Religious Fanatacism Kills Gandhi

On this day in 1948, political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic. Eventually known as “Mahatma,” or high soul, Gandhi was born and raised in a Hindu merchant caste family in coastal Gujarat, western India. As a young man he trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, but found no fruitful legal work back in India. Gandhi instead took a clerk’s contract to work in South Africa, where he first employed the nonviolent civil disobedience of Jainism in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights.

After his return to India in 1915, Gandhi commenced a decades-long movement seeking independence from Britain for the entire Indian subcontinent, and was jailed several times while leading strikes, boycotts, protests and other mass acts of civil disobedience to recognize the rights and freedoms of his country-men. Finally under British PM Clement Attlee, India won her independence, but with the proximity to Pakistan and no resolution to Muslim-Hindu animosity, Gandhi continued his mission to quell hatred and heal wounds.

When gunned down by Nathuram Godse, Gandhi was 78, and bore the title of Father of the Nation; he is venerated as both high soul and martyr by millions to this day.

Author: Bill Urich

A tail-end baby-boomer, Bill Urich was born in Cleveland to a grade school teacher and her Navy vet husband, and reared in Greater Detroit. Working his way through school primarily at night, Mr. Urich holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism, Phi Beta Kappa, and a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University. In his legal career he has acted as an assistant state prosecutor, city attorney, special prosecutor, mediator, magistrate, private practitioner and mayor of Royal Oak, a large home-rule city in Michigan. Mr. Urich continues in private practice and municipal prosecution, is on faculty to DePaul University, pens regular contributions to political publications, and remains active in selected campaigns and causes related to labor, social and criminal justice. A father of three mostly-grown sons, he spends his precious free time on family, friends, the pursuit of happiness, beauty and truth, three rescue cats, and fronting the rock band Calcutta Rugs from behind the drum kit.

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