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The Story of Gandhi
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page 119/120

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     Gandhi was informed of the pledge and he broke his fast.      Gandhi was staying at Birla House. Every evening he held a prayer-meeting in the grounds.

     During his prayer-meeting on January 20, a bomb was thrown at him, but it missed its target. Gandhi continued his prayer-meeting as if nothing had happened.

     ' Bapuji, a bomb exploded near you,' said a voice.

     'Really?' Gandhi said. 'Perhaps some poor fanatic threw it. Let no one look down on him.'

     On January 30, after a midday nap, Gandhi woke up at 3.30 p.m. The whole day he had had a stream of visitors. Sardar Patel went to see him at 4 o'clock. Nehru and Azad were to come after the evening prayer.

     Gandhi left his room at 5 o'clock and went towards the prayermeeting.

     He passed through a cordoned-off path, accompanied by Manu and Abha, his grand-daughters. As he was walking along a youth came forward as if to seek his blessings. But he stood in front of Gandhi and at point-blank range fired three shots in quick succession. All the bullets hit him.

      Gandhi fell, uttering the prayer, ' Rama, Rama.'

     Gandhi was dead.

The assassination gave the world a tremendous shock.

     Nehru told the country of Gandhi's death, his voice choked with emotion

     ' 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 not see him again as we have seen him for these many years...


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