I normally recommend only business books on this blog, but recently decided to include non-fiction books that I like as well. And near the top of that list is “The Men Who Killed Gandhi” by Manohar Malgonkar. This book was first published 42 years ago, in 1975. Amazingly the book has remained relatively unknown over the years. I discovered it by accident at an army officer’s residence in Leh, and a quick glance convinced me that I must read it.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is one of the few truly global Indians who, over the years, has caught the imagination of people all around the world. The assassination of Gandhiji was a seminal event in India’s history, and it is surprising how little most Indians know about the events that led to the crime.
Even today, there are strong feelings in India about the assassination. There are many who sympathize with the killers, while many others look at it as the act of common criminals. Malgonkar does a great job not taking sides, and describes the story as a journalist – based on well researched and documented facts.
It is an incredibly riveting story. For me the bonus was chapter-1 that describes the Kashmir problem in about 4 pages. All these years my understanding of the “Kashmir problem” between India and Pakistan was based on what I had heard from others. However those 4 pages laid out the genesis of the problem, and why it has remained one of the key issues between the two countries.
This book is a must read for all Indians, and highly recommended for everyone around the world.