Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Gandhi and the Unspeakable

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Gandhi and the Unspeakable

Article excerpt

GANDHI AND THE UNSPEAKABLE

By James W. Douglass (Orbis, 2012)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It's a slight book, but a profound one: In just 126 pages, author and theologian James Douglass explores the conspiracy behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, revered by Indians as the father of India's independence from 90 years of British rule.

When he was shot at age 78, Gandhi had been fasting to end the terror that raged between Muslims and Hindus following partition. Grief-stricken, nearly a million people, Hindu and Muslim alike, stood in the boiling sun waiting for Gandhi's body to reach the Yamuna River for cremation. Behind the scenes, Hindu nationalist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar had masterminded this murder and went free; his puppet, Nathuram Godse, was executed for firing the fatal shots.

Why would this conspiracy, with its dark implications for the history of India, be of interest to a prominent American theologian? …

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