World leaders, including US President Joe Biden, paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian independence hero, in New Delhi. They walked barefoot through puddles to the site where Gandhi was cremated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the guests and they shed their shoes and socks as a mark of respect. They walked to the marble plinth where an eternal flame commemorates Gandhi’s memory and observed a moment of silence before leaving wreaths. The memorial complex, Raj Ghat, is a significant place in New Delhi and has hosted the funerals of top Indian politicians. Modi has regularly paid tribute to Gandhi and spoken about his ideals, but his ruling party’s relationship with the iconic figure remains ambivalent. Nathuram Godse, Gandhi’s assassin, has been championed by right-wing activists who believe Gandhi failed to prevent the partitioning of India. Modi has not explicitly denounced Godse or his ideology and his government has supported the work of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who mentored Godse. The G20 summit is important for Modi as he aims to enhance his international statesman image before the upcoming national elections. The summit concludes with Biden’s visit to Vietnam.

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By hassani

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