Incident Sets India Ablaze
NEW DELHI, Jan. 30 — (UP) — Mahandas K. Gandhi, saint of India, was shot and killed today in an assassination which may set the whole subcontinent of India ablaze with warfare between Hindus and Moslems.
The 78-year-old wisp of a man, his body even more frail than usual after a fast which ended a scant fortnight ago, was shot down by three bullets as he walked to the prayer grounds of Birla House for his evening devotions.
He was carried into the great mansion home of one of India’s greatest industrial magnates, in the arms of his weeping disciples. There he died at 5:45 p.m. (7:15 a.m. EST), a martyr to the cause for which de dedicated his life — India’s freedom.
Gandhi was shot by a man giving the name of Ram Naturam — a Hindu mane. He fired two shots from a revolver at Gandhi and then turned his gun on himself, firing a third shot which grazed his head.
The assassin, a man of about 32 years of age, was seized by Gandhi’s hysterical followers who pummelled him seriously before he was reached by police who drove the crowd back with rifles and fixed bayonets.
It appeared that the assassin was a Hindu extremist — one of a group which has bitterly attacked Gandhi’s policies of moderation and has called for a blood war of extermination against the Moslems. Only two weeks ago a bomb was exploded outside Birla House by a member of this group and Gandhi’s followers long had feared for his life because of the threats of these extremists.
The assassination seemed certain to mark a turning point in the turbulent history of the 350 million people who inhabit India.
Traverse City Record Eagle (Traverse City, Michigan) Jan 30, 1948
‘Great Soul’ Dies Disillusioned ‘Saint’
NEW DELHI, Jan 30. (INS) Mohandas K. Gandhi, the Hindu political and spiritual leader assassinated today, was unique in history — regarded as a living saint and a combined George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
There is nobody to step into the place of the “father of is country.”
But there are millions of Hindus who will try to carry out his preachments:
Nonviolence; live for your fellow man; simple living without pomp or luxury.
Gandhi, who was cut down at 78, had hoped to live until he was 125. He thought he could do this by being a strict vegetarian for one thing. He lived mainly on oiled vegetables and goat’s milk.
He devoted an hour or two every morning to sun bathing, tub bath, massage, and sometimes hsi beloved mudpacks.
Gandhi introduced the innocent seeming but powerful weapon of civil dosobedience — a policy of nonviolence that made British leaders helpless in their decades of political clashes over Gandhi’s goal of complete independence.
Gandhi was called the mahatma, or “great soul,” by his followers, a term which he disparaged.
He died a disillusioned man because his great goal of independence was marred by the splitting of India into two states, one of them Moslem Pakistan.
Long Beach Independent (Long Beach, California) Jan 31, 1948