January 30th 1948: Gandhi assassinated

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)

 

On this day in 1948, Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. Gandhi was famous for his non-violent struggle for Indian independence, instead using mass civil disobedience to secure India’s independence. His goal was achieved a year before his death. Gandhi is referred to as ‘Mahatma’ (meaning ‘Great Soul’) and ‘Bapu’ (‘father’) in India, as he is remembered as the ‘Father of the Nation’.

 

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Gandhi lies in state

 

He was shot at point-blank range whilst walking to a platform to address a prayer meeting by Godse, a Hindu nationalist who felt Gandhi was sympathetic to Muslims and held him responsible for weakening India by insisting on payment to Pakistan. Gandhi was mourned nationally, and is still revered today and considered a martyr. Supposedly, his last words were “Oh God”.

 

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The crowd at Gandhi’s funeral procession

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