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Fifth and last unsuccessful assassination attempt on Gandhi

A photograph of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi


At the time of the attack, Gandhi, a lifelong champion of peaceful protest and civil disobedience, was leading a call for peaceful relations between the two newly formed nations of India and Pakistan, as well as, to the great chagrin of many, for cooperation between the countries’ rival religions, Hinduism and Islam.

Members of the Hindu Mahasabha, a group of Hindu radicals, were amongst those determined to de-rail Gandhi’s efforts, and it was seven of their number, including Nathuram Godse – Gandhi’s eventual assassin, that were involved in this latest attack.

A bomb packaged in a cotton ball was planted on the platform, upon which Gandhi was to give his address. The seven men hoped that in the chaos ensuing after its detonation they would be able to discreetly murder the Mahatma and escape in the panicked crowds.

The plan failed and no-one was hurt, but the attempt heightened an already tense atmosphere surrounding the subcontinent and was a dark omen of India’s troubles to come...