Millions were murdered that summer but the important deaths took place with the onset of the winter.
One chilly January afternoon in Delhi, a Hindu fanatic who decided Gandhi was too soft on Muslims, shoot at him at pointblank range with a Beretta pistol. As he fell down on the ground, this old man who preached non-violence, advocated celibacy, and abhorred alcohol had his values rubbished in dust. His people were killing each other; his greatest disciple Nehru was flamboyantly un-celibate; and his son Harilal attended the funeral in a drunken state.
Seven months later, on 9/11, Jinnah, who missed becoming a martyr due to several failed assassination attempts, succumbed to tuberculosis. His last word was Allah.
Now fast forward to 1960. Lady Edwina Mountbatten, who conducted her extra-marital affair with grace and dignity, not least because of her supportive husband, died during a tour in Borneo. Nehru's letters were found strewn across her deathbed. Her husband, the poor Lord Mountbatten, lived to see his name linked to gay orgies (once he was discovered with a male photographer attempting to remove his trousers) before being blown to bits by a bomb planted by the Irish terrorists.
Finally, Nehru, the only hero in the book, broken-hearted after Edwina's death and shattered in the aftermath of India’s spectacular defeat in the 1962 China war, died of heart attack - 15 years after making his midnight speech.
With him gone, the drama ended and an era concluded. To this day countless millions mourn for Gandhi, Jinnah, and Nehru but not for countless millions who were killed that Indian summer. Perhaps Stalin was right – the death of one man is tragedy; the death of millions is statistic.