On January 30, 1948 at 17:17 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the Mahatma, was killed in Delhi by three gunshot wounds. He was 79 years old and on his way to evening prayer. Before taking his last breath, he said, "He Ram," "Oh, God," making his greatest wish, that his last word was the name of God.
The killer was Nathuram Godsé, a fundamentalist Hindu who considered Gandhi too compliant with the Muslims.
|Gandhi during the Salt Satyagraha (1930)|
Six months earlier, on August 15, 1947, India had become independent from the United Kingdom after a non-violent struggle led by Gandhi, a struggle thatlasted years, and for modality, commitment, involvement had no equal in the history of humanity.
In radio message to all the people of India immediately after the death of Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said:
“Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of the nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will not see him again as we have seen him for these many years. We will not run to him for advise and seek solace from hi, and that is a terrible blow, not to me only, but to millions and millions in this country, and it is a little difficult to soften the blow by any other advise that I or anyone else can give you.
The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later that light will still be seen in this country, and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts. For that light represented the living truth ... the eternal truths, reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom.”