While walking to a prayer meeting a few minutes after five o’clock on the evening of January 30, 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by a fellow Hindu, Nathuram Godse, who felt that in trying to achieve reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims, Gandhi had betrayed the Hindu cause. Born into a family of merchants, Gandhi studied law in England, where he was inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience and developed his own philosophy of peaceful resistance. After residing and practicing law in South Africa for 20 years, Gandhi returned to India to campaign for home rule and reconciliation of all classes and religious groups. Convinced that India would never be free as part of the British Empire, he demanded independence as payment for helping Britain win World War II. Indian independence was achieved in 1947, but riots broke out between Hindus and Muslims seeking the partition of the country into India and Pakistan. Mahatma (‘Great Soul’) Gandhi was on a hunger strike demanding an end to the violence when he was murdered.