When Gandhi escaped lynching

On April 25, 1934, Mahatma Gandhi went to Deoghar, thousands of people greeted him with flowers. But as soon as the car left the station, the car was attacked by several hundred Pandas

When Gandhi escaped lynching
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Ravi Prakash

Jharkhand, increasingly becoming notorious for mob lynching cases, narrowly missed the dubious distinction of lynching the Father of the Nation.

It was on April 25, 1934, when Bapu got down at the Jasidih Railway station at 2 AM and boarded the Austin car of Jagdish Prasad Singh to reach Deoghar, thousands of people greeted him with flowers. But as soon as the car left the station, the car was attacked by several hundred Pandas (priests) armed with sticks. The Pandas of Deoghar were upset with his campaign to allow Harijans into the temple.

The driver and volunteers deployed for Bapu’s safety managed to get him to the house of Surajmal Jalan in Deoghar.

Curiously, in 1925 when Bapu had visited Deoghar, he had lauded the practice of allowing Harijans inside the temple, indicating that the restrictions were imposed later.

While a section of the Pandas violently opposed Gandhi in 1934, a large section of Brahmin leaders like Binodanand Jha, later the Chief Minister of Bihar and Marwaris like Jalan and Nathmal Singhania settled in Deoghar, supported him.

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