Indira Gandhi: Death in the Garden

Indira Gandhi's assassination sparks a fearful round of sectarian violence

Namaste, in Hindi, means "Greetings to you." It is the traditional Indian salutation, accompanied by a crossing of hands before the face, as if the speaker were offering a prayer.

At 9:08 last Wednesday morning, Indira Gandhi folded her hands in front of her face, looked at the two guards standing along the path to her office and said, "Namaste." It was to be her last word. Within hours India would be plunged into one of its worst paroxysms of sectarian violence since partition in 1947. As the death...