From the platform of a certain mosque, in one direction you can see where all the Hindus live, a generally vegetarian eating, peaceful people guided by a spiritual way of life. In the opposite direction, all the Muslims live, with stores selling live chickens and goats, with a people ruled by Allah and the Koran. For centuries these two religious groups have lived in close proximity, never quite getting along.
Mahatma Ghandi was one person who tried, for much of his life, to bring together people such as these to live in peace and harmony, protesting injustices through non-violence.
As he often did when he came to New Delhi, he stayed at the house of the Birla family, the second richest family in India at the time. He conducted multi-faith prayer meetings each morning and night, living in simple room in the house. He lived here his last 144 days.
The Muslims were tired of being ruled by Hindus. They wanted their own people to govern them. Pakistan was given to the Muslims, and many moved there to be ruled by their own. Many Muslims in India didn’t want to move to Pakistan. Ghandi supported their right to stay in the country they knew and loved, even though they were Muslim. This did not sit well with one right-winged Hindu nationalist named Godse, who thought Ghandi was continuing to appease the Muslims to the point where his blood was boiling and he could no longer tolerate Ghandi. That evening, on the way to prayer, he shot Ghandi three times at point blank range.
Because of such differing lifestyles, the battle goes on between the two, with divided territories still within this city.
You probably know all of this already, but what an amazing life he led and even more amazing, to be standing in this place of history where this all happened. Now I want to go and watch the Ben Kingsley movie Ghandi again..and Ben Kingsley’s really does look a lot like Ghandi.