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.