Reflections

Gandhi, India and the Road Not Taken

Jan 30, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Jawaharlal Nehru (left) and Mohandas K. Gandhi talk at a committee meeting in Bombay.

India may embrace Gandhian rhetoric, but it is an aspiring great power and home to an expanding consumer market.

(Central Press/Getty Images)

Nathuram Godse altered the course of Indian history. On Jan. 30, 1948, the militant Hindu nationalist killed Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi while the 78-year old leader of the Indian independence movement was en route to his evening prayers in New Delhi's Birla House. The assassination would plunge a newly liberated India into mourning -- independence had taken place less than six months before -- and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi's foremost disciple, would use the incident to suppress the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu nationalist organization that Godse had once been affiliated with. Ahead of his execution in 1949, the unremorseful Godse rattled off a litany of grievances against Gandhi's ideology in a courtroom letter focused on Muslim appeasement, the carnage born of Partition, and the creation of Pakistan. ...

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