Assassination Attempts: Ghandi Non-Violent Hero Part 2
About the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi the here of India who encouraged nonviolent resistence to the British, history of the conspiracy against him.
The Victim: MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND GANDHI, one of the most respected figures in modern history,
The conspiracy encountered continual setbacks in its efforts to secure serviceable weapons. Eventually, however, 2 pistols, 5 hand grenades, and 2 slabs of guncotton (explosive) were acquired. The conspirators initially tried to kill Gandhi at Birla House on January 20, 1948. They planned to set off one of the guncotton slabs during a prayer meeting, and during the resultant panic to mow Gandhi down with guns and grenades. During their last-minute preparations they suffered considerable confusion. They couldn't decide who would carry the guns and who would carry the hand grenades. They couldn't decide whether to shoot through the spaces in the thin back wall, or to move inside the garden itself. They didn't know whether to attack Gandhi from the front or the rear. They found that their guns didn't work. They even forgot to disguise themselves, until the last minute.
They arrived somewhat disheveled at the prayer meeting. After more hurried changes in plans, they took their positions around the garden. Pahwa, in full view of witnesses, detonated the mild guncotton. The expected uproar did not ensue, and the meeting continued as if nothing had happened. A woman grabbed Pahwa and he was arrested. The others slipped away.
It has been said that Pahwa revealed the names of some if not all of the conspirators by midnight of January 20. It has also been reported that he revealed nothing. In any case, Godse, Apte, Karkare, Badge, and Kistayya left town and hurried back to Bombay.
As a result of an inquiry conducted in 1967, it now seems possible that the police did in fact know the identities and intentions of at least some of the conspirators. Author Robert Payne has suggested that the police chose to "let it happen"--to allow a "permissive assassination."
Despite the alerted police, Godse was undeterred. Badge and Kistayya dropped out of the scheme and Godse dismissed his brother Gopal on the grounds that he had a wife and children. This left 3 plotters: Godse, Apte, and Karkare. Godse told them that they were best suited to carry on the work of the Mahasabha after his own capture or death, and that he himself was destined to be the actual slayer. He seemed happy and calm. On January 30, Nathuram Godse carried out his mission.
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