Delhi, where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated at 5:17.30 p.m. on 30 January 1948.
LocationNew Delhi, India
Date30 January 1948
17:17 (IST)
TargetMahatma Gandhi
Attack type
Assassination, murder by shooting
WeaponsBeretta M 1934 semi-automatic pistol
Deaths1 (Gandhi)
PerpetratorNathuram Godse

Arrested

  1. Nathuram Godse
  2. Narayan Apte
  3. Digambar Badge
  4. Shankar Kistaiya
  5. Dattatraya Parchure
  6. Vishnu Karkare
  7. Madanlal Pahwa
  8. Gopal Godse
ConvictionsNathuram Godse: Murder
SentenceDeath

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948 at age 78 in the compound of Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti), a large mansion in central New Delhi. His assassin was Nathuram Vinayak Godse, a Chitpavan Brahmin from Pune, Maharashtra, a Hindu nationalist,[1] a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu paramilitary organization[2] as well as a member of the Hindu Mahasabha.[3] Godse considered Gandhi to have been too accommodating to Pakistan during the Partition of India of the previous year.[4][5][6]

Sometime after 5 p.m., according to witnesses, Gandhi had reached the top of the steps leading to the raised lawn behind Birla House where he had been conducting multi-faith prayer meetings every evening. As Gandhi began to walk toward the dais, Godse stepped out from the crowd flanking Gandhi's path, and fired three bullets into Gandhi's chest and abdomen at point-blank range.[7][8] Gandhi fell to the ground. He was carried back to his room in Birla House from which a representative emerged sometime later to announce his death.[8][A]

Godse was captured by members of the crowd—the most widely reported of whom was Herbert Reiner Jr, a vice-consul at the American embassy in Delhi—and handed over to the police. The Gandhi murder trial opened in May 1948 in Delhi's historic Red Fort, with Godse the main defendant, and his collaborator Narayan Apte, and six more, deemed co-defendants. The trial was rushed through, the haste sometimes attributed to the home minister Vallabhbhai Patel's desire "to avoid scrutiny for the failure to prevent the assassination."[9] Godse and Apte were sentenced to death on 8 November 1949. Although pleas for commutation were made by Gandhi's two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi, they were turned down by India's prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel and the Governor-General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.[10] Godse and Apte were hanged in the Ambala jail on 15 November 1949.[11]

Discover more about Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi related topics

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule, and to later inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā, first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world.

Gandhi Smriti

Gandhi Smriti

Gandhi Smriti, formerly known as Birla House or Birla Bhavan, is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, situated on Tees January Road, formerly Albuquerque Road, in New Delhi, India. It is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on 30 January 1948. It was originally the house of the Birla family, Indian business tycoons. It is now home to the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum, which was established in 2005.

New Delhi

New Delhi

New Delhi is the capital of India and a part of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). New Delhi is the seat of all three branches of the government of India, hosting the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, and the Supreme Court of India. New Delhi is a municipality within the NCT, administrated by the NDMC, which covers mostly Lutyens' Delhi and a few adjacent areas. The municipal area is part of a larger administrative district, the New Delhi district.

Chitpavan

Chitpavan

The Chitpavan Brahmin or Konkanastha Brahmin is a Hindu Maharashtrian Brahmin community inhabiting Konkan, the coastal region of the state of Maharashtra. Initially working as messengers and spies in the late seventeenth century, the community came into prominence during the 18th century when the heirs of Peshwa from the Bhat family of Balaji Vishwanath became the de facto rulers of the Maratha empire. Until the 18th century, the Chitpavans were held in low esteem by the Deshastha, the older established Brahmin community of Maharashtra region who considered the Chitpavans as Parvenus or newcomers to the Brahmin class.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra

Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Maharashtra is the second-most populous state in India and the second-most populous country subdivision globally. It was formed on 1 May 1960 by splitting the bilingual Bombay State, which had existed since 1956, into majority Marathi-speaking Maharashtra and Gujarati-speaking Gujarat. Maharashtra is home to the Marathi people, the predominant ethno-linguistic group, who speak the Marathi language, the official language of the state. The state is divided into 6 divisions and 36 districts, with the state capital being Mumbai, the most populous urban area in India, and Nagpur serving as the winter capital, which also hosts the winter session of the state legislature. Godavari and Krishna are the two major rivers in the state. Forests cover 16.47 per cent of the state's geographical area. Out of the total cultivable land in the state, about 60 per cent is used for grain crops in the Deccan region, rice in coastal Konkan, and other high rainfall areas.

Hindu Mahasabha

Hindu Mahasabha

The Hindu Mahasabha is a Hindu nationalist political party in India.

Pakistan

Pakistan

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a country in South Asia. It is the world's fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 243 million people, and has the world's second-largest Muslim population just behind Indonesia. Pakistan is the 33rd-largest country in the world by area and 2nd largest in South Asia, spanning 881,913 square kilometres. It has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south, and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a maritime border with Oman. Islamabad is the nation's capital, while Karachi is its largest city and financial centre.

Partition of India

Partition of India

The Partition of India in 1947 was the change of political borders and the division of other assets that accompanied the dissolution of the British Raj in South Asia and the creation of two independent dominions: India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India is today the Republic of India, and the Dominion of Pakistan—which at the time comprised two regions lying on either side of India—is now the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition was outlined in the Indian Independence Act 1947. The change of political borders notably included the division of two provinces of British India, Bengal and Punjab. The majority Muslim districts in these provinces were awarded to Pakistan and the majority non-Muslim to India. The other assets that were divided included the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Indian Air Force, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury. Self-governing independent India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.

Point-blank range

Point-blank range

Point-blank range is any distance over which a certain firearm can hit a target without the need to compensate for bullet drop, and can be adjusted over a wide range of distances by sighting in the firearm. If the bullet leaves the barrel parallel to the sight, the bullet, like any object in flight, is pulled downwards by gravity, so for distant targets, the shooter must point the firearm above the target to compensate. But if the target is close enough, bullet drop will be negligible so the shooter can aim the gun straight at the target. If the sights are set so that the barrel has a small upward tilt, the bullet starts by rising and later drops. This results in a weapon that hits too low for very close targets, too high for intermediate targets, too low for very far targets, and point blank at some distance in between. For a .270 Winchester, as an example, the bullet first crosses the line of sight at about 25 yards as it is rising and has a maximum impact above the line of sight of approximately 3 inches and crosses the line of sight again at about 275 yards. This is for a 130 grain hunting bullet. Therefore point blank range for a deer size target is about 300-310 yards. Point-blank range will vary by a weapon's external ballistics characteristics and the allowable error at the target; the flatter the bullet's trajectory or the larger the target, the longer the point-blank range will be.

Manilal Gandhi

Manilal Gandhi

Manilal Mohandas Gandhi was the second son of Mohandas Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was an Indian anti-colonial nationalist, secular humanist, social democrat and author who was a central figure in India during the middle of the 20th century. Nehru was a principal leader of the Indian nationalist movement in the 1930s and 1940s. Upon India's independence in 1947, he served as the country's prime minister for 16 years. Nehru promoted parliamentary democracy, secularism, and science and technology during the 1950s, powerfully influencing India's arc as a modern nation. In international affairs, he steered India clear of the two blocs of the Cold War. A well-regarded author, his books written in prison, such as Letters from a Father to His Daughter (1929), An Autobiography (1936) and The Discovery of India (1946), have been read around the world. During his lifetime, the honorific Pandit was commonly applied before his name in India.

Ambala

Ambala

Ambala is a city and a municipal corporation in Ambala district in the state of Haryana, India, located on the border with the Indian state of Punjab and in proximity to both states capital Chandigarh. Politically, Ambala has two sub-areas: Ambala Cantonment and Ambala City, eight kilometres apart, therefore it is also known as "Twin City". It has a large Indian Army and Indian Air Force presence within its cantonment area. It is located 200 km (124 mi) to the north of New Delhi, India's capital, and has been identified as a counter-magnet city for the National Capital Region to develop as an alternative center of growth to Delhi.

Preparations

In early September 1947, Gandhi moved to Delhi to help stem the violent rioting there and in the neighboring province of East Punjab.[12] The rioting had come in the wake of the partition of the British Indian empire, which had accompanied the creation of the new independent dominions of India and Pakistan, and involved large, chaotic transfers of population between them.[13][a]

Nathuram Vinayak Godse, and his assassination accomplices, were residents of the Deccan region. Godse had previously led a civil disobedience movement against Osman Ali Khan, the Muslim ruler of the princely Deccan region dominion of Hyderabad State in British India. Godse joined a protest march in 1938 in Hyderabad, [14] He was arrested for political crimes and served a prison sentence. Once he was out of prison, Godse continued his civil disobedience and worked as a journalist reporting the sufferings of Hindu refugees escaping from Pakistan, and during the various religious riots that erupted in the 1940s.[15][16][17]

Plans to assassinate Gandhi were initiated by Godse and his accomplices in January of 1948, after India and Pakistan had already started a war over Kashmir, due to Godse's disagreement with Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence towards Muslims.[18] But Gandhi opposed the decision and went on a fast-unto-death on 13 January 1948 to pressure the Indian government to release the payment to Pakistan. The Indian government, yielding to Gandhi, reversed its decision. Godse and his colleagues interpreted this sequence of events to be a case of Mahatma Gandhi controlling power and hurting India.[19][15]

On the day Gandhi went on hunger strike, Godse and his colleagues began planning how to assassinate Gandhi.[19][20] Nathuram Vinayak Godse and Narayan Apte purchased a Beretta M1934. Along with purchasing the pistol, Godse and his accomplices shadowed Gandhi's movements.

Discover more about Preparations related topics

East Punjab

East Punjab

East Punjab was a province and later a state of India from 1947 until 1966, consisting of the parts of the Punjab Province of British India that went to India following the partition of the province between India and Pakistan by the Radcliffe Commission in 1947. The mostly Muslim western parts of the old Punjab became Pakistan's West Punjab, later renamed as Punjab Province, while the mostly Hindu and Sikh eastern parts went to India.

Partition of India

Partition of India

The Partition of India in 1947 was the change of political borders and the division of other assets that accompanied the dissolution of the British Raj in South Asia and the creation of two independent dominions: India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India is today the Republic of India, and the Dominion of Pakistan—which at the time comprised two regions lying on either side of India—is now the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition was outlined in the Indian Independence Act 1947. The change of political borders notably included the division of two provinces of British India, Bengal and Punjab. The majority Muslim districts in these provinces were awarded to Pakistan and the majority non-Muslim to India. The other assets that were divided included the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Indian Air Force, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury. Self-governing independent India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.

Deccan Plateau

Deccan Plateau

The Deccan Plateau is defined as the entire southern peninsula of India, South of the Narmada River. It is a high triangular tableland, bounded on the west and east by the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, respectively, that meet at the plateau’s southern tip and to the north, by the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges.

Hyderabad State

Hyderabad State

Hyderabad State was a princely state located in the south-central Deccan region of India with its capital at the city of Hyderabad. It is now divided into the present-day state of Telangana, the Kalyana-Karnataka region of Karnataka, and the Marathwada region of Maharashtra in India.

Beretta

Beretta

Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta is a privately held Italian firearms manufacturing company operating in several countries. Its firearms are used worldwide for a variety of civilian, law enforcement, and military purposes. Sporting arms account for three-quarters of sales; Beretta is also known for marketing shooting clothes and accessories. Founded in the 16th century, Beretta is the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world. In 1526 its inaugural product was arquebus barrels; by all accounts Beretta-made barrels equipped the Venetian fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Beretta has supplied weapons for every major European war since 1650.

Beretta M1934

Beretta M1934

The Beretta Model 1934 is an Italian compact, semi-automatic pistol which was issued as the service pistol of the Royal Italian Army beginning in 1934. It is chambered for the 9mm Corto, more commonly known as the .380 ACP.

Pistol

Pistol

A pistol is a handgun, more specifically one with the chamber integral to its gun barrel, though in common usage the two terms are often used interchangeably. The English word was introduced in ca. 1570, when early handguns were produced in Europe, and is derived from the Middle French pistolet, meaning a small gun or knife. In colloquial usage, the word "pistol" is often used to describe any type of handgun, inclusive of revolvers and the pocket-sized derringers.

Assassination

First assassination attempt—20 January 1948

Gandhi had initially been staying at the Balmiki Temple, near Gole Market in the northern part of New Delhi, and was holding his prayer meetings there. When the temple was requisitioned for sheltering refugees of the partition he moved to Birla House, a large mansion on what was then Albuquerque Road in south-central New Delhi, not far from the diplomatic enclave.[8] Gandhi was living in two unpretentious rooms in the left wing of Birla House, and conducting prayer meetings on a raised lawn behind the mansion.[8]

The first attempt to assassinate Gandhi at Birla House occurred on 20 January 1948. According to Stanley Wolpert, Nathuram Godse and his colleagues followed Gandhi to a park where he was speaking.[21] One of them threw a grenade away from the crowd. The loud explosion scared the crowd, creating a chaotic stampede of people. Gandhi was left alone on the speakers' platform. The original assassination plan was to throw a second grenade, after the crowds had run away, at the isolated Gandhi.[21] But the alleged accomplice Digambar Badge lost his courage, did not throw the second grenade and ran away with the crowd. All of the assassination plotters ran away, except Madanlal Pahwa who was a Punjabi refugee of the Partition of India. He was arrested.[21] Pahwa was released in 1964.[22]

30 January 1948

Manuben Gandhi

Manu (Mridula) Gandhi, called "Manuben" in Gujarati fashion, was Mahatma Gandhi's great niece (more precisely, a first cousin twice removed). She had come to join Gandhi's entourage during his peace mission to Noakhali in East Bengal, which had been gripped by communal violence. Abha Chatterjee (Abhaben Chatterjee) was a girl adopted by the Gandhis who would later marry Gandhi's nephew, Kanu Gandhi. Both young women were walking with Gandhi when he was assassinated.[23] According to Last Glimpses Of Bapu, a memoir by Manuben Gandhi published in 1962, Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu) started the day in Birla House by listening to a recitation of the Bhagavad Gita.[24] He then worked on a Congress constitution he wanted to publish in the Harijan, had his bath and massage at 8 a.m., and reprimanded Manuben to take care of herself since her health was not what it should be for an 18-year-old.[25] Gandhi, aged 78, was weighed after his bath and was 109.5 pounds (49.7 kg). He then ate lunch with Pyarelalji discussing Noakhali riots.[26] After lunch, states Manuben, Gandhi napped. After waking up, he had a meeting with Sardar Dada. Two Kathiawar leaders wanted to meet him, and when Manuben informed Gandhi that they wanted to meet him, Gandhi replied, "Tell them that, if I remain alive, they can talk to me after the prayer on my walk".[27]

According to Manuben's memoir, the meeting between Vallabhbhai Patel and Gandhi went past the scheduled time and Gandhi was about ten minutes late to the prayer meeting.[28] He began his walk to the prayer location by walking with Manuben to his right and Abha to his left, holding onto them as walking sticks.[29] A stout young man in khaki dress, wrote Manuben, pushed his way through the crowd bent over and with his hands folded. Manuben thought that the man wanted to touch Gandhi's feet. She pushed the man aside saying, "Bapu is already ten minutes late, why do you embarrass him". Godse pushed her aside so forcibly that she lost her balance and the rosary, notebook, and Gandhi's spitoon she was carrying, fell out of her hands.[30] She recalled that as she bent to the ground to pick up the items she heard four shots, resounding booms, and she saw smoke everywhere. Gandhi's hands were folded, with his lips saying, "Hey Ram...! Hey Ram...!". Abhaben, wrote Manuben, had also fallen down and she saw the assassinated Gandhi in Abhaben's lap.[31]

The pistol shots had deafened her, wrote Manuben, the smoke was very thick, and the incident complete within 3 to 4 minutes. A crowd of people rushed towards them, according to Manuben.[32] The watch she was carrying showed 5:17 p.m. and blood was everywhere on their white clothes. Manuben estimated that it took about ten minutes to carry Gandhi back into the house, and no doctor was available in the meanwhile. They only had a first aid box, but there was no medicine in it for treating Gandhi's wounds.[30] According to Manuben,

the first bullet from the assassin's seven-bore automatic hit the belly 3.5 inches to the right of the middle and 2.5 inches above the navel; the second hit the belly 1 inch away from middle, and the third 4 inches away to the right".[33]

Gandhi had suffered profuse blood loss. Everyone was crying loudly. In the house, Bhai Saheb had phoned the hospital many times, but was unable to reach any help. He then went to Willingdon Hospital in person, but came back disappointed. Manuben and others read the Bhagavad Gita as Gandhi's body lay in the room. Col. Bhargava arrived, and he pronounced Gandhi dead.[33]

Herbert Reiner

According to several reports, while the attending crowd was still in shock, Gandhi's assassin Godse was seized by Herbert Reiner Jr, a 32-year-old, newly arrived vice-consul at the American embassy in Delhi. According to an obituary for Reiner published in May 2000 by The Los Angeles Times, Reiner's role was reported on the front pages of newspapers around the world,[34][35][36][B]

According to Stratton (1950), on January 30, 1948, Reiner had reached Birla House after work, arriving fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of the prayer meeting at 5 p.m., and finding himself in a relatively small crowd.[8] Although there were some armed guards present, Reiner felt that the security measures were inadequate, especially in view of an attempted bomb explosion at the same location ten days before.[8] By the time Gandhi and his small party reached the garden area a few minutes after five, the crowd had swelled to several hundred, which Reiner described as comprising "schoolboys, girls, sweepers, members of the armed services, businessmen, sadhus, holy men, and even vendors displaying pictures of 'Bapu'". At first, Reiner had been at some distance from the path leading to the dais, but he moved forward, explaining later, "An impulse to see more, and at a closer range, of this Indian leader impelled me to move away from the group in which I had been standing to the edge of the terrace steps".[8]

As Gandhi was walking briskly up the steps leading to the lawn, an unidentified man in the crowd spoke up, somewhat insolently in Reiner's recollection, "Gandhiji, you are late".[8] Gandhi slowed down his pace, turned toward the man, and gave him an annoyed look, passing directly in front of Reiner at that moment.[8] But no sooner had Gandhi reached the top of the steps, than another man, a stocky Indian man, in his 30s, and dressed in khaki clothes, stepped out from the crowd and into Gandhi's path. He soon fired several shots up close, at once felling Gandhi.[37] A BBC correspondent Robert Stimson described what happened next in a radio report filed that night:[37] "For a few seconds no one could believe what had happened; every one seemed dazed and numb. And then a young American who had come for prayers rushed forward and seized the shoulders of the man in the khaki coat. That broke the spell. ... Half a dozen people stooped to lift Gandhi. Others hurled themselves upon the attacker. ... He was overpowered and taken away".[45] Others, as well, described how the crowd seemed paralyzed until Reiner's action.[46][b][47]

Robert Trumbull of The New York Times, who was an eyewitness, described Reiner's action in a front-page story on January 31, 1948,

The assassin was seized by Tom Reiner of Lancaster, Mass., a vice consul attached to the American Embassy and a recent arrival in India. ... Mr. Reiner grasped the assailant by the shoulders and shoved him toward several police guards. Only then did the crowd begin to grasp what had happened and a forest of fists belabored the assassin ...[40]

Reiner too had noticed a man in khaki step into the path leading to the dais, but his further view was occluded by a party of associates following Gandhi. He soon heard sounds, though, which in his words were "not loud, not ringing, and not unlike the reports of damp firecrackers ..." and which for a moment made him wonder if some sort of celebration was underway.[8][C] The details and the role of Reiner in seizing Godse vary by the source. According to Frank Allston, Reiner stated that

Godse stood nearly motionless with a small Beretta dangling in his right hand and to my knowledge made no attempt to escape or to take his own fire. ... Moving toward Godse I extended my right arm in an attempt to seize his gun but in doing so grasped his right shoulder in a manner that spun him into the hands of Royal Indian Air Force men, also spectators, who disarmed him. I then fastened a firm grasp on his neck and shoulders until other military and police took him into custody.[48][8][D]

According to Tunzelmann, Godse was seized and pummeled by Reiner.[49] According to K. L. Gauba, Reiner was the "unsung hero" and had he not acted "Godse would probably have shot his way out".[50] Reiner was standing in the front row, states Pramod Kapoor, and he seized and held Godse until the police arrived, but his name only appeared in some American newspapers.[51] According to Bamzai and Damle, during the assassination trial, the government did not call to the stand American marine Herbert "Tom" Reiner who caught Godse or the nephew of then Congress minister Takthmal Jain of Madhya Bharat ministry (1948), as well as many others.[41]

Other reports

According to some reports, Godse surrendered voluntarily and asked for the police.[52] Yet other reports state he was rushed by the crowd, beaten, arrested, and taken to jail.[2][53] According to some eyewitnesses and court proceedings, Nathuram Godse was seized immediately by witnesses and an Indian Air Force officer dispossessed him of the pistol. The crowd beat him to a bloodied state. The police wrested him loose from the angry crowd, took him to jail.[53][2][54][55] A FIR was filed by Nandlal Mehta at the Tughlak Road police station at Delhi.

The 31 January 1948 issue of The Guardian, a British newspaper, described Gandhi as walking from the "Birla House to the lawn where his evening prayer meetings were held".[7] Gandhi was a bit late for the prayer, leaning on the shoulders of two grand-nieces. On his way, he was approached by a man [Godse] dressed in a khaki bush jacket and blue trousers. According to one version, stated The Guardian, Gandhi smiled back and spoke to Godse,[7] then the assailant pulled out a pistol and fired three times, at point-blank range, into Gandhi's chest, stomach and groin. Gandhi died at 5:40pm, about half an hour after he was shot.[7]

According to The Guardian report, which did not mention Herbert Reiner Jr, Godse "fired a fourth shot, apparently in an effort to kill himself, but a Royal Indian Air Force sergeant standing alongside jolted his arm and wrenched the pistol away. The sergeant wanted to shoot the man but was stopped by the police. An infuriated crowd fell upon the man and beat him with sticks, but he was apprehended by the police and taken to a police station."[7] Godse was questioned by reporters, who in English replied that he was not sorry to have killed Gandhi and awaited his day in court to explain his reasons.[7]

Vincent Sheean was another eyewitness and an American reporter who had covered World War II events.[56][57] He went to India in 1947 and became a disciple of Gandhi. He was with the BBC reporter Bob Stimson in Birla House premises when Gandhi was assassinated. They stood next to each other by the corner of a wall. According to Sheean, Gandhi walked across the grass in their direction, leaning lightly "on two of the girls", and two or three others following them. Gandhi wrapped in a homespun shawl passed them by, states Sheean's eyewitness account, and climbed up four or five steps to the prayer ground.[58] As usual, according to Sheean, "there was a clump of people, some of whom were standing and some of whom had gone on their knees or bent low before him. Bob and I turned to watch-we were perhaps ten feet away from the steps-but the clump of people cut off our view of the Mahatma now: he was so small".[58]

Then, states Sheean, he heard "four, dull, dark explosions". Sheean asked Stimson, "what's that?" Stimson replied, "I don't know".[59] It was a confusing place, people were weeping and many things happening, wrote Sheean. "A doctor was found, the police took charge; the body of the Mahatma was carried away; the crowd melted, perhaps urged to do so by the police; I saw none of this."[60][57] Stimson filed a BBC report, then he and Sheean walked up and down the flower bed for a while. Sheean reported that he later met a "young American from the Embassy" who had never been to a prayer meeting before. Sheean did not take in anything the young American said about the scene, but a week later learned that "it was this young man who had captured the assassin, held him for the Indian police" and after turning the assassin over, it was this young American who searched the crowd for a doctor. He experienced a tribal pride, states Sheean, that even though he was paralyzed and helpless on the day of Gandhi's assassination, "one of his breed had been useful".[56]

According to Ashis Nandy, before firing the shots Godse "bowed down to Gandhi to show his respect for the services the Mahatma had rendered the country; he made no attempt to run away and himself shouted for the police".[61] According to Pramod Das, Godse after firing the shots raised his hand with the gun, surrendered and called for the police.[62] According to George Fetherling, Godse did not try to flee, he "stood silently waiting to be arrested but was not approached at first because he was still armed; at last a member of the Indian air force grabbed him by the wrist, and Godse released his weapon". Police, states Fetherling, then "quickly surrounded Godse to prevent the crowd from lynching him".[63] According to Matt Doeden and others, "Godse did not flee the scene, and he voluntarily surrendered himself to the police".[64][65]

Death

According to some accounts, Gandhi died on the spot.[66][67] In other accounts, such as one prepared by an eyewitness journalist, Gandhi was carried back into the Birla House, into a bedroom, where he died about 30 minutes later as one of Gandhi's family members read verses from Hindu scriptures.[68]

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Gole Market

Gole Market

Gole Market is a neighborhood in the heart of New Delhi, India built within a traffic roundabout by Edwin Lutyens in 1921. It is one of New Delhi's oldest surviving colonial markets and is considered an architecturally significant structure. The dodecagonal market was built in the axis planned by Edwin Lutyens as part of New Delhi's layout. Peshwa Road, Ramakrishna Ashram Road, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, and Bhai Veer Singh Road are four radial roads leading from the market.

Nathuram Godse

Nathuram Godse

Nathuram Vinayak Godse was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. He was a Hindu nationalist from western India who shot Gandhi in the chest three times at point blank range at a multi-faith prayer meeting in Birla House in New Delhi on 30 January 1948. Godse was a member of the political party, the Hindu Mahasabha; a former member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu paramilitary volunteer organization; and a popularizer of the work of his mentor Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who had created the ideology of Hindutva and ridiculed the philosophy of non-violence more than two decades earlier. Godse believed Gandhi to have favoured the political demands of British India's Muslims during the partition of India of 1947.

Partition of India

Partition of India

The Partition of India in 1947 was the change of political borders and the division of other assets that accompanied the dissolution of the British Raj in South Asia and the creation of two independent dominions: India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India is today the Republic of India, and the Dominion of Pakistan—which at the time comprised two regions lying on either side of India—is now the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition was outlined in the Indian Independence Act 1947. The change of political borders notably included the division of two provinces of British India, Bengal and Punjab. The majority Muslim districts in these provinces were awarded to Pakistan and the majority non-Muslim to India. The other assets that were divided included the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Indian Air Force, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury. Self-governing independent India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.

Kanu Gandhi

Kanu Gandhi

Kanu Gandhi was an Indian photographer. He was a grandnephew of Mahatma Gandhi who lived with him in several of his ashrams and was a member of his personal staff. He is best remembered as Gandhi's photographer, recording many moments of Gandhi's life on film from 1938 until his assassination in 1948. Following Gandhi's death, Kanu and his wife Abha moved to Rajkot where they ran a rural centre named after Kasturba Gandhi. Abha was one of the companions with Gandhi at Birla House Delhi, when Godse shot Gandhi.

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata, dated to the second half of the first millennium BCE and is typical of the Hindu synthesis. It is considered to be one of the holy scriptures for Hinduism.

Noakhali riots

Noakhali riots

The Noakhali riots were a series of semi-organized massacres, rapes and abductions, combined with looting and arson of Hindu properties, perpetrated by the Muslim community in the districts of Noakhali in the Chittagong Division of Bengal in October–November 1946, a year before India's independence from British rule.

Herbert Reiner Jr.

Herbert Reiner Jr.

Herbert Thomas "Tom" Reiner Jr. was an American career diplomat who while on a posting in India from 1947 to 1949 played a key role in capturing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse. Reiner was among those present when Godse fatally shot Gandhi at an evening prayer meeting in New Delhi on January 30, 1948. Moments after the shooting, while the attending crowd was still in shock, Reiner rushed forward, grasping Godse by the shoulders, and restraining him until military and police personnel took him away. In the days following, Reiner's action was reported in newspapers around the world.

Delhi

Delhi

Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. Straddling the Yamuna river, primarily its western or right bank, Delhi shares borders with the state of Uttar Pradesh in the east and with the state of Haryana in the remaining directions. The NCT covers an area of 1,484 square kilometres (573 sq mi). According to the 2011 census, Delhi's city proper population was over 11 million, while the NCT's population was about 16.8 million. Delhi's urban agglomeration, which includes the satellite cities of Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida in an area known as the National Capital Region (NCR), has an estimated population of over 28 million, making it the largest metropolitan area in India and the second-largest in the world.

K. L. Gauba

K. L. Gauba

K. L. Gauba, also known as Kanhaiya Lal Gauba or Khalid Latif Gauba, was an Indian lawyer, writer, politician, and son of Lala Harkishen Lal. Born into a Hindu family, Gauba later converted to Islam and was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly by a Muslim constituency. He emigrated to India following partition and died in poverty.

First information report

First information report

A first information report (FIR) is a document prepared by police organisations in Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan when they receive information about the commission of a cognisable offence, or in Singapore when the police receive information about any criminal offence. It generally stems from a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognisable offence or by someone on their behalf, but anyone can make such a report either orally or in writing to the police, so it is necessary to know about cognisable offences. These are serious criminal offences that pose an immediate danger to society such as murder, rape, or robbery.

Vincent Sheean

Vincent Sheean

James Vincent Sheean was an American journalist and novelist.

Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy is an Indian political psychologist, social theorist, and critic. A trained clinical psychologist, Nandy has provided theoretical critiques of European colonialism, development, modernity, secularism, Hindutva, science, technology, nuclearism, cosmopolitanism, and utopia. He has also offered alternative conceptions relating to cosmopolitanism and critical traditionalism. In addition to the above, Nandy has offered an original historical profile of India's commercial cinema as well as critiques of state and violence.

Motives

During the subsequent trial, and in various witness accounts and books written since, the motivation of Godse has been summarized, speculated about and debated.[69][70] Godse did not deny killing Gandhi, and made a long statement explaining his motivations for the assassination of Gandhi.[71] Some of these motivations were:[71][72]

  • Godse felt that the massacre and suffering caused during, and due to, the partition could have been avoided if Gandhi and the Indian government had acted to stop the killing of the minorities (Hindus and Sikhs) in West and East Pakistan. He stated Gandhi had not protested against these atrocities being suffered by Hindus in Pakistan and had instead resorted to fasts.[73] In his court deposition, Godse said, "I thought to myself and foresaw I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred ... if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time I felt that the Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and would be powerful with armed forces. No doubt, my own future would be totally ruined, but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan.'"[74]
  • Godse stated that Gandhi's fast to pressure the Indian government to release the final payment to Pakistan that it had previously frozen because of the war in Kashmir, and the Indian government's subsequent policy reversal, was proof that the Indian government reversed its decision to suit the feelings of Gandhi. India, said Godse, was not being run by the force of public opinion, but by Gandhi's whims. Godse added that he admired Gandhi for his lofty character, ceaseless work and asceticism, and Gandhi's formidable character meant that his influence outside of the due process would continue while he was alive. Gandhi had to be removed from the political stage, so that India can begin looking after its own interests as a nation, according to Godse.[71][75][76]
  • Godse stated he did not oppose Gandhian ahimsa teachings, but Gandhi's talk of religious tolerance and nonviolence had already caused India to cede Pakistan to Muslims, uprooted millions of people from their home, caused immense violent loss of life and broken families. He believed that if Gandhi was not checked he would bring destruction and more massacres to Hindus. In Godse's opinion, "the only answer to violent aggression was violent self-defense". Godse stated that "Gandhi had betrayed his Hindu religion and culture by supporting Muslims at the expense of Hindus" because his lectures of ahimsa (non-violence) were directed at and accepted by the Hindu community only. Godse said, "I sat brooding intensely on the atrocities perpetrated on Hinduism and its dark and deadly future if left to face Islam (Pakistan) outside and Gandhi inside, and . . . I decided all of a sudden to take the extreme step against Gandhi". I did not hate Gandhi, I revered him because we both venerated much in Hindu religion, Hindu history and Hindu culture, we both were against superstitious aspects and the wrongs in Hinduism. Therefore, I bowed before Gandhi when I met him, said Godse, then performed my moral duty and killed Gandhi.[71][77]

Trial and judgments

The trial of persons accused of participation and complicity in the assassination at the Special Court in Red Fort Delhi on 27 May 1948. Front row, left to right: Nathuram Godse, Narayan Apte, and Vishnu Ramkrishna Karkare. Seated behind, left to right: Digambar Badge, Shankar Kistaiya, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Gopal Godse, and Dattatraya Sadashiv Parachure.
The trial of persons accused of participation and complicity in the assassination at the Special Court in Red Fort Delhi on 27 May 1948. Front row, left to right: Nathuram Godse, Narayan Apte, and Vishnu Ramkrishna Karkare. Seated behind, left to right: Digambar Badge, Shankar Kistaiya, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Gopal Godse, and Dattatraya Sadashiv Parachure.

The assassination was investigated, and many additional people were arrested, charged and tried in a lower court. The case and its appeal attracted considerable media attention, but Godse's statement in his defense to the court was banned immediately by the Indian government. Those convicted were either executed or served their complete sentences.

Investigation and arrests

Along with Nathuram Godse many other accomplices were arrested. They were all identified as prominent members of the Hindu Mahasabha – a nationalist organization.[78]

Along with Godse and accomplices, police arrested the 65-year-old Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who they accused of being the mastermind behind the plot.[79]

Arrested

The accused, their place of residence and occupational background were as follows:[20]

  1. Nathuram Vinayak Godse (Pune, Maharashtra; a former member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, editor, journalist)[80]
  2. Narayan Apte (Pune, Maharashtra; formerly: British military service, teacher, newspaper manager)[81]
  3. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Mumbai, Maharashtra; author, lawyer, former member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, former president of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha)
  4. Shankar Kistayya (Pune, Maharashtra; rickshaw puller, domestic worker employed by Digambar Badge)[82]
  5. Dattatraya Parchure (Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh; medical service, care giver)[83]
  6. Vishnu Karkare (Ahmednagar, Maharashtra; orphan; odd jobs in hotels, musician in a traveling troupe, volunteer in relief efforts to religious riots (Noakhali), later restaurant owner)[84]
  7. Madanlal Pahwa (Ahmednagar refugee camp, Maharashtra; former British Indian army soldier, unemployed, Punjabi refugee who had migrated to India from Pakistan during the Partition.)[83]
  8. Gopal Godse (Pune, Maharashtra; brother of Nathuram Godse; storekeeper, merchant)[85]

Digambar Badge was alleged to be one of the conspirators and an active participant in the murder plan. After his arrest, he made a statement admitting his own guilt and incriminating his accomplices. He expressed his willingness to appear before a magistrate and repeat his statement; so, he was tendered a conditional pardon and thus he became King's evidence. [86]

Trial and sentencing: Lower Court

The trial began on 27 May 1948 and ran for eight months before Justice Atma Charan passed his final order on 10 February 1949. The prosecution called 149 witnesses, the defense none.[79] The court found all of the defendants except one guilty as charged. Eight men were convicted for the murder conspiracy, and others convicted for violation of the Explosive Substances Act. Savarkar was acquitted and set free. Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were sentenced to death by hanging[87] and the remaining six (including Godse's brother, Gopal) were sentenced to life imprisonment.[88]

Appeal: High Court

Of those found guilty, all except Godse appealed their conviction and sentence. Godse accepted his death sentence, but appealed the lower court ruling that found him guilty of conspiracy. Godse argued, in his limited appeal to the High Court, that there was no conspiracy, he alone was solely responsible for the assassination, witnesses saw only him kill Gandhi, that all co-accused were innocent and should be released.[89] According to Markovitz, Godse's declarations and expressed motivations during the appeal have been analyzed in contrasting ways. For example, "while Robert Payne, in his detailed account of the trial, dwells on the irrational nature of his statement, Ashis Nandy underlines the deeply rational character of Godse's action, which, in his view, reflected the well-founded fears among upper-caste Hindus of Gandhi's message and its impact on Hindu society."[5]

The appeal by the convicted men was heard from 2 May 1949, at Peterhoff, Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) which then housed the Punjab High Court.[90][91] The High Court confirmed the findings and sentences of the lower court except in the cases of Dattatraya Parchure and Shankar Kistayya who were acquitted of all charges.

Professor Claude Markovits, a Senior Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research,[92] wrote a 2004 book (The UnGandhian Gandhi: The Life and Afterlife of the Mahatma) that the trial and execution was rushed, attributing the haste to Vallabhbhai Patel's efforts "to avoid scrutiny for the failure to prevent the assassination."[9]

Executions

Godse and Apte were sentenced to death on 8 November 1949.[11] Pleas for commutation were made by Gandhi's two sons, Manilal Gandhi and Ramdas Gandhi, but these pleas were turned down by India's prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel and the Governor-General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.[10] Godse and Apte were hanged in Ambala Gaol on 15 November 1949.[11] According to the Almanac of World Crime, at the hanging Apte's neck broke and he died instantly,[93][94] but "Godse died slowly by the rope"; instead of having his neck snap he choked "to death for fifteen minutes".[2]

Coverage and judge's comments

The Government of India made the assassination trial public. According to Claude Markovits,

Godse ... tried to use the courtroom as a political forum by reading a long declaration in which he tried to justify his crime. He accused Gandhi of complacency towards Muslims, blamed him for the sufferings of Partition and generally criticized his subjectivism and pretension to a monopoly of the truth. Although his attacks were met with some echo in high-caste Hindu circles traditionally hostile to Gandhi, he could not create a groundswell of opinion in his favour.[95]


Godse later appealed the death sentence verdict in the Appeals Court in Simla, then in Punjab.[96] He made a plea of poverty and requested that he be allowed to appear and defend himself in person.[96] As the request was allowed, Godse became the only accused to appear in person at the appeal.[96] G.D. Khosla, one of the three judges who heard the appeal, later wrote of the Godse statement:[96]

The audience was visibly and audibly moved. There was a deep silence when he ceased speaking. Many women were in tears and men were coughing and searching for their handkerchiefs. The silence was accentuated and made deeper by the sound of a[n] occasional subdued sniff or a muffled cough. It seemed to me that I was taking part in some kind of melodrama or a scene out of a Hollywood feature film. ... the audience most certainly thought Godse's performance was the only worth-while part of the lengthy proceedings ... I have no doubt that had the audience of that day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse's appeal, they would have brought in a verdict of 'not guilty' by an overwhelming majority[96]

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Nathuram Godse

Nathuram Godse

Nathuram Vinayak Godse was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. He was a Hindu nationalist from western India who shot Gandhi in the chest three times at point blank range at a multi-faith prayer meeting in Birla House in New Delhi on 30 January 1948. Godse was a member of the political party, the Hindu Mahasabha; a former member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu paramilitary volunteer organization; and a popularizer of the work of his mentor Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who had created the ideology of Hindutva and ridiculed the philosophy of non-violence more than two decades earlier. Godse believed Gandhi to have favoured the political demands of British India's Muslims during the partition of India of 1947.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (pronunciation  , Marathi pronunciation: [ʋinaːjək saːʋəɾkəɾ]; also commonly known as Veer Savarkar, was an Indian politician, activist, and writer.

Hindu Mahasabha

Hindu Mahasabha

The Hindu Mahasabha is a Hindu nationalist political party in India.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation. The RSS is the progenitor and leader of a large body of organisations called the Sangh Parivar, which have presence in all facets of the Indian society. RSS was founded on 27 September 1925. As of 2014, it has a membership of 5–6 million.

Rickshaw

Rickshaw

A rickshaw originally denoted a two- or three-wheeled passenger cart, now known as a pulled rickshaw, which is generally pulled by one person carrying one passenger. The first known use of the term was in 1879. Over time, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, and electric rickshaws were invented, and have replaced the original pulled rickshaws, with a few exceptions for their use in tourism.

Hanging

Hanging

Hanging is the suspension of a person by a noose or ligature around the neck. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain "hanging". Hanging has been a common method of capital punishment since medieval times, and is the primary execution method in numerous countries and regions. The first known account of execution by hanging was in Homer's Odyssey. In this specialised meaning of the common word hang, the past and past participle is hanged instead of hung.

Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy is an Indian political psychologist, social theorist, and critic. A trained clinical psychologist, Nandy has provided theoretical critiques of European colonialism, development, modernity, secularism, Hindutva, science, technology, nuclearism, cosmopolitanism, and utopia. He has also offered alternative conceptions relating to cosmopolitanism and critical traditionalism. In addition to the above, Nandy has offered an original historical profile of India's commercial cinema as well as critiques of state and violence.

Peterhoff, Shimla

Peterhoff, Shimla

The Peterhoff is a building in Chaura Maidan, Shimla which housed at least seven Viceroys and Governors General of India during the British Raj. It has been built in typical Tudor style – all wooden frames and shingled eaves. The building is situated in Annadale ward of Shimla.

French National Centre for Scientific Research

French National Centre for Scientific Research

The French National Centre for Scientific Research is the French state research organisation and is the largest fundamental science agency in Europe.

Vallabhbhai Patel

Vallabhbhai Patel

Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, commonly known as Sardar, was an Indian lawyer, influential political leader, barrister and statesman who served as the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India from 1947 to 1950. He was a barrister and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress, who played a leading role in the country's struggle for independence, guiding its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often called Sardar, meaning "chief" in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Persian. He acted as the Home Minister during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.

Manilal Gandhi

Manilal Gandhi

Manilal Mohandas Gandhi was the second son of Mohandas Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi.

Ramdas Gandhi

Ramdas Gandhi

Ramdas Mohandas Gandhi was the third son of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was a freedom activist in his own right.

Tributes

Funeral procession of Gandhi, passing the India Gate, Delhi
Funeral procession of Gandhi, passing the India Gate, Delhi

After the assassination, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the nation by radio:[97]

Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of the nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me, but for millions and millions in this country.[97]

Gandhi's death was mourned around the world. Field Marshal Jan Smuts, former prime minister of South Africa, and once Gandhi's adversary, said,[98] {{blockquote|"Gandhi was one of the great men of my time and my acquaintance with him over a period of more than 30 years has only deepened my high respect for him however much we differed in our views and methods. A prince among men has passed away and we grieve with India in her irreparable loss."[18]

The British prime minister Clement Attlee said in a radio address to the nation on the night of January 30, 1948:

Everyone will have learnt with profound horror of the brutal murder of Mr Gandhi and I know that I am expressing the views of the British people in offering to his fellow-countrymen our deep sympathy in the loss of their greatest citizen. Mahatma Gandhi, as he was known in India, was one of the outstanding figures in the world today, ... For a quarter of a century this one man has been the major factor in every consideration of the Indian problem.[99]

Leo Amery, the British secretary of state during the war said,

"It can be said that no one contributed more to the particular way in which the charter of British rule in India has ended than Mahatma Gandhi himself. His death comes at the close of a great chapter in world history. In the mind of India, at least, he will always be identified with the opening of the new chapter which, however troubled at the outset, we should all hope, will develop in peace, concord and prosperity for India."[100]

Lord Pethick-Lawrence, the British secretary of state in 1948 said:

What was the secret of his power over the hearts and minds of men and women? In my opinion it was the fact that he voluntarily stripped himself of every vestige of the privilege that he could have enjoyed on account of his birth, means, personality and intellectual pre-eminence and took on himself the status and infirmities of the ordinary man. When he was in South Africa as a young man and opposed the treatment of his fellow-countrymen in that land, he courted for himself the humiliation of the humblest Indian that he might in his own person face the punishment meted out for disobedience. When he called for non-cooperation with the British in India he himself disobeyed the law and insisted that he must be among the first to go to prison. ... He never claimed to be any other than an ordinary man. He acknowledged his liability to error and admitted that he had frequently-learnt by his mistakes. He was the universal brother, lover and friend of poor, weak, erring, suffering humanity."[101]

Albert Einstein wrote:

He died as the victim of his own principles, the principle of non-violence. He died because in time of disorder and general irritation in his country, he refused armed protection for himself. It was his unshakable belief that the use of force is an evil in itself, that therefore it must be avoided by those who are striving for supreme justice to his belief. With his belief in his heart and mind, he has led a great nation on to its liberation. He has demonstrated that a powerful human following can be assembled not only through the cunning game of the usual political manoeuvres and trickery but through the cogent example of a morally superior conduct of life. The admiration for Mahatma Gandhi in all countries of the world rests on that recognition.[102]

The New York Times in its editorial wrote:

"It is Gandhi the saint who will be remembered, not only on the plains and in the hills of India, but all over the world. He strove for perfection as other men strive for power and possessions. He pitied those to whom wrong was done: the East Indian laborers in South Africa, the untouchable 'Children of God' of the lowest caste of India, but he schooled himself not to hate the wrongdoer. The power of his benignity grew stronger as his potential influence ebbed. He tried in the mood of the New Testament to love his enemies. Now he belongs to the ages."[103]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Governor general and founder of Pakistan, had his differences with Gandhi. But on the day of Gandhi's assassination, he said:

"I am shocked to learn of the most dastardly attack on the life of Mr. Gandhi, resulting in his death. Whatever our political differences, he was one of the greatest men produced by the Hindu community, and a leader who commanded their universal confidence and respect. I wish to express my deep sorrow, and sincerely sympathize with the great Hindu community and his family in their bereavement at this momentous, historical and critical juncture so soon after the birth of freedom for Hindustan and Pakistan. The loss of dominion of India is irreparable, and it will be very difficult to fill the vacuum created by the passing way of such a great man at this moment."[104]

Over two million people joined the five-mile long funeral procession that took over five hours to reach Raj Ghat from Birla House, where he had been assassinated. Gandhi was cremated in a funeral pyre.[105]

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India Gate

India Gate

The India Gate is a war memorial located near the Rajpath on the eastern edge of the "ceremonial axis" of New Delhi, formerly called duty path. It stands as a memorial to 84,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died between 1914 and 1921 in the First World War, in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen's names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the gate evokes the architectural style of the memorial arch such as the Arch of Constantine, in Rome, and is often compared to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the Gateway of India in Mumbai.

Jan Smuts

Jan Smuts

Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, was a South African statesman, military leader and philosopher. In addition to holding various military and cabinet posts, he served as prime minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 to 1924 and 1939 to 1948.

Clement Attlee

Clement Attlee

Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. He was Deputy Prime Minister during the wartime coalition government under Winston Churchill, and served twice as Leader of the Opposition from 1935 to 1940 and from 1951 to 1955. Attlee remains the longest serving Labour leader.

Leo Amery

Leo Amery

Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett Amery,, also known as L. S. Amery, was a British Conservative Party politician and journalist. During his career, he was known for his interest in military preparedness, British India and the British Empire and for his opposition to appeasement. After his retirement and death, he was perhaps best known for the remarks he made in the House of Commons on 7 May 1940 during the Norway Debate.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are the two pillars of modern physics. His mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which arises from relativity theory, has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory. His intellectual achievements and originality resulted in "Einstein" becoming synonymous with "genius".

The New York Times

The New York Times

The New York Times is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to be a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid digital subscribers. It also is a producer of popular podcasts such as the Daily. Founded in 1851 by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones, it was initially published by Raymond, Jones & Company. The Times has won 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any newspaper, and has long been regarded as a national "newspaper of record". For print it is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the U.S.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a barrister, politician, and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until the inception of Pakistan on 14 August 1947, and then as the Dominion of Pakistan's first governor-general until his death.

Cremation

Cremation

Cremation is a method of final disposition of a dead body through burning.

Pyre

Pyre

A pyre, also known as a funeral pyre, is a structure, usually made of wood, for burning a body as part of a funeral rite or execution. As a form of cremation, a body is placed upon or under the pyre, which is then set on fire.

Previous attempt in 1934

A prior, unsuccessful attempt, to assassinate Gandhi occurred on 25 June 1934 at Pune.[106][107][108] Gandhi was in Pune along with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi, to deliver a speech at Corporation Auditorium. They were travelling in a motorcade of two cars. The car in which the couple was travelling was delayed and the first car reached the auditorium. Just when the first car arrived at the auditorium, a bomb was thrown, which exploded near the car. This caused grievous injury to the Chief Officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation, two policemen and seven others. Nevertheless, no account or records of the investigation nor arrests made can be found. Gandhi's secretary, Pyarelal Nayyar, believed that the attempt failed due to lack of planning and co-ordination.[109]

Aftermath

In the newly formed Dominion of India, the carnage that had been set off by the Partition of India ended with the shock of Gandhi's assassination.[110] The RSS, the Hindu paramilitary volunteer organisation, whose activities had been hidden from public view, and whose member Nathuram Godse had once been, was banned on 4 February 1948. The ban lasted one year.[111] A few weeks before, Vallabhai Patel had invited the RSS and its more overtly political sister organization, the Hindu Mahasabha, to join the Congress and to build the new nation. He had warned the Hindu nationalists that they were not the only defenders of Hinduism, which was more tolerant than the variety whose ideals they upheld; he had also cautioned his colleagues in the Congress, that members of these Hindu nationalist organizations were not criminals but misguided patriots, who might prove hard to root out.[111] Nehru argued against this viewpoint, emphasizing that the RSS has a history of easily succumbing to violent solutions, and needed to be punished and dissolved. With Gandhi's assassination, Patel's approach took the back seat.[111]

Gandhi's death indirectly gave Nehru more power.[112] According to historian Percival Spear, "The government was really a duumvirate between him (Nehru), who represented the idealism and left-wing tendencies of the party, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the realist and party boss from Gujarat who leaned to authoritarianism, orthodoxy, and big business."[112] At Gandhi's urging, Patel had twice abstained from claiming the prime ministership,[113] leading some to think he might affirm his claim now.[113] But Gandhi's assassination had affected Patel as deeply as it did Nehru, and Pate busied himself on the integration of the princely states.[113] Patel died in 1950, and Nehru ruled without any opposition after that.[113] After the violence of the Partition of India, the Hindu Right and its supporters within the Indian National Congress had asked if as a counterpoint to Pakistan's founding as a state for Muslims, India should not be publicly identified as a state for Hindus.[114] But after Gandhi's assassination, the implication of the Hindu Right in it, and the revulsion felt by many for Hindu extremism as a result, secular values were reestablished in India. [114]

According to Thomas Hansen,[115]

Although Nathuram Godse's inspiration came from Savarkar rather than Gowalkar, the RSS was banned and 20,000 swayamsevaks were arrested during the next few months, while the Hindu Mahasabha remained legal but effectively stigmatized, especially in Maharashtra. The Chitpavan brahmins (Godse's community) were attacked in a collective retaliation against a community whose Hindu nationalist leanings were well known, and whose claims to past glory and historical dominance in the area were a contentious issue in Maharashtra.

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Dominion of India

Dominion of India

The Dominion of India, officially the Union of India, was an independent dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations existing between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950. Until its independence, India had been ruled as an informal empire by the United Kingdom. The empire, also called the British Raj and sometimes the British Indian Empire, consisted of regions, collectively called British India, that were directly administered by the British government, and regions, called the princely states, that were ruled by Indian rulers under a system of paramountcy. The Dominion of India was formalised by the passage of the Indian Independence Act 1947, which also formalised an independent Dominion of Pakistan—comprising the regions of British India that are today Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Dominion of India remained "India" in common parlance but was geographically reduced. Under the Act, the British government relinquished all responsibility for administering its former territories. The government also revoked its treaty rights with the rulers of the princely states and advised them to join in a political union with India or Pakistan. Accordingly, the British monarch's regnal title, "Emperor of India," was abandoned.

Partition of India

Partition of India

The Partition of India in 1947 was the change of political borders and the division of other assets that accompanied the dissolution of the British Raj in South Asia and the creation of two independent dominions: India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India is today the Republic of India, and the Dominion of Pakistan—which at the time comprised two regions lying on either side of India—is now the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition was outlined in the Indian Independence Act 1947. The change of political borders notably included the division of two provinces of British India, Bengal and Punjab. The majority Muslim districts in these provinces were awarded to Pakistan and the majority non-Muslim to India. The other assets that were divided included the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Indian Air Force, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury. Self-governing independent India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.

Hindu Mahasabha

Hindu Mahasabha

The Hindu Mahasabha is a Hindu nationalist political party in India.

Political integration of India

Political integration of India

At the time of Indian independence in 1947, India was divided into two sets of territories, one under direct British rule, and the other under the suzerainty of the British Crown, with control over their internal affairs remaining in the hands of their hereditary rulers. The latter included 562 princely states, having different types of revenue sharing arrangements with the British, often depending on their size, population and local conditions. In addition, there were several colonial enclaves controlled by France and Portugal. The political integration of these territories into India was a declared objective of the Indian National Congress, and the Government of India pursued this over the next decade. Through a combination of factors, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and V. P. Menon coerced and coalesced the rulers of the various princely states to accede to India. Having secured their accession, they then proceeded, in a step-by-step process, to secure and extend the union government's authority over these states and transform their administrations until, by 1956, there was little difference between the territories that had been part of British India and those that had been princely states. Simultaneously, the Government of India, through a combination of military and diplomatic means, acquired de facto and de jure control over the remaining colonial enclaves, which too were integrated into India.

Hindu nationalism

Hindu nationalism

Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expression of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. "Hindu nationalism" or the correct term Hindū rāṣṭravāda is a simplistic translation and it is better described with the term "Hindu polity".

Indian National Congress

Indian National Congress

The Indian National Congress (INC), colloquially the Congress Party but often simply the Congress, is a political party in India with widespread roots. Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa. From the late 19th century, and especially after 1920, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress became the principal leader of the Indian independence movement. The Congress led India to independence from the United Kingdom, and significantly influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.

In media

Several books, plays and movies have been produced about the event.

  • I, Nathuman Godse speaking is a play composed by Pradeep Dalvi based on the assassination trial. Locally produced as Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy, after seven sold-out shows it was banned in the State of Maharashtra in 1999 on directions from the then BJP-led coalition government in Delhi.[116]
  • Gandhi vs. Gandhi is a Marathi play that has been translated into several languages. Its primary plot is the relationship between Gandhi and his estranged son but it also deals briefly with the assassination.
  • Nine Hours to Rama is a 1963 British movie based on Stanley Wolpert's novel of the same name, which is a fictional account of the final nine hours leading up to Gandhi's assassination.
  • May It Please Your Honor was published in 1977, containing Nathuram Godse's statement to the court, after the Indian Congress party lost power for the first time since Indian independence, and the new government lifted the censorship imposed since 1948 after gaining power in national elections. The text was republished in 1993 as Why I Assassinated Mahatma Gandhi?.[117]
  • In the 1982 film Gandhi the actor Harsh Nayyar portrayed Godse at the beginning and the end of the film.
  • Hey Ram (2000) is a Tamil-Hindi bilingual film by Kamal Haasan about a fictitious plot to kill Gandhi by a man devastated by the partition riots and his change of heart even as the real-life plot succeeds.
  • Gandhi and the Unspeakable: His Final Experiment with Truth (2012) by James Douglass is a non-fiction book that seeks to understand not only the facts of the murder but its importance in the larger struggle between non-violence and violence.

Discover more about In media related topics

Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy

Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy

Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy is a two-act play written in the Marathi language. It has been written by Pradeep Dalvi. It is based on the book May It Please You Honour written by Gopal Godse. According to Karline McLain the play "enacts Godse's defense plea" and thus "explores the assassination of Gandhi and the trial of Godse from Godse's point of view.

Nine Hours to Rama

Nine Hours to Rama

Nine Hours to Rama is 1963 British-American neo noir crime film directed by Mark Robson, that follows a fictionalised Nathuram Godse in the hours before he assassinated the Indian independence leader, Gandhi, and police attempts to prevent the murder. It is based on a 1962 novel of the same name by Stanley Wolpert. The movie was written by Nelson Gidding and filmed in England and India with mainly white actors in prominent roles. It stars Horst Buchholz, Diane Baker, Jose Ferrer, and Robert Morley. It was shot in CinemaScope DeLuxe Color.

Stanley Wolpert

Stanley Wolpert

Stanley Wolpert was an American historian, Indologist, and author on the political and intellectual history of modern India and Pakistan and wrote fiction and nonfiction books on the topics. He taught at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1959–2002.

1977 Indian general election

1977 Indian general election

General elections were held in India between 16 and 20 March 1977 to elect the members of the 6th Lok Sabha. The elections took place during the Emergency period, which expired on 21 March 1977, shortly before the final results were announced.

Gandhi (film)

Gandhi (film)

Gandhi is a 1982 period biographical film based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of nonviolent non-cooperative Indian independence movement against the British Empire during the 20th century. A co-production between India and United Kingdom, it is directed and produced by Richard Attenborough from a screenplay written by John Briley. It stars Ben Kingsley in the title role. The film covers Gandhi's life from a defining moment in 1893, as he is thrown off from a South African train for being in a whites-only compartment, and concludes with his assassination and funeral in 1948. Although a practising Hindu, Gandhi's embracing of other faiths, particularly Christianity and Islam, is also depicted.

Hey Ram

Hey Ram

Hey Ram is a 2000 Indian period crime drama film written, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan, who also stars. It was simultaneously made in Tamil and Hindi languages. Shah Rukh Khan plays a supporting role, making his debut in Tamil cinema. The film's soundtrack and score were composed by Ilaiyaraaja. It is an alternate history film that depicts India's Partition and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. The Hindi version was distributed by Khan's Dreamz Unlimited.

Tamil cinema

Tamil cinema

Tamil cinema, also known as Kollywood is a part of Indian Cinema; primarily engaged in production of motion pictures in the Tamil language. Based out of the Kodambakkam neighbourhood in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, it is popularly called Kollywood - a portmanteau of the words Kodambakkam and Hollywood. The first Tamil silent film, Keechaka Vadham, was directed by R. Nataraja Mudaliar in 1918. The first Tamil talking feature film, Kalidas, a multilingual directed by H M Reddy was released on 31 October 1931, less than seven months after India's first talking motion picture Alam Ara.

Hindi cinema

Hindi cinema

Hindi cinema, popularly known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema, refers to the film industry based in Mumbai, engaged in production of motion pictures in Hindi language. The popular term Bollywood, is a portmanteau of "Bombay" and "Hollywood". The industry is a part of the larger Indian cinema, which also includes South Cinema and other smaller film industries.

Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan is an Indian actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, playback singer, television presenter and politician who works mainly in Tamil cinema and has also appeared in some Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada and Bengali films. He has been recognised as an influence for actors and filmmakers in the Tamil film industry. He is also known for introducing many new technologies and cosmetics to the Indian film industry. He has won numerous accolades, including four National Film Awards and 20 Filmfare Awards. He was awarded the Kalaimamani Award in 1984, the Padma Shri in 1990, the Padma Bhushan in 2014 and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Chevalier) in 2016. He is the only actor in India whose seven films were submitted for the Academy Awards including one directed by him

Partition of India

Partition of India

The Partition of India in 1947 was the change of political borders and the division of other assets that accompanied the dissolution of the British Raj in South Asia and the creation of two independent dominions: India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India is today the Republic of India, and the Dominion of Pakistan—which at the time comprised two regions lying on either side of India—is now the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition was outlined in the Indian Independence Act 1947. The change of political borders notably included the division of two provinces of British India, Bengal and Punjab. The majority Muslim districts in these provinces were awarded to Pakistan and the majority non-Muslim to India. The other assets that were divided included the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Indian Air Force, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury. Self-governing independent India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.

Source: "Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 30th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Mahatma_Gandhi.

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References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Quote: "Mr. Gandhi was picked up by attendants and carried rapidly back to the unpretentious bedroom where he had passed most of his working and sleeping hours. As he was taken through the door Hindu onlookers who could see him began to wail and beat their breasts. Less than half an hour later a member of Mr. Gandhi's entourage came out of the room and said to those about the door: "Bapu (father) is finished." But it was not until Mr. Gandhi's death was announced by All India Radio, at 6 pm that the words spread widely."Trumbull (1948)
  2. ^ Quote 1: "As he got to the top of the steps and approached the crowd, he took his arms from the shoulders of his friends and raised his hands in salutation. He was still smiling. A thick-set man, in his 30s I should say and dressed in khaki, was in the forefront of the crowd. He moved a step toward Mr. Gandhi, took out a revolver and fired several shots at almost point-blank range. It did not sound like a revolver but like a Chinese cracker a child might have let off. Mr. Gandhi fell. For a few seconds no one could believe what had happened; every one seemed dazed and numb, and then a young American who had come for prayers rushed forward and seized the shoulders of the man in the khaki coat. That broke the spell.".[37]
     • Quote 2: In Empirical Foundation of Psychology, the authors, N. H. Pronko and J. W. Bowles introduce Robert Stimson's BBC report about Reiner as a case study, and make the observation: "The preoccupation of the audience with Gandhi's attire and actions as he entered the garden, the disrupting stimulus of Gandhi being shot, the no-response period, the new stimulus in the form of the American, and the frenzied reaction of the crowd combine to trace the sequence in a typical emotional reaction.[38][37]
     • Quote 3: "Immediately, there was chaos. As Gandhi was cradled by his devotees and carried back to the house, the assassin was seized and pummeled by thirty-two-year-old diplomatic officer Herbert Reiner of Springdale, Connecticut. A doctor was found within minutes, but he was of no use. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was dead."[39] Robert Trumbull of The New York Times, who was an eyewitness to the shooting, wrote in his front-page story the next day:"A crowd of about 500, according to witnesses, was stunned. There was no outcry or excitement for a second or two. Then the onlookers began to push the assassin more as if in bewilderment than in anger. The assassin was seized by Tom Reiner of Lancaster, Mass., a vice consul attached to the American Embassy and a recent arrival in India. He was attending Mr. Gandhi's prayer meeting out of curiosity, as most visitors to New Delhi do at least once. Mr. Reiner grasped the assailant by the shoulders and shoved him toward several police guards. Only then did the crowd begin to grasp what had happened and a forest of fists belabored the assassin as he was dragged toward the pergola where Mr. Gandhi was to have prayed. He left a trail of blood.".[40]
     • Quote 4: ...the court had authority under Code 540 of the 1898 law to examine Kasar/Damle, which was not done. The government also did not call American Marine Herbert "Tom" Reiner who caught Godse, or the nephew of then Congress Minister Takthmal Jain of Madhya Bharat ministry (1948), who claimed to have heard four shots, or the person who sold the pistol to Godse at Gwalior."[41]
     • Quote 5: "The unsung hero of the day, however, who wishes to remain anonymous, is an official of the American Embassy at Delhi, who is the first to realize what has happened, and leaps forward and grips the assassin by the arm. If this young American had not done what he did, Nathuram Godse would probably have shot his way out for he still had four unspent bullets in his pistol".[42]
     • Quote 6: In the melee, no one had really noticed the man who had fired the fatal shots. One man who did was Herbert 'Tom' Reiner Jr, a diplomat who had just joined the US Foreign Service. ... He was standing in the front row when Godse brushed past him and fired the fatal shots. Reiner immediately seized Godse and held him till the police arrived. ... Most newspaper and wire reports on the assassination merely referred to 'an American diplomat' and Reiner's name only appeared in some American newspapers at the time.";[43]
     • Quote 7: ""Bob tells me that an American Embassy official was the unsung hero of the occasion. He was the first to realize what had happened and to leap forward and grip the assassin by the arms."[44]
  3. ^ Quote 1: "I withdrew somewhat relieved for I had been anticipating a misdirected blow or even a bullet from the angered mob to take vengeance on the culprit. It was some time before the bulk of the people realized what had happened to the side and behind them. Rumors ran rampant. One was to the effect that all shots had gone astray, another that Ava had shielded Gandhi and had herself received mortal wounds, and still another that the Mahatma while wounded was not seriously so. These were the reports that spread through the assemblage as the fatally injured Gandhi was quickly borne to his quarters. There was a reluctance to believe that the worst had really occurred, yet there was a tenseness in the air as groups related to one another their respective accounts of the assassination and made their guesses as to the communal background of the assailant. It was more than a half hour before any statement reached those outside and then it was only the terse statement in English by one of the ashram as he emerged through the porch door—"Gandhiji is finished'. The simple prayer ceremony which was to have been conducted that afternoon with its recitations from the Bhagavada Gita, the Koran, and Christian hymns never took place." Herbert Reiner Jr. in Stratton (1950).
     • Quote 2: "Mr. Gandhi was picked up by attendants and carried rapidly back to the unpretentious bedroom where he had passed most of his working and sleeping hours. As he was taken through the door Hindu onlookers who could see him began to wail and beat their breasts. Less than half an hour later a member of Mr. Gandhi's entourage came out of the room and said to those about the door: "Bapu (father) is finished." But it was not until Mr. Gandhi's death was announced by All India Radio, at 6 P. M. that the words spread widely."Trumbull (1948)
  4. ^ "Reiner recalled, "People were standing as though paralyzed. I moved around them, grasped his shoulder and spun him around, then took a firmer grip on his shoulders"[35]
  1. ^ "Communal massacres sparked a chaotic two-way flight of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Muslims from India. In all an estimated 15 million people were displaced in what became the largest forced migration in the twentieth century".[13]
  2. ^ "The crowd was paralyzed as the two grandchildren lifted the frail Gandhi and carried him into his room in Birla House. Tom Reiner, the United States vice-consul, a newcomer to India, who had attended the prayer meeting, seized the assassin ..."[46]

Citations

  1. ^ Hardiman 2003, pp. 174–176.
  2. ^ a b c d Nash 1981, p. 69.
  3. ^ Hansen 1999, p. 249.
  4. ^ Cush, Denise; Robinson, Catherine; York, Michael (2008). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Taylor & Francis. p. 544. ISBN 978-0-7007-1267-0. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. Quote: "The apotheosis of this contrast is the assassination of Gandhi in 1948 by a militant Nathuram Godse, on the basis of his 'weak' accommodationist approach towards the new state of Pakistan." (p. 544)
  5. ^ a b Markovits 2004, p. 57.
  6. ^ Mallot 2012, pp. 75–76.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Assassination of Mr Gandhi Archived 22 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian. 31 January 1949.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Stratton 1950, pp. 40–42.
  9. ^ a b Markovits 2004, pp. 57–58.
  10. ^ a b Gandhi 2006, p. 660.
  11. ^ a b c Bandyopadhyay 2009, p. 146.
  12. ^ Lelyveld 2012, p. 332.
  13. ^ a b Talbot & Singh 2009, p. 2.
  14. ^ George Fetherling (2011). The Book of Assassins. Random House. pp. 164–165. ISBN 978-0-307-36909-3.
  15. ^ a b Rein Fernhout (1995). ʻAbd Allāh Aḥmad Naʻim; et al. (eds.). Human Rights and Religious Values: An Uneasy Relationship?. Rodopi. pp. 124–126. ISBN 90-5183-777-1.
  16. ^ John Roosa (1998). The Quandary of the Qaum: Indian Nationalism in a Muslim State, Hyderabad 1850-1948. University of Wisconsin-Madison Press. pp. 489–494. OCLC 56613452.
  17. ^ Nāḍiga Kr̥ṣṇamūrti (1966). Indian journalism: origin, growth and development of Indian journalism from Asoka to Nehru. University of Mysore. pp. 248–249.
  18. ^ a b Guha, Ramachandra (2018), Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, pp. 550–, ISBN 978-0-385-53232-7
  19. ^ a b Arvind Sharma (2013). Gandhi: A Spiritual Biography. Yale University Press. pp. 27–28, 97, 150–152. ISBN 978-0-300-18596-6.
  20. ^ a b Jagdish Chandra Jain (1987). Gandhi, the Forgotten Mahatma. Mittal Publications. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-81-7099-037-6.
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  32. ^ Gandhi 1962, pp. 309–310.
  33. ^ a b Gandhi 1962, pp. 310–311.
  34. ^ "American who held killer 'Wanted to see Gandhi'", The New York Times, The Associated Press, 1 February 1948
  35. ^ a b "Herbert Reiner Jr.; Captured Gandhi's killer". Obituary. Los Angeles Times. 26 May 2000. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017., Quote: " On Jan. 30, 1948, he went to a prayer meeting to catch a glimpse of Gandhi. It was to be Gandhi's last meeting. Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist enraged by Gandhi's overtures to Muslims, brushed past his aide and fired three shots at the great moral leader. Reiner seized him and swung him into the hands of the Indian police, an action captured on the front pages of newspapers around the world.
  36. ^ Stimson 1948; Pronko & Bowles 2013, p. 343; Tunzelmann 2012, p. 320; Trumbull 1948; Bamzai & Damle 2016; Gauba 1969, p. 150; Kapoor 2014; Rajghatai 2013.
  37. ^ a b c d Stimson 1948.
  38. ^ Pronko & Bowles 2013, p. 343.
  39. ^ Tunzelmann 2012, p. 320.
  40. ^ a b Trumbull 1948.
  41. ^ a b Bamzai & Damle 2016.
  42. ^ Gauba 1969, p. 150.
  43. ^ Kapoor 2014.
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  46. ^ a b Singer 1953, p. 194.
  47. ^ Stratton 1950, pp. 40–42, Quote: "(Godse) stood nearly motionless with a small Beretta dangling in his right hand and to my knowledge made no attempt to escape or to take his own fire. ... Moving toward Godse I [Reiner] extended my right arm in an attempt to seize his gun but in doing so grasped his right shoulder in a manner that spun him into the hands of Royal Indian Air Force men, also spectators, who disarmed him. I then fastened a firm grasp on his neck and shoulders until other military and police took him into custody"..
  48. ^ Allston, Frank J. (1995), Ready for Sea: The Bicentennial History of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps, Naval Institute Press, pp. 341–342, ISBN 978-1-55750-033-5; Quote: "Reiner attempted to seize the man's gun hand, but hit his shoulder instead, spinning the culprit into the hands of members of the Royal Indian Air Force. When he ascertained the assassin could not escape, Reiner withdrew."
  49. ^ Tunzelmann 2012, p. 320, Quote: "Immediately, there was chaos. As Gandhi was cradled by his devotees and carried back to the house, the assassin was seized and pummelled by thirty-two-year-old diplomatic officer Herbert Reiner of Springdale, Connecticut..
  50. ^ Gauba 1969, p. Quote: "The unsung hero of the day, however, who wishes to remain anonymous, is an official of the American Embassy at Delhi, who is the first to realise what has happened, and leaps forward and grips the assassin by the arm. If this young American had not done what he did, Nathuram Godse would probably have shot his way out for he still had four unspent bullets in his pistol"..
  51. ^ Kapoor 2014, p. Quote; "In the melee, no one had really noticed the man who had fired the fatal shots. One man who did was Herbert 'Tom' Reiner Jr, a diplomat who had just joined the US Foreign Service. ... He was standing in the front row when Godse brushed past him and fired the fatal shots. Reiner immediately seized Godse and held him till the police arrived. ... Most newspaper and wire reports on the assassination merely referred to 'an American diplomat' and Reiner's name only appeared in some American newspapers at the time.".
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    [b] McLain 2007, p. ?. Quote: "Godse then calmly called for the police and turned himself in";
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  116. ^ Celia Dugger (2001). Robert Justin Goldstein (ed.). Political Censorship. Taylor & Francis. pp. 546–548. ISBN 978-1-57958-320-0.
  117. ^ Claude Markovits (2004). The UnGandhian Gandhi: The Life and Afterlife of the Mahatma. Anthem Press. pp. 34–35 with footnotes. ISBN 978-1-84331-127-0.
Works cited
Further reading

Assassination-related literature and the variance in its coverage:

Funeral, post funeral-rites and memorialization after Gandhi's assassination:

  • Khan, Yasmin (2011). "Performing Peace: Gandhi's assassination as a critical moment in the consolidation of the Nehruvian state". Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge University Press. 45 (1): 57–80. doi:10.1017/s0026749x10000223. S2CID 144894540.
External links

Coordinates: 28°36′04.6″N 77°12′49.4″E / 28.601278°N 77.213722°E / 28.601278; 77.213722

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