The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu fanatic and extremist Nathuram Godse on 30 January 1948. Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse while he was going to his prayer meeting in the Birla House lawn in New Delhi. Nathuram Godse was from Poona and he used a Beretta automatic pistol to shoot Gandhi. He shot Gandhi three times at point-blank range in chest and stomach.
On the fateful day of 30 January 1948, at about 5 pm in the evening, 78-year-old Gandhi leaning on the shoulders of two grand-nieces, Manuben and Abha, was helped across the gardens of Birla House towards the prayer meeting. At this moment Nathuram Godse in his thirties emerged from the admiring crowd and greeted Gandhi with a Namaste. Suddenly he whipped out his pistol and shot Gandhi three times at point-blank range. Even after being shot, Gandhi raised his hands in the conventional Hindu gesture of Namaste (greeting). He fell after this and was rushed to the Birla House. Mahatma Gandhi died in the Birla House at about 5. 40 pm on 30 January 1948. Some people believe that Gandhi cried out ‘Ram, Ram’ (God’s Name) just after being shot. However, others say that he didn’t say any word.
Nathuram Godse after killing Gandhi fired the fourth shot apparently to kill himself. However, he was overpowered by a Royal Indian Air Force sergeant and a gardener of the Birla House named Raghu Naik.
Nathuram Godse who shot Gandhi dead, in his final speech in court concluded that his motive for killing Gandhi was Gandhi’s role in the partition of India. Gandhi’s support for Muslims was the main reason behind Nathuram Godse’s motives. He accepted killing Gandhi in the courtroom. Nathuram Godse was hanged after being sentenced by a court of law. Soon after Gandhi’s death violence erupted in Bombay and other parts of India.
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