Friday, January 30, 2015

The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, 1948

The Assassination of Gandhi, 1948

Just an old man in a loincloth in distant India: Yet when he died, humanity wept." This was the observation of a newspaper correspondent at the death of Mahatma Gandhi. The tragedy occurred in New Delhi as the gaunt old man walked to a prayer-meeting and was engulfed by one of history's great ironies - a life-long pacifist and promoter of non-violence struck down by an assassin's bullet.

Gandhi's violent death came just months after the realization of his long sought-after goal - the independence of India from Great Britain. It was a bitter-sweet victory for Gandhi because along with India's independence came the partitioning of the sub-continent into two separate states - Muslim-based Pakistan and Hindu-based India - an action he thoroughly opposed. Gandhi did not take part in the celebration of India's independence.

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