By Willy | January 29, 2010
On this day in 1948, Mohandas Gandhi was shot and killed by Nathuram Godse, a fundamentalist Hindu who opposed the Mahatma’s fight against India’s traditional caste system. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s prime minister and one of Gandhi’s closest associates, announced the assassination in a broadcast on All India Radio:
Friends and Comrades, the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will never see him again as we have seen him for these many years. We will not run to him for advice and seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not to me only, but to millions and millions in this country…
In traditional Hindu fashion, Gandhi’s body was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the Yamuna River.