Photos | 70 years ago today: India mourned Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination

A look in pictures at what followed the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi 70 years to the day on January 30, 1948 --an event that threw nascent India into mourning.

UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2018 12:12 PM IST 16 Photos
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Mahatma Gandhi during one of his prayer meetings at Birla House. 70 years to the day, in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi fell to his assassin Nathuram Vinayak Godse’s bullets during an evening prayer ceremony at Birla House in Delhi. Perched atop a gate of Birla House, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru would announce to the world that the “light has gone out of our lives”. (HT Archive)

Mahatma Gandhi during one of his prayer meetings at Birla House. 70 years to the day, in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi fell to his assassin Nathuram Vinayak Godse’s bullets during an evening prayer ceremony at Birla House in Delhi. Perched atop a gate of Birla House, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru would announce to the world that the “light has gone out of our lives”. (HT Archive)

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (C) as a young attorney in South Africa with his staff. In the country’s Pietermaritzburg railway station a plaque commemorates the approximate spot where Gandhi fell as he was thrown out of a train for occupying a whites-only compartment in 1893. The incident changed the young lawyer, sowing the seeds of a struggle that was to liberate India decades later in 1947. (Keystone / Getty Images)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (C) as a young attorney in South Africa with his staff. In the country’s Pietermaritzburg railway station a plaque commemorates the approximate spot where Gandhi fell as he was thrown out of a train for occupying a whites-only compartment in 1893. The incident changed the young lawyer, sowing the seeds of a struggle that was to liberate India decades later in 1947. (Keystone / Getty Images)

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Gandhi with George Lansbury and some children at Kingsley Hall in London while attending the 1931 Round Table Conference. Returning to India in 1915, Gandhi delved length and breadth into its issues and adapted his lessons from South Africa to the local context. The years that followed were the making of the Mahatma and the Non-cooperation Movement, the declaration of Swaraj and the Dandi March saw him emerge a leader. (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Gandhi with George Lansbury and some children at Kingsley Hall in London while attending the 1931 Round Table Conference. Returning to India in 1915, Gandhi delved length and breadth into its issues and adapted his lessons from South Africa to the local context. The years that followed were the making of the Mahatma and the Non-cooperation Movement, the declaration of Swaraj and the Dandi March saw him emerge a leader. (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

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Gandhi leaves the home of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (left), en route to Viceroy’s Lodge in Delhi, November 1939. The passing years saw a growing Hindu-Muslim antagonism and a rift between the two lawyers, and members of the same Indian National Congress. Jinnah acceded to the politics of a two-nation state and helmed the Muslim League while Gandhi stayed with the Congress and worked for a secular India. (Kulwant Roy / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Gandhi leaves the home of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (left), en route to Viceroy’s Lodge in Delhi, November 1939. The passing years saw a growing Hindu-Muslim antagonism and a rift between the two lawyers, and members of the same Indian National Congress. Jinnah acceded to the politics of a two-nation state and helmed the Muslim League while Gandhi stayed with the Congress and worked for a secular India. (Kulwant Roy / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

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Mahatma Gandhi is seen during his daily walk to the prayer ground at Birla House, New Delhi. Gandhi lived in this house--today located at 5, Tees January Marg-- from 9 September 1947 to 30 January 1948 for the last 144 days of his life. (HT Archive)

Mahatma Gandhi is seen during his daily walk to the prayer ground at Birla House, New Delhi. Gandhi lived in this house--today located at 5, Tees January Marg-- from 9 September 1947 to 30 January 1948 for the last 144 days of his life. (HT Archive)

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Arrows mark the path Mahatma Gandhi took during his walk to the prayer congregation from his room on January 30, 1948. Image Inset shows him emerging on a prior occasion. Taking a detour from the arbor, Gandhi walked down the steps into a crowd that had gathered. Shortly after, gunshots rang and he succumbed around the corner to a spot that now bears a plaque with his last words “Hey Ram.” (HT Archive)

Arrows mark the path Mahatma Gandhi took during his walk to the prayer congregation from his room on January 30, 1948. Image Inset shows him emerging on a prior occasion. Taking a detour from the arbor, Gandhi walked down the steps into a crowd that had gathered. Shortly after, gunshots rang and he succumbed around the corner to a spot that now bears a plaque with his last words “Hey Ram.” (HT Archive)

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Just ten days earlier on January 20, a bomb had exploded near the prayer meeting towards the end of the usual post-prayer speech. The fuse bomb placed by Madan Lal Pahwa, another Godse conspirator, blew off a portion of the masonry of the back wall of the Birla House servants’ quarters. The picture shows HS Suhrawardy inspecting the damage. (HT Archive)

Just ten days earlier on January 20, a bomb had exploded near the prayer meeting towards the end of the usual post-prayer speech. The fuse bomb placed by Madan Lal Pahwa, another Godse conspirator, blew off a portion of the masonry of the back wall of the Birla House servants’ quarters. The picture shows HS Suhrawardy inspecting the damage. (HT Archive)

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As news spread of Gandhi’s death thousands of mourners queued up at Birla House throughout the night of January 30 and the morning of January, 31 to have their last ‘darshan'. The body was kept on the balcony facing the lawns while the flag was at half mast. (HT Archive)

As news spread of Gandhi’s death thousands of mourners queued up at Birla House throughout the night of January 30 and the morning of January, 31 to have their last ‘darshan'. The body was kept on the balcony facing the lawns while the flag was at half mast. (HT Archive)

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A view of the blood-stained cloth that Mahatma Gandhi had draped over his shoulder at the time of death. As doctors took Gandhi into Birla House, crowds began collecting the earth around the spot he fell and had to be stopped once a pit had emerged. Others who had watched the assassination rushed to touch the khadi sheet covering the prayer dais in obeisance. (HT Archive)

A view of the blood-stained cloth that Mahatma Gandhi had draped over his shoulder at the time of death. As doctors took Gandhi into Birla House, crowds began collecting the earth around the spot he fell and had to be stopped once a pit had emerged. Others who had watched the assassination rushed to touch the khadi sheet covering the prayer dais in obeisance. (HT Archive)

UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2018 12:12 PM IST
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Jawaharlal Nehru (L) and Sardar Patel with Gandhi's bier. The death of the ‘Father of the nation’ was an event unprecedented and turned into days of national mourning. Seasoned politicians, freedom fighters and the general public poured out alike for days to Rajghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. (HT Archive)

Jawaharlal Nehru (L) and Sardar Patel with Gandhi's bier. The death of the ‘Father of the nation’ was an event unprecedented and turned into days of national mourning. Seasoned politicians, freedom fighters and the general public poured out alike for days to Rajghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. (HT Archive)

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A crowd watches Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral procession make its was to Rajghat in Delhi. Large gatherings offered continual prayers beginning from the procession to Rajghat, till February 11, 1948 until the last of Gandhi’s ashes had been collected. (Fox Photos / Getty Images)

A crowd watches Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral procession make its was to Rajghat in Delhi. Large gatherings offered continual prayers beginning from the procession to Rajghat, till February 11, 1948 until the last of Gandhi’s ashes had been collected. (Fox Photos / Getty Images)

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The funeral pyre is seen aflame at Rajghat. Hundreds offered floral tributes at the ‘samadhi’ or pyre platform with special prayers held every Friday. (Henri Cartier-Bresson)

The funeral pyre is seen aflame at Rajghat. Hundreds offered floral tributes at the ‘samadhi’ or pyre platform with special prayers held every Friday. (Henri Cartier-Bresson)

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The last Viceroy of India Louis Mountbatten with wife Edwina and Sardar Patel squatting on the ground at Rajghat as the flames went up. The Chinese Ambassador, Dr. Lo Chia Luen, is seen extreme right and flanked by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. (HT Archive)

The last Viceroy of India Louis Mountbatten with wife Edwina and Sardar Patel squatting on the ground at Rajghat as the flames went up. The Chinese Ambassador, Dr. Lo Chia Luen, is seen extreme right and flanked by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. (HT Archive)

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Gandhi’s three-year old grandson Gopalkrishna “Gopu” Gandhi (L) bows before the urn which was taken aboard a special train from Delhi’s Nizamuddin station on February 11, 1948 to scatter the ashes at Sangam --the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad. Some of his ashes were also sent across India to a pained nation, with one portion immersed at the source of the Nile in Uganda. (HT Archive)

Gandhi’s three-year old grandson Gopalkrishna “Gopu” Gandhi (L) bows before the urn which was taken aboard a special train from Delhi’s Nizamuddin station on February 11, 1948 to scatter the ashes at Sangam --the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad. Some of his ashes were also sent across India to a pained nation, with one portion immersed at the source of the Nile in Uganda. (HT Archive)

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Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes being carried through the streets of Allahabad before being consigned to the confluence. Lakhs walked along the procession’s 8km route with a chorus of hymns marking the solemn mood. Jawaharlal Nehru led the way for a duration and leaders like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Sardar Patel and Sheikh Abdullah joined on the chariot. (Keystone / Getty Images)

Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes being carried through the streets of Allahabad before being consigned to the confluence. Lakhs walked along the procession’s 8km route with a chorus of hymns marking the solemn mood. Jawaharlal Nehru led the way for a duration and leaders like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Sardar Patel and Sheikh Abdullah joined on the chariot. (Keystone / Getty Images)

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The urn was finally transferred from the chariot to an amphibian vehicle on the bank of the Sangam which then slid down to the river where the ashes were dispersed, marking the end of a chapter in India’s freedom struggle and the beginning of a legacy. (HT Archive)

The urn was finally transferred from the chariot to an amphibian vehicle on the bank of the Sangam which then slid down to the river where the ashes were dispersed, marking the end of a chapter in India’s freedom struggle and the beginning of a legacy. (HT Archive)

UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2018 12:12 PM IST
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