Mahatma Gandhi | DocFilm | DW | 02.10.2019
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Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, the man who led India to independence from British rule, was assassinated on 30 January 1948. This documentary shows how the ethnic and religious conflicts that divided the Indian subcontinent still shape it today.

Watch video 42:36

On January 20, 1948, Hindu fanatic Gopal Godse tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi. Ten days later, his brother Nathuram did what Gopal had failed to do: He killed Gandhi. For Gopal Godse, the day of India's independence in August 1947 was almost a day of mourning. "Bharat Mata,” the "Mother India” that the young Brahmin worshipped with a nationalist fervor, had lost many of its provinces. Predominantly Muslim East Bengal had become East Pakistan. And thousands of kilometers to the west, part of Punjab, the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan and the tribal lands of the warlike Pashtuns now formed Muslim majority West Pakistan. Godse blamed the British for the loss of territory, but most of all he blamed a fellow Hindu; a man celebrated as a hero because he had stood up to the British, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known to many as the Mahatma. Gandhi had always condemned conflicts between the different religious communities and had fought until the end to prevent India being partitioned, but the Godse brothers did not care. They were members of the right-wing radical Hindu Mahasabha, which had links with the fascist leaning anti-British paramilitary RSS - organizations widely seen as antecedents of the current generation of radical Hindu ideologues.