This year on January 30 will be exactly 75 years to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination at the hands of those against his message of non-violence and fierce defence of a syncretic India. In a series of articles and videos, The Wire takes stock of Gandhi’s murder, and delves deeper into the forces and ideas behind independent India’s first act of terror. Recent years have seen another attempt to kill Gandhi, his ideas, spirit and message. We hope to help unpack where India stands today and its future, through the lens of how the Father of the Nation’s legacy is being treated.
For 214 days between April 1, 1946, and June 10, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi stayed at Maharishi Valmiki Mandir at Mandir Marg, which was then known as Reading Road, in New Delhi. He wanted to teach the children of the adjoining Valmiki Colony which was largely inhabited by Dalits. Most of them were working as sweepers in nearby colonies.
Today, a visit to the temple and the complex, now known as Valmiki Sadan, reveals how some things have changed the way Gandhi would have liked while others have changed for the worse. Likewise, while his room has been kept as it was 75 years ago, the surroundings have changed drastically.