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It Shows How Dangerous It Is To Be Too Good: How The World Reacted to The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

“The mad youth who killed him was wrong if he thought thereby he was destroying his noble mission,” said Sardar Vallabhai Patel.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s assassination on January 30, 1948, sent shockwaves across the globe. Leaders, politicians, thinkers and writers across the globe poured in with their tributes for the slain leader of the masses. Each and every one of them held Mahatma Gandhi in the highest of regards.

  • “The mad youth who killed him was wrong if he thought thereby he was destroying his noble mission. Perhaps God wanted Gandhiji’s mission to fulfill and prosper through his death. I am sure Gandhiji’s supreme sacrifice will wake up the conscience of our countrymen and evoke a higher response in the heart of every Indian. I hope and pray that it may be given to us to complete Gandhiji’s mission. At this solemn moment, no one of us can afford to waver or lose his or her heart. Let us all stand united and bravely face the national disaster that has overtaken us. Let us all solemnly pledge ourselves afresh to Gandhiji’s teachings and ideals.” – Sardar Vallabhai Patel

  • In a letter to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Patel had said, “There is no doubt in my mind the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in this conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of the Government and the State.”
  • In another letter to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Patel had written, “All their speeches were fill of communal poison. It was not necessary to spread poison in order to enthuse the Hindus and organise for their protection. As a final result of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji. Even an iota of the sympathy of the Government, or of the people, no more remained for the RSS. In face opposition grew. Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.”
  • “Gandhi was one of the great men of my time and my acquaintance with him over a period of more than 30 years has only deepened my high respect for him. A prince among men has passed away, and we grieve with India in her irreparable loss.” – Field Marshall Jan Smuts, former prime minister of South Africa 
  • Mahatma Gandhi has carried on his frail shoulders a great deal of burden of humanity and now it was for them to stand together and share it. If millions of Indians could divide that burden and carry it successfully, it would be nothing short of a miracle.” – Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Mahatma Gandhi Assassination
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, (R) with Mahatma Gandhi and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru (Photo: @INCHistory)
  • “Everyone will have learnt with profound horror of the brutal murder of Mr Gandhi, and I know that I am expressing the views of the British people in offering to his fellow-countrymen our deep sympathy in the loss of their greatest citizen. Mahatma Gandhi, as he was known in India, was one of the outstanding figures in the world today, … For a quarter of a century, this one man has been the major factor in every consideration of the Indian problem.” – British prime minister Clement Attlee 
  • “I am shocked to learn about the attack on Mr Gandhi which has lead to his death. Whatever may our political differences, he was one of the greatest men produced by the Hindu community. I wish to express my deep sorrow and sincerely sympathise with the great Hindu community and his family.” – Muhammad Ali Jinnah 
  • “Mahatma Gandhi, whose frail body was committed to the flames yesterday, is not dead. It was right that the cremation took place in the midst of the dead kings who were buried in Delhi, for he was the kingliest of all kings. It is right also that he who was the Apostle of Peace should have been taken to the cremation ground with all the honours of a great warrior. Far greater than all the warriors who led the armies to battle was this little man, the bravest, the most tried friend of all. Delhi has become the centre and sanctuary of the great revolutionary who emancipated his enslave country from foreign bondage and gave it to its freedom and its flag.” – Sarojini Naidu 
  • “Everyone concerned in the better future of mankind must be deeply moved by the tragic death of Mahatma Gandhi. He died as the victim of his own principles, the principle of non-violence. He died because, in time of disorder and general irritation in his country, he refused armed protection for himself. It was his unshakable belief that the use of force is an evil in itself, that therefore it must be avoided by those who are striving for supreme justice to his belief. With his belief in his heart and mind, he has led a great nation on to its liberation. He has demonstrated that a powerful human following can be assembled not only through the cunning game of the usual political manoeuvres and trickery but through the cogent example of morally superior conduct of life. The admiration for Mahatma Gandhi in all countries of the world rests on that recognition.” – Albert Einstein
Mahatma Gandhi Assassination
Albert Einstein (Photo: Facebook)
  • “Bharatmata is writhing in anguish and pain over the loss. No man loved Bharatmata and Indians more than Mahatma Gandhi. Let the tragedy that was enacted in Delhi give the people of India the tune, reason, rhyme and melody for the history of their future. I pray that the history of India might be written with the rhythm and tune of the grief that Bharatmata had felt when Mahatma Gandhi fell.” – C Rajagopalachari 
  • “It shows how dangerous it is to be too good.” – George Bernard Shaw 
  • “The great man was the spiritual leader of millions of Indians and had always struggled for peace.” – Pope Pius XII 
  • “Gandhi was great Indian nationalist, but at the same time, he was a leader of international stature. His teachings and actions have left a deep impression on millions of people. As a teacher and leader, his influence made itself felt not only in India, but everywhere in the world, and his death brings great sorrow to all peace-loving people. Another giant among men has fallen in the cause of brotherhood and peace. I know that the people of Asia will be inspired by his tragic death to strive with increased determination to achieve the goals of cooperation and mutual trust for which the Mahatma has now given his life.” – US President Harry S Truman
Mahatma Gandhi Assassination
US President Harry S Truman (Photo: Twitter/@RP2EL1)
  • “There is no doubt Gandhi had great spiritual qualities, and the one only hope, even though he is not with his people, is that his influence had much of value to give to the rest of the world and one hopes the very violence of his death will turn people away from violence.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 
  • “He was the only ray of light to help us through these darkest days.” – Khan Abdul Gafar Khan 
  • “I and others may be revolutionaries, but we are disciples of Mahatma Gandhi, directly or indirectly, nothing more nothing less.” – Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh 
  • “He was right, he knew he was right, we all knew he was right. The man who killed him knew he was right. However long the follies of the violent continue, they but prove that Gandhi was right. ‘Resist to the very end’, he said, ‘but without violence’. Of violence the world is sick. Oh, India, dare to be worthy of your Gandhi.” – Author Pearl S. Buck

 Also read: The Assassin Was A Fanatic Blinded By Hate, Not A Patriot: Swara Bhaskar on Nathuram Godse

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