This drama follows the nine hours that came before the assassination of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi by a Hindu radical. Naturam Godse (Horst Buchholz), a Brahmin who was rejected for service in the British Army and is horrified by the fighting between Moslem and Hindu fanatics, comes to the conclusion that the only solution to the civil unrest is to kill Gandhi (J.S. Casshyap), believing that the leader's philosophy of non-violence has only fanned the flames of unrest. In love with a married woman, Rani Mahta (Valerie Gearon), Godse spends a guilty afternoon with her as he flashes back on his life of violence and mistreatment; he also pays a call to Sheila (Diane Baker), a prostitute. Meanwhile, as civil unrest flares around him, Ghandi goes about his daily rounds, despite warnings from police chief Gopal Das (Jose Ferrer) that his life is in danger. J.S. Casshyap was a 64-year-old teacher and author before being cast as Gandhi in this, his first film role.
by Mark Deming synopsis