A dark day in the history of the Indian subcontinent after the independence of the country from colonization. In the year 1948, a day silenced the entire country and filled tears in the eyes of every citizen. A bullet sound coming out of a pistol stunned the people on the lawn of Birla’s house. Birla House, a white mansion in New Delhi belonging to the Birla family, Indian business tycoons. Birla House is also known as Birla Bhavan and Gandhi Smriti. This is the place where the famous last words of Mahatma Gandhi sounded. At present, it is dedicated as a multimedia museum for Mahatma Gandhi. The house is situated at 5 Tees January Road, New Delhi, India.
Partition of India and Mahatma Gandhi
British India was divided into two self-governing dominions, India and Pakistan in the year 1947. The partition was made based on the religious division in the two states Bengal and Punjab during British Raj. Lord Mountbatten, Viceroy of India at that time officially proposed the division. Vallabhbhai Patel was the first person to approve the proposal. But opposed Nehru and other congressmen initially later approved on voting. Patel tried to convince Mohandas Gandhi but denied it. None of the leaders foreseen the riots and huge migration of people.
National leaders from various parties and communities joined together and approved the partition in June 1947. Lord Mountbatten announced the date of independence on June, 3rd 1947. Thus called the “3 June Plan” or “Mountbatten Plan”. On August 15th Dominion of India became independent and a day before the Dominion of Pakistan established. Mountbatten urged Independent princely states to join one of the dominions.
At midnight on 15th August 1947, the division between Muslims and non-muslims came into existence. Therefore ten to twenty million people were relocated during this partition, and up to 2 million people lost their life. Hence, this created a huge refugee crisis in these partitioned young nations.
On 17th August 1947, published a demarcation line that separates India and Pakistan. Sir Cyril Radcliffe, architect of the demarcation line, partition line named after him. Radcliffe proposed two lines, one on the western side between India and Pakistan. On other hand, between India and Bangladesh.
First Kashmir War
Jammu & Kashmir is one of the independent Princely states during the independence of India. Pakistan, after a few weeks from independence, attempted to capture Kashmir. Maharaja Hari Singh approached India to assist Kashmir against Pakistan. India agreed to join forces in the war known as the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947-1948. On October 26th 1947, Hari Singh signed the accession to join Jammu and Kashmir with the Dominion of India.
Partition Riots and Mahatma Gandhi
Partition of British India created a violent riot in eastern Punjab due to large transfers of the chaotic population between dominions. Gandhi travelled to Delhi to stem the riot in early September 1947. He stayed in the Balmiki temple and holds his prayer meetings. As requested to have a refugee shelter, he moved to Birla House on Albuquerque Road (now Tees January Road).
As per the agreement of partition, India has to get 300 crores and Pakistan has to get 75 crores. In the first instalment, India gave 20 crores to Pakistan, which they used for the Indo-Pakistani war against India. Nehru refused to release the next instalment. Gandhi opposed it and went on a hunger strike, on 13th January 1948. Since Pakistan was a poor nation. Hence, the Indian Government was forced to release the 55 crores. Gandhi believed Pakistan will change hearts.
Plans for Assassination
Godse and his colleagues see the Indian government controlled by the words of Mohandas Gandhi. Thus it hurts the people of India according to them. They plan to assassinate Gandhi to go against the Muslim nation. There were six attempts to kill Gandhiji on various occasions over 14 years from 1934. On January 20th 1948, Godse and his colleagues attempt to kill Gandhi with a grenade in Birla House but failed. They ran away after they threw the first grenade to distract the crowd.
Famous Last Words of Mahatma Gandhi
On January 30th 1948, Gandhi walked to the prayer location with Manuben and Abhaben. Certainly, he is already late ten minutes to the prayer meeting. Meanwhile, Manuben saw Godse rushing towards Gandhi through the crowd and pushed Manuben aside. The four gunshots from Beretta M1934 triggered towards Gandhi by Godse. The crowd stunned at the moment Gandhi fell with bullet wounds on Abhuben’s lap. Herbert Reiner restrained Godse and disarmed him before police arrested him. Mahatma Gandhi slipped his famous last words “Hey Ram…! Hey Ram…!”.