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Henry Judd

Gandhi Assassination Stirs Crises in India

(8 February 1948)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 6, 9 February 1948, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The tragic death of Mahatma Gandhi, assassinated by the hand of a young Hindu fanatic, brought to a peak the crisis caused by the partition of the Indian sub-continent and the continuing fratricidal war between rival Hindu and Moslem communities. The immediate effect of this black deed has been the release of powerful emotional feeling among the masses of India, expressed, in great demonstrations of sorrow and mourning for the man who enjoyed a popularity and, esteem unknown to the Western world. At the same time, popular action was taken against various organizations and newspapers connected with the Hindu Mahasabha, the reactionary movement of fanatic Hindus who desire war with the Moslem community and their subjugation to Hindu rule. This, too, reflects the symbolic significance of the slain Gandhi, so far as he represented the widespread desire for an end to communal warfare and strife. But it would be wrong to believe that an era of Hindu-Moslem good will and accord can come about now. Gandhi’s death opens the way for a political showdown in the ranks of his Congress party, now the ruling party of the Dominion of India. Gandhi was the binding link between the openly reactionary, capitalist-industrialist wing of the party and its popular, middle-class democratic wing headed by Nehru, the Prime Minister of India. The right wing, anxious to quell India’s rising labor movement and establish the authority of capital throughout the country, has already thrown out the hint that “left wing forces” were involved in Gandhi’s assassination, This is an omen of sharp future struggles over power, relations between India and Pakistan, the labor and radical movement, etc., already in preparation. Gandhi’s death opens a new phase in the history of India – a phase in which nationalism ceases and internal class struggle takes over. It will be marked by major political regroupings impossible as yet to fore[see]. [1]


1. This article seems to end here in mid-word. On the line below it says “Continued on page 3”. However, while there is a long article about Gandhi on page three, it doesn’t appear to be simply a continuation of this article.

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