Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi fondly known as “Father of Nation”, was not just a leader but also a visionary. Mahatma Gandhi, the man who led India to freedom from the oppressive British colonial rule, was assassinated on January 30, 1948 at the age of 78. Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic, was found guilty of murdering him and was executed the following year.
On Mahatma Gandhi’s 71st death anniversary, also observed as Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas.
Here’s a series of events leading to his assassination by Nathuram Godse:
- The first attempt to murder Bapu took place in the year 1934 when he had to deliver a speech in Pune. He was travelling in a car with his wife along with a convoy of similar cars when a bomb blew up the car ahead of their car, and hence, he was saved.
- The second attempt was a soul stirring one for Gandhi this was the first time Nathuram Godse and Gandhiji came face to face. In 1944, when Gandhi affected with malaria virus was resting at a house in Panchgani, an anti-Gandhi group gathered outside the house and started chanting slogans against him. Bapu invited the leader of the protesters to talk to him. But Nathuram refused. Later, when things got out of hand, Nathuram charged with a dagger towards Gandhiji while chanting slogans against him. However, Gandhiji was saved by Mani Shankar Purohit and Bhilare Guruji.
- The third attempt took place in September 1944. When Mahatma Gandhi was supposed to meet Muhammad Ali Jinnah for the partition talks in Bombay, Godse and his supporters attacked the ashram to stop Gandhi from leaving. However, Godse was stopped by the Gandhiji’s supporters and was found with a dagger.
- The fourth attempt took place in 1946 when a train called Gandhi Special derailed. However, the driver was able to slow it down and avert the tragedy.
- The fifth attempt took place on January 20, 1948, just 10 days before Bappu’s assassination. That day Gandhi had to address a crowd at Birla Bhavan. Madanlal Pahwa, Nathuram Godse, Narayan Apte, Vishnu Karkare, Digambar Badge, Gopal Godse and Shankar Kistaiya together wanted to shoot him there. They wanted to throw a bomb near his podium. Madanlal as planned, bombed the place, but people saw him with a gun in handand thus, his attempt failed. Madanlal was arrested while Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte successfully ran away.
Mahatma Gandhi’s Assassination Day
Godse returned to Delhi after 9 days on January 29, 1948 to get his course done this time. This was the day before Gandhiji had to attend the peace prayer at the Birla Bhawan in Delhi.
On the afternoon of January 30, 1948, Gandhi was informed about 2 leaders wanting to meet him over which, Gandhiji replied, “Tell them that, if I remain alive, they can talk to me after the prayer on my walk.”
It was post this that Gandhiji prepped for his prayer meet. He started walking towards the meeting with Manu and Abha. Amidst this, he was stopped by a man in Khaki. Seeing this, Manu scolded the man and said that Gandhiji is late. The man was Nathuram Godse. He pushed Manu Gandhi and shot Mahatma Gandhi. There was chaos all around and 25 minutes later, Mahatma Gandhi died due to excessive blood loss inside Birla Bhavan which is now known as Gandhi Smriti.