Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Gandhi in Noakhali, 1947

It is believed that while India was having its little “Tryst with Destiny”, Gandhi was at a place called Noakhali in East Bengal(that had already become East Pakistan and what is now Bangladesh). *

Noakhali at the time (and in 1946) witnessed some of the most macabre killings with Hindus and Muslims butchering each other (wiki entry actually reads Genocide). Gandhi, going against all advice and odds, went to the center of this mindless violence and was pacifying the rioting crowd on the first eve of Indian Independence. People at first abused him but slowly the tide turned. There were no reports of rioting in Noakhali while he was there. Mountbatten went on to call it a miracle.

I recently came across some rare photographs of Gandhi's Noakhali experiment in an old Film Magazine. Captions full of 'Bhakti Bhav' make an interesting read in themselves.

On January 28th, at Panchgao (Noakhali).
From FilmIndia dated April, 1947

From FilmIndia dated May, 1947
From FilmIndia dated June, 1947 
* Patrick French in Liberty or Death – India's Journey to Independence.


  1. remember reading about it in the school textbook but the pictures are revealing. It's so different from the one the film 'Gandhi' has created in our minds.

  2. We are taught a lot of fairy tales in schools. The text of school books is very much like those captions.

  3. For a better understanding of the horrors of Noakhali, please visit

  4. wish every child learns from it, where are we need when somebody suffers


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