“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”Mahamta Gandhi
To utter the above words, a man needs a bottomless reserve of strength, conviction, courage, and perseverance, and who better than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi could have all these virtues present in him. Born to humble parents in the coastal town of Porbandar, Gujrat, Mahatma Gandhi displayed the energy required to lead India to her freedom since he was a child. His sudden and shocking demise on the 30th of January 1948 dropped a bombshell on the entire nation that was still celebrating its newly attained freedom.
Mahatma Gandhi had been a strong advocate of religious tolerance, women empowerment, and most importantly Swaraj (self-rule). His social, as well as political philosophy, was based primarily on the concept of Ahimsa (non-violence). But as noble as his approach was, it also became the reason for his death. He was considered to be too “accommodative” by some of the Hindu nationalists and this fuelled Nathuram Godse to pull the trigger at Gandhi on the evening of that fateful day.
What had once started as the rightful struggle for freedom from the clutches of British rule had slowly transformed into a necrotic tussle among the Hindus and the Muslims to establish a nation based on religious choices. Gandhi had strongly opposed the riots and violence that preceded and succeeded India’s independence and the mass migration during the partition. But his protests were seen as a way of favoring the Muslims and were not appreciated by the Hindu extremists. Sadly, the free India he witnessed proved to be very different from the peaceful and just abode he had envisioned it to be. The 30th of January every year is observed as the Martyrs day in India to pay tribute to all the brave souls who fought for the nation and lost their lives. On this day the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, and the Defense Minister of the country visit his final resting place in Rajghat, New Delhi to pay homage to him. Other eminent leaders of the nation visit the Rajghat as well on this day.