The light of a thousand years yet to come which will give solace to innumerable hearts

For my very dear Nabila Shaikh, her family, her infant daughter

and all who are hers wherever they live on the Indian subcontinent.  In hope.




January 30, 1948


Jawaharlal Nehru in front of Birla House, New Delhi, announcing the death of Mahatma Ghandi 

Photographed by Brassai (French-Hungarian, 1899-1984).

Barnes Foundation exhibition in the autumn of 2016




“The light, Nehru said, “has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it.


“Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will never see him again as we have seen him for these many years….


“The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong.


“For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light.


The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later, that light will be seen in this country and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts.


“For that light represented something more than the immediate past, it represented the living, the eternal truths, reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom…


“A madman has put an end to his life, for I can only call him mad who did it,

“and yet there has been enough of poison spread in this country during the past years and months, and this poison has had an effect on people’s minds.

“We must face this poison, we must root out this poison, and we must face all the perils that encompass us, and face them not madly or badly, but rather in the way that our beloved teacher taught us to face them…”






One thought on “The light of a thousand years yet to come which will give solace to innumerable hearts

Comments are closed.