Page 183. " ‘the Tetrapod like a three-dimensional Mercedes Benz sign’ "
Tetrapod structures as a seawall defence
GNU Free Documentation LicenseTetrapod structures as a seawall defence - Credit: Magnus Manke

A Tetrapod is a four-legged concrete structure used within coastal defenses to reduce erosion by breaking the force of incoming waves. The interlocking shape of the Tetrapod structure has proved more stable than other barrier materials such as boulders and concrete blocks, which tend to become dislodged over time by the force of the ocean.

Page 187. " ‘the Nation’s official renunciation of its deities’ "

India has long been a country with a history of great religious diversity and tension. So as not to favour one official religion, upon the nation’s independence the newly formed constitution declared the nation to be a secular republic that must uphold the right of citizens to freely worship and propagate any religion or faith. The Constitution of India also declares the right to freedom of religion as a fundamental right.

The wording of the original 1947 Constitution of India declares that India resolves to secure to all its Citizens, ‘liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship’

Constitution of India Full Text >>

Debate: Can India Survive as a Secular State? >>

Page 187. " ‘in retribution for the partition of his beloved Golden Bengal’ "

Map of Bengal division
Public DomainMap of Bengal division - Credit: Meister
When India gained independence in 1947, the North-Easterly region Bengal was partitioned along religious lines. The predominantly Hindu West Bengal went to India while the Eastern region became the province of East Pakistan. The circumstances of partition were bloody, and rising political discontent and cultural nationalism resulted in widespread religious riots in East Pakistan.

On 25 March 1971 opposition to the ruling Pakistan government came to a head with the Bangladesh Liberation war. After nine months of bitter fighting the military forces of Pakistan surrendered on 16 December 1971 and the region became the now independent country of Bangladesh.

The region has a very strong folk and cultural tradition and is home to around 250 million people making it one of the most densely populated areas on Earth.

Page 196. " ‘This afternoon at Birla house in Delhi our beloved Mahatma was killed’ "


Memorial of Gandhi's Ashes
Public DomainMemorial of Gandhi's Ashes

Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 while walking to a prayer meeting at Birla House in New Delhi. He was 78 years old. One of the world’s most famous Pacifists, Gandhi was shot three times at point-blank range by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu activist who felt that Gandhi had betrayed the Hindu cause, blaming him for the partition of India. It is believed that Gandhi uttered the words, "Hai [Oh] ... Hai ... Hai " as he hit the ground.

As Saleem narrates in Midnight’s Children, the announcement by All India Radio of the death of the ‘father of the nation’ stunned the country and several thousands of mourners immediately gathered at Birla House to pay their respects.

Following the assassination many people were killed, injured or left homeless thanks to massive anti-Brahim (the caste to which Godse belonged) riots which developed throughout India, especially in the state of Maharashtra. During his trial Godse was sentenced to death and hung at Ambala Jail on 15 November 1949.

There had previously been five previous unsuccessful attempts to kill Gandhi since 1934.

Original News Coverage by the Guardian ‘Assassination of Mr Gandhi’

The life and death of Mahatma Gandhi


Speech by Indian Prime Minister Jaranhawal Nehru on the assasination of Mohandas 'Mahatma' Ganhdi.