End of an Era

On 30 January 1948 at 5:17 pm in the evening the world seemed to stop for many Indians when a man named Nathu Ram Godse killed our Father of the Nation Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi. Every person present at the Birla House, New Delhi was heartbroken when a man in his late 30s killed an elderly man nearly 80 years old, despite their nationalities.

Was Mahatma Gandhi aware of his assassination plan

Hours before his assassination a few incidents make everyone think that if Mahatma Gandhi was aware of his assassination plans. More than aware it seemed as if he was more than ready to accept it.

Mahatma Gandhi was extremely disturbed few days before his death due to the violence happening in India and Pakistan. Though in his late 70s the energetic man who never looked tired started to look tired and disappointed. He who never missed even a trivial part of his routine forgot his exercise a day before his death.

He was unwell and was prescribed penicillin. When her grand niece Manu Gandhi gave him his medicines he refused and said “If I were to die of disease or even a pimple, you must shout to the world from house-tops that I was a false mahatma. Then my soul, wherever it might be, will rest in peace. People might well swear at you for my sake; yet, if I died of illness, you should declare me a false or hypocritical mahatma. And if an explosion took place, as it did last week, or somebody shot at me and I received his bullet on my bare chest, without a sigh and with Rama’s name on my lips, only then you should say that I was a true mahatma. This will benefit the Indian people.”

10 days before his death a bomb was hurled at his prayer meeting. When Delhi Police tried to give him security he refused. Even after sevaral persuasions he did not take any security.

Just before the prayer meeting on 30 January 1948, two leaders from Kathiawar – Rasikbhai Parikh and Dhebarbhai had arrived to meet Mahatma Gandhi while he was in the meeting with Sardar Patel. When Manu Gandhi told Mahatma Gandhi about the visit of Kathiawar leaders he said “Tell them that, if I remain alive, they can talk to me after the prayer on my walk.”

These incidents and these words of Mahatma Gandhi somehow do not feel normal and make us think whether he knew that he will be killed. More than just knowing did he want to be killed. It felt like may be he was of the opinion that the violence that disturbed him badly would stop with his death.

At 5:17 pm on 30 January 1948 Nathuram Godse guided by fanatic passion and radicalization pumped 3 bullets in him. There have been various attempts to justify the actions of Nathuram Godse. But the fact remains the same that a middle aged man killed an unarmed old man because he was having a different political opinion and this can never be justified. If such an incident where a person takes law in his hands leading to cold blooded murder because of difference of opinion is being justified than the problem lies with the society. There is some reason that the one who killed is called ‘The first terrorist of free India” and the one who got killed is called “Father of the Nation” and his death was mourned not only by India but the whole world.