Gandhi Family Scatters Ashes

60 years after assassination, pacifist gets traditional burial in sea
By Michael O'Connor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 30, 2008 6:49 PM CST
People pay floral tribute at the memorial of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of Martyr's Day in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An urn of Mohandas Gandhi's ashes was poured into the Arabian Sea today by his great-granddaughter, the Guardian reports, finally giving the Indian pacifist a traditional Hindu burial 60 years after he was assassinated. Dozens of such urns had been distributed across India after Gandhi's death, allowing a connection with mourning countrymen but transgressing Hindu burial customs.

While other urns carrying Gandhi's ashes still exist, today’s ceremony helped his family “close a chapter” surrounding Gandhi's rocky relationship with eldest son Harilal, who surrendered traditional funeral rituals to younger brothers. "The emotional aspect of this is that duties that Harilal should have performed have been completed by his descendants," a Gandhi great-grandson said. "It is of symbolic importance for us."