Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest figure of the Indian independence movement and the world of revolution, died on 30th January 1948.
He was assassinated by a Hindutva fanatic after he was returning from a Hindu temple.
The day 30 January is remembered in India as “Martyrs Day”.
Today, the world remembered Mahatma Gandhi on this occasion and I am recalling some of the very memorable quotes that were made on his death by some of the popular individuals of India and outside India on the occasion of his death.
1. Clement Attlee
“A divinely inspired saint I know that I am expressing the views of the British people in offering to his fellow countrymen our deep sympathy in the loss of their greatest citizen. Mahatma Gandhi, as he was known in India, was one of the outstanding figures in the world today, but he seemed to belong to a different period of history. Living a life of extreme asceticism, he was revered as a divinely inspired saint by millions of his fellow countrymen. His influence extended beyond the range of his co-religionists. For a quarter of a century, this one man has been the major factor in every consideration of the Indian problem. He had become the expression of the aspirations of the Indian people for independence, but he was not just a nationalist. His most distinctive doctrine was that of non-violence. He believed in a method of passive resistance to those forces which he considered wrong. The sincerity and devotion with which he pursued his objectives are beyond all doubt. The hand of the murderer has struck him down and a voice which pleaded for peace and brotherhood has been silenced, but I am certain that his spirit will continue to animate his fellow countrymen and will plead for peace and concord.”
2. Harry S. Truman
“Gandhi was a great Indian nationalist, but at the same time he was a leader of international stature. His teachings and his actions have left a deep impression on millions of people. As a teacher and leader, his influence made itself felt not only in India, but everywhere in the world and his death brings great sorrow to all peace-loving people. Another giant among men has fallen in the cause of brotherhood and peace. I-know that the peoples of Asia will be inspired by his tragic death to strive with increased determination to achieve the goals of co-operation and mutual trust for which the Mahatma has now given his life.”
3. Muhammad Ali Jinnah
“I associate myself with the tributes that have been paid to this great man. He died in the discharge of the duty in which he believed. His tragic death, however much we may deplore it and however much we may condemn the murderer, was a noble death, for he died in the discharge of his duty.”
4. Éamon de Valera
“I have learned with profound sorrow of the tragic death of Mahatma Gandhi and hasten to offer you and the people of India the heartfelt sympathy of the Irish Government and people. The loss is not India’s alone. The world has lost a great leader whose influence will long survive his death. In spite of this grievous loss, we hope that India will not cease to go forward undiscouraged to the attainment of the ideals for which Gandhi strove.”
5. Jawaharlal Nehru
“Great men and eminent men have monuments in bronze and marble set up for them, but this man of divine fire managed in his life-time to become enmeshed in millions and millions of hearts so that all of us became somewhat of the stuff that he was made of, though to an infinitely lesser degree. He spread out over India not in palaces only, or in select places, or in assemblies, but in every hamlet and hut of the lowly and those who suffer. He lives in the hearts of millions and he will live for immemorial ages.
…He has gone, and all over India. There is a feeling of having been left desolate and forlorn. All of us sense that feeling, and I do not know when we shall be able to get rid of it, id yet together with that feeling there is also a feeling of proud thanksgiving that it has been given to us of this generation to be associated with this mighty person. In ages to come, centuries and may be millenniums after us, people will think of this generation when this man of God trod the earth and will think of us who, however small, could also follow his path and probably tread on that holy ground where his feet had been. Let us be worthy of him. Let us always be so.”