On Jan. 30, 1948, shots rang out in New Delhi that plunged the entire Indian subcontinent into silence. Mahatma Gandhi, architect of India’s freedom struggle and rigorous practitioner of nonviolent civil resistance, was shot dead at point-blank range by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse.

Ever since, historians have contemplated a vexing question: Was it just a single man who killed Gandhi, or was the assassination the goal of an entire ideology? At the time, the Hindu nationalist movement washed its hands of the murder. But in 2015, nothing demonstrates the loss of contemporary Hindu nationalism’s moral compass so much as its new campaign to anoint Godse a national hero.

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