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Popular and powerful leaders have been assassinated in the past and in recent times. Can you name some of them?

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Popular and powerful leaders have been assassinated in the past and in recent times. Can you name some of them?

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Possible reason for Assassination

Mahatma Gandhi

  • Systematic brainwashing by the people who are staunch racists. As in the case of Gandhiji, hardcore Hindus were against him thinking him to be responsible for creating Pakistan, a separate country.

Indira Gandhi

  • Resistance against authority
  • Arranging the military attack on Harmandir Sahib during Operation Blue Star.

Abraham Lincoln

  • Opposition to his legacy – abolition of slavery in the United States.
  • feeling of insecurity among supporters of slavery.

Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Political motives, i.e. enemies seeking revenge .
  • Deep-seated racial prejudice and jealousy

Rajiv Gandhi

  • Feeling of insecurity among LTTE leaders.
  • To prevent him from coming to power and disarm LTTE.
  • Security lapses
  • Rajiv Gandhi was warned about the possibility of an attack and a threat to his life.
  • Meeting with LTTE delegation, made Rajiv complacent about his security.

In my opinion, assassination is not the end to a problem. One must try to sort out the matter by the means of discussion and looking at the problem with a different outlook.

Points for discussion in the context of present and past assassinations.

If we look at history, we will find the instances of a large number of politicians assassinated under different circumstances. These are ‘targeted killings’ undertaken for various reasons ranging from political and ideological differences, to attract media attention, etc. Earlier, there was a high demand to kill rulers who impose their rules on the population. In a country like India with many ethnicities and religions and different the ’rests', it is very difficult for a ruler or leader to satisfy their preferences and is more likely to attract attacks.

Sometimes an assassination aims at creating chaos, irrespective of the leaders policies. The dominant position of the American President Kennedy, made him an attractive target.

These political murders can be avoided by minimising political oppression.

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