Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Here today, Gandhi tomorrow

  They should have burned the robe, too
Mohands (Mahatma) Gandhi died on this day in 1948.

"By the holy waters of the Yamuna, near New Delhi, almost a million people waited in the sun for the funeral procession to reach the cremation grounds. White predominated - the white of women's cotton saris and of men's clothes, caps and bulbous turbans. At Rajghat, a few hundred feet from the river, a fresh pyre had been built of stone, brick, and earth. It was eight feet square and about two feet high. Long, thin sandalwood logs sprinkled with incense were stacked on it. Mahatma Gandhi's body lay on the pyre with his head to the north. In that position Buddha met his end. At 4:45 p.m., Ramdas, the third son of the Mahatma, set fire to the funeral pyre. The logs burst into flames. The vast assemblage groaned. Women wailed; men wept. The wood crackled and seethed and the flames united into a single fire. Now there was silence. Gandhi's body was being reduced to ashes and cinders. A nation's father was dead.