Gandhi Museum or Smriti
We walked through the gates of the museum and stopped in front of an information board. Another read: Gandhi Smiriti. This national memorial honours the virtues of truth, non-violence, unity and equality. The hallowed house, which treasures many cherished memories of the last few days of Mahatma Gandhi now forms a part of our national heritage. The walls of the building reverberate his message, “All men are brothers”.
Gandhi’s life and teaching have left an indelible mark on human history and the purpose of preserving this memorial is to foster and propagate his ideals.
On the morning of September 9. 1947, Gandhi arrived in Delhi from Calcutta to purge the city of the communal virus and to “do or die”. He planted himself alone, amidst the raging torrent and listened to the tales of woe of the embittered and the uprooted. He had stayed here several times in the past but the last 144 days of his life spent here are important in the nation’s history. He has left a rich legacy of speeches and writings.
The epic life of the father of the nation ended here on Friday, January 30, 1948. He fell a martyr to the bullets of an assassin on the prayer ground with Rama’s name on his lips at 5.17 pm.
He was the victorious one in death as in life.
We stepped into Gandhi’s bedroom, the quote on the wall reads “My life is my message”. The plain fireplace with the quote “Simplicity is the essence of universality”. Spartan yet comfortable.
In a display case on the wall are his worldly possessions and of course in the top right corner – those spectacles.
Gandhi wrote and read in this room and it is the place where Gandhi had his last meeting with Sardar Patel on the 30th of January 1948 between 4.00 pm. and 5.00 and then left for the prayer.
Gandhi left for prayer through this window, we nipped outside to see the window from the outside.
He took the path and his footprints are marked, a beautiful garden to his left.
Looking back toward the house, now museum.
Then up these steps.
A gazebo has been put over the spot where he fell.
A collage on the wall of the museum.
Nathuram Vinayak Godse (19th of May 1910 – 15th of November 1949) was a right-wing advocate of Hindu nationalism organisation called Rashtriva Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He shot Gandhi in the chest three times at point-blank range. He believed that Gandhi favoured the political demands of India's Muslim’s during the Partition of India.
He plotted the assassination with Narayan Apte and six others. After a trial that lasted more than a year, Godse was sentenced to death on the 8th of November 1949. Although pleas for commutation were made by two of Gandhi's sons, Manilal and Ramdas, they were turned down by India's prime minister Jawaharial Nehru, deputy prime minister Vallabhbhai Patel, and the Governor-General Chakravarti Rajajopalachari. Godse was hanged at Ambala Central Jail on the 15th of November 1949.
The Last Journey. January 31, 1948. With the dawn arrived ‘the most unbearable poignant moment for us all of us’, Devadas Gandhi’s youngest son wrote later. They had to remove the large woollen shawl and the cotton shoulder wrap which Bapu was wearing for warmth when he was shot. These pure white clothes showed clots and blotches of blood. As they unfolded the shawl the shell of a cartridge dropped out.
In the early hours of the morning disciples washed the body of Gandhi according to Hindu rites and placed a garland of handspun cotton strands and a chain of beads around its neck. Roses and rose petals were strewn over the blanket that covered all but the head, arms and chest. “I asked for the chest to be left bare, “ Devadas explains. “No soldier ever had a finer chest than Bapu’s” A pot of incense burned near the body.
During the night the chassis of a dodge 15-hundred-weight army weapon-carrier had been replaced by a new superstucture with a raised floor so that all spectators could see the body in the open coffin. Two hundred men of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force drew the vehicle by four stout ropes. The motor was not used. Non-commissioned officer Naik Ram Chand sat at the steering wheel. Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel several of Gandhi’s young associates rode on the carrier.
The cortege two miles long, left Birla House on Albuquerque Road in New Dehli 11.45 am., and, moving forward inch by inch through the dense masses of humanity, five and a half miles away, at 4.20 pm.
At 4.45 pm., Ramadas set fire to his father’s funeral pyre. The logs burst into flame against the setting sun on the banks of the Yamuna. A groan went up from the vast assemblage. People wailed. With elemental force the crowd surged towards the fire and broke through the military cordon. But in a moment they seemed to realise what they were doing and dug in their bare toes and stood still in silent prayers – a final farewell to the Bapu – Mahatma Gandhi who slowly passed into ages as his earthly remains merged with the five elements.
The nation stood still and silent for the man who gave it her freedom and her flag. A great wave of grief swept over the world.,,, The United Nations Organisation lowered its flag.... People of all races felt as one human-family in mourning....
The World Peace Gong in the museum garden and two carved boulders below.
ALL IN ALL QUITE A MAN
A GREAT MUSEUM FOR A GREAT MAN