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Gandhi or Godse: Who should India be known for?

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Gandhi or Godse

There was this man, who belonged to India, and who is still admired all over the globe – the world’s greatest leaders and thinkers – all are his fans. But, Indians are forgetting him day by day. Some are even busy in slandering his image.

Any guesses, who is he?

Well, yes, I am referring to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, who is being denounced by his children at present.

The legend who has been lauded by world’s greatest men – Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama and even the Dalai Lama – is being rejected by his own countrymen today.

Perhaps, his compatriots are busy finding new heroes, or perhaps, they have already found one in Nathuram Godse – the very same assassin whose bullets took Gandhi ji’s life. After all, there are many who have started to sing praises of this unsung hero that they consider him to be!

And going by the recent trends, it will be no surprise that twenty years down the line, probably Mahatma Gandhi will be known as a traitor, and Nathuram Godse hailed as the entire nation’s ultimate hero.

Shaming India’s legacy

Today, as we see it, right-wing radicals are hell-bent on mortifying the legacy of the nation. With thoughts to create a Hindu Rashtra, minorities are being crushed, liberals are being slurred and history is being distorted. In this pursuit of the extremists to kill the social fabric of the nation, they have not even spared those who helped this nation to get its freedom from colonial rule.

Gandhi ji is being hated by Godse’s followers, while they are busy building temples for the murderer of world’s greatest non-violence preacher. Slowly, Gandhi is being taken out of the books, and Godse’s fans are rejoicing.

The victory of evil over good has made India impotent and the impotency of us Indians can be seen with tweets that mention Godse as a hero and Gandhi as a villain.

These are the words of BJP Mahila Morcha’s National Executive Member, Priti Gandhi. Don’t go by her surname. She is an intransigent hater of Mahatma Gandhi and even considers her surname as a ‘gaali’.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s what she has to say about Gandhi being her last name!

And that’s not the end of it. Hatred has no end, you see.

There are many such supporters of Godse who find social media as the ultimate platform where they can share their love for their ‘God’se.

Now, Rohini Shah here is another fan of Godse. And her hatred for Gandhi and love for Godse is pretty evident from her tweets. But, what’s shocking is the fact that she is being followed by the country’s PM, Narendra Modi, on Twitter!

Yes!

The same PM who retraced Mahatma Gandhi’s train journey in South Africa when he travelled to a railway station where Gandhi was thrown out of a train compartment.

Here’s some food for you to recall the act of our honourable PM:

 

Our PM has quite a contrasting personality.  Isn’t it? When on a different land, he pays homage to the father of the nation, he talks highly of Gandhi ji; but on his own land, his supporters deride the father, and he emboldens their spirit by following them on social media sites.

What is it that he wants to preach? That’s a bit hard for us to understand!

I agree that there are people who would differ from Gandhi ji’s ideas of politics and religion. I agree that people have freedom of speech. But, does that mean that you would go to an extent where thoughts become abuses and a martyr becomes a backstabber?

Gandhi ji was someone who kept equality of all close to his heart.

Today, he may be bashed for giving attention to the Muslims, but what’s overlooked is the fact that he equally cared for the Dalits.

Today, he may be bashed by the very same Dalits, but he was the one who strongly opposed untouchability even at a time when a deep-rooted rancour against them was dominant in the entire nation. He not just shared his meals with the Dalits, but also went ahead and cleaned their toilets to cut across those evil barriers of untouchability and casteism.

Now, let’s take a look at Nathuram Godse’s opinions about Gandhi ji:

I took courage in both my hands and I did fire the shots at Gandhiji on 30th January 1948, on the prayer-grounds in Birla House. I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus. There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book and for this reason I fired those fatal shots. I bear no ill will towards anyone individually, but I do say that I had no respect for the present government owing to their policy, which was unfairly favourable towards the Muslims. But at the same time I could clearly see that the policy was entirely due to the presence of Gandhi.

While Godse disliked Gandhi’s work for the minorities, considering him as ‘unfairly favourable’ towards the Muslims, it was RSS that blatantly ignored its association with Godse – after he killed the father of the nation.

However, till date, the same RSS has been exploiting Godse’s ideology to build its own standing. The past 70 years’ stature that RSS has constructed can be accredited to the same reason for which Gandhi ji was killed: Hindu-Muslim animosity.

For several decades, this organisation has been dividing the country between Hindus and Muslims, and we are all but voiceless audiences.

RSS made Gandhi ji anti-Hindu, but we didn’t utter a word.

RSS made the nation a place where hatred breeds infuriatingly, but we didn’t utter a word.

RSS killed Gandhi ji about seven decades ago and has continued to do so even today, but we still don’t utter a word.

For Gandhi ji, all religions, all castes were equal, everyone was a human being. All that he wanted was harmony and humanity to prevail in the nation. He believed that the nation can only progress when the minorities are accepted with an open heart by the majority.

An advocate of non-violence, Gandhi ji had created many enemies when he was occupied in teaching the world the power of ahimsa. While he had the three-wise-monkeys that guided us all to not to see evil, not to hear evil, and not to speak evil, people today are doing exactly the contrary.

We see evil, and be mute bystanders.

We hear evil, and bask in it.

We speak evil, and find gratification in doing so.

Also Read: Banning ladies night: Denunciation of women’s basic freedom

Who do you choose?

While there are many who scoff at Gandhi ji for his work, or for his inclination towards Jawaharlal Nehru, what we tend to forget is that his intentions were always honest. Never even in his dreams would he have thought about letting down the nation. He had his favourites, agreed, but who doesn’t? We all have our favourites, even Narendra Modi is biased towards Amit Shah, isn’t he?

Yes, Gandhi ji committed his fair share of mistakes. But, so did every other human being who has taken birth in this world. Nobody ever born has been free from committing mistakes. He was a human after all – who was just concerned about serving mankind. And nothing else.

He led the nation towards achieving the independence from the colonial government, and he did it while keeping all united.

It is a real shame that this man, who has always believed in Lord Ram and his principles, and who has been a true Ram Bhakt is now being targeted as “anti-Hindu” by the extremists.

Yes, Godse was born into a religious Brahmin family, and so, Hinduism was instilled into him from the very moment he took birth. Yes, he was a proud Hindu, but then so was Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi ji, the man who found solace in bhajans like वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे, पीड़ पराई जाने रे | पर दुख्खे उपकार करे तोये, मन अभिमान न आने रे …  and, who has been one great devotee of Lord Ram, someone who couldn’t do without chanting the words of his favourite bhajan – रघुपति राघव राजा राम पतित पावन सीता राम… is today an anti-Hindu?

It is an irony as much as it is a shame that a devout Hindu like Mahatma Gandhi has been labelled as a Hindu-chauvinist by the fascists today.

Also Read: The UnDelhiwalah: This journalist feels that Delhi is harsh but an effective teacher!

There are these fans of Godse who believe what he did was right. But, it is a grave mistake to consider it as a noble act. Because it is not!

He had his reasons – good.

But then, so did Kasab, Hitler, and Osama Bin Laden.

Does that mean whatever they did was right? It wasn’t. It never is.

No human who takes another’s life could ever be a hero.

Nowadays, morphed pictures and fabricated stories against Mahatma Gandhi have been flooding the internet. He is being mocked, ridiculed, and abused, openly. There is no fear. There is no shame.

Why? What is it that we want to achieve by smearing Mahatma Gandhi?

Do we want our future generations to learn nothing but how to be violent? Do we want them to have guns in their hands? Or, do we want them to tread on the path of non-violence and the path of spirituality, rather than extremism and chauvinism?

Also read: Who will be the torchbearer of Mahatma Gandhi in today’s time?

These are the questions that the majority of the nation needs to think about, today. And, these are required to be answered for the sake of your own conscience.

So, who would you want the nation to be known for – Gandhi or Godse? Someone who taught the world how to sustain peace or someone who taught the world how to kill others for reasons that are beyond personal vengeance?

Do you want your children to know Gandhi as a hero, or do you want them to know Godse as a hero?

Do you want our future generations to remember India for Gandhi or Godse?

And, more importantly, whose principles would you teach your children – Gandhi’s or Godse’s?

The choice is yours. Make it wisely.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Sadhavi Khosla is an entrepreneur, blogger and political analyst based in Gurgaon. She tweets at @sadhavi

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