What happened on October 2

India has a public holiday on October 2 to mail the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. What other things happened on this day?

Main reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_2

Births on October 2:

1869: Mahatma Gandhi, Indian leader

1871: Cordell Hull, US leader

1873: Pelham Warner, English cricketer

1890: Groucho Marx, American actor

1904: Graham Greene, British writer

1904: Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indian leader

1939: Budhi Kunderan, Indian cricketer

1942: Asha Parekh, Indian actress

1948: Donna Karan, American designer

1951: Sting, British singer

Deaths on October 2:

1968: Marcel Duchamp, French artist

1973: Paavo Nurmi, Finnish runner

1975: K Kamaraj, Indian leader

1985: Rock Hudson, American actor

2018: Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist

Events on October 2:

1967: Thurgood Marshall sworn in as first African-American judge of the US Supreme Court

2018: Jamal Khashoggi incident in Istanbul

The strange death of the other man born on October 2

We know enough about the death of Mahatma Gandhi and who was responsible for it.

But do we know the truth about the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri?

Maybe you think you do, after watching the weird hotchpotch of a film called  “The Tashkent Files”. Admittedly it has been one of the few box-office successes of 2019. But there are few films which have got such bad reviews, as you can see in the summary here:


OK, you think you know better than the reviewers? But then what is the solution to the mystery?

Go to the source, namely the only good book on the subject:


And the author:


He has written a series of books about the Netaji mystery. After reading all the books, one is no wiser as to what happened to him. Admittedly there is no definite proof that the ashes in Japan are that of Netaji, but there is no definite proof of anything else either. The red herring of Gumnami Baba is now being invoked as the final solution of the Netaji mystery, though one fails to understand what it implies if he was indeed Netaji. And if it was, what useful thing did he achieve in all the years he was supposed to have lived in India?

A good way to sell books, TV serials and movies. Not unlike the JFK conspiracy industry in the US.

However, the book “Your Prime Minister is Dead” does deserve to be read. The writer has done painstaking research including studying the CIA archives. And he concludes that neither the US government nor the Soviet government nor the CIA or the KGB had any logical reason to murder Shastriji. One waits for the damning piece of evidence which ties some person or agency to the plot. There isn’t any.

Rather, there is some complicated reasoning implying that Shastriji died because of some sudden revelation about Netaji was about to be made. Then the author is on more familiar ground and switches the focus back to his favourite mystery.

I am not saying the book is rubbish. The author has done a creditable job in following up all the rumours and loose talk which persisted for years after the events of January 1966. The book is useful in that respect if you do not remember the events. But after reading the book, one is convinced that his death was due to natural causes and no one has been able to prove otherwise. And probably no one will be able to prove anything 53 years after the event.

The only useful thing that emerges is that a proper autopsy should be conducted whenever any eminent person passes away.

Anyway, read the book if you need to know the basic facts.