These words by Mahatma Gandhi, the epitome of truth and non-violence, have lost their meaning in today’s time. The Father of the Nation, who adorns the postage stamps, and whom the nation only reminisces on 2nd October or 30th January, never would have thought that the India of his dreams, would remain just that – his dream.
Rarely would you come across such a political dissident who carried a global vision of peace. While the world didn’t fail to recognize this bespectacled man’s contribution to humanity, his own nation seems to be traversing a totally different path.
When we look at the West, we see countries like the USA, Australia, and England, which have dedicated scores of monuments and statues to Mahatma Gandhi, revering his beliefs; and back home we buried the ideology of this man, someone who has swayed the souls of the world’s greatest leaders and thinkers.
While Barack Obama once said that Mahatma Gandhi is his real hero, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has also maintained his respect for Gandhi ji, always.
To quote Dalai Lama, “I have the greatest admiration for Mahatma Gandhi. He was a great human being with a deep understanding of human nature. His life has inspired me.”
In Martin Luther King Jr., you will find another ardent follower of Gandhi ji and his ideology. And, how can we forgot the greatest scientist of all time, Albert Einstein? In a letter, he addressed Gandhi ji “a role model for the generations to come”.
But, does the present generation of India have any knowledge about this man and his principles, let alone perceiving him as a role model? What about his dreams and his struggles? His movements and his existence? Do we care to remember it all?
Seems like the nation has forgotten its ‘Father’, and how miserably!
Gandhification for politics
Anyone who has even the pettiest knowledge about politics would know that Mahatma Gandhi was killed by Nathuram Godse – the advocate of Hindu nationalism who was once associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Gandhi ji was a sworn enemy of the RSS and its philosophy, and will always be. Even today, the RSS’ and the BJP’s cohorts hate Gandhi ji’s guts.
But, the country’s PM, Narendra Modi, the same man who openly supports the Sangh Parivar’s vision, has been trying to give Gandhi ji his dues under false pretenses. Be it through launching the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014 on Mahatma’s Gandhi’s birth anniversary as a tribute to him, or by unveiling world’s largest Charkha at the Terminal 3 of IGI Airport, Delhi, in July last year, Narendra Modi surely knows how to play his cards right.
The unvarnished truth is that even when Modi’s efforts to rub out Jawaharlal Nehru and his legacy have yielded him the results that he wanted, he knows that stifling Gandhian discourse isn’t a turkey shoot.
After all, destroying the subsistence of one of the greatest apostles of peace that the world has ever had is no breeze. And, so he is taking away Mahatma Gandhi from the Congress party by smartly appropriating the Gandhian ideas with great effect.
Notwithstanding the fact that Modi’s core ideology differs sharply in context from the ideology that Gandhi ji endorsed, we couldn’t take away the truth that it is because of Modi only that the countrymen have been recalling Gandhi ji – no matter how weak that remembrance is.
Congress failed to keep Mahatma alive
When the party that Mahatma nurtured all his political life failed to keep him alive, it was inevitable that another political party would sense the need for doing so and will capitalize on it.
But, I fail to understand why couldn’t Congress stand up for the beliefs that its biggest hero held?
What is the party doing to pass on his principles to the present generation, or, for that matter, even preserving them for the future generations?
In April 1917, after Gandhi ji’s return from South Africa, he started the Champaran (Bihar) Movement. And, just about a month back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated an exhibition “Swachhagraha – Bapu Ko Karyanjali – Ek Abhiyan, Ek Pradarshani” to observe the 100 years of the Champaran Movement, and the Bihar government also started year-long commemorative celebrations to honor the Champaran centenary.
But, what did Congress do?
While this very party claims that Mahatma belongs to it, why does it fail to demonstrate that it cares to bring this fearless man’s ideology out in the open, for his own countrymen to know?
Today, the youth isn’t aware of the struggles that this man had and the role that he played in attaining Independence after years of blood, sweat and tears – the very same Independence which the same youth is fearlessly enjoying at present.
In words of one syllable – this nation doesn’t even realize what is it losing.
Today’s India is nothing like the one Mahatma dreamt of
Today, when you look at India, it doesn’t really have all that a human being with the highest possible aspirations can want. It never did.
While earlier we had the British Raj that divided the country, today it is nothing but hatred.
The country is going through extreme communalism. And, the Congress is being a mere spectator of the upheaval. The BJP is dead set on launching a six-month public connect programme to spread Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s and RSS’ message to every house in Uttar Pradesh. It is even taking this agenda to places like West Bengal, where there has been little to no saffron presence.
It is this agenda only that has already polarized majority of the nation, and now it is being taken to places where it was unknown as yet.
But, then again, Congress is doing nothing.
Rather than letting other political parties exploit Mahatma’s name for their benefit, the Congress party should take a leap and fight tooth and nail to honor the man who became the key reason of this nation’s freedom from colonial rule.
Sadly, it isn’t. And, that is its own undoing.
When Mahatma’s own party has shrugged off his substance, who can be the torchbearer of Gandhi ji and take his ideology to every house in the nation?
With hatred and negativity spreading their wings like eagles, it’s only positivity that can put them to death. To quell the communal agenda of RSS, all we need is Gandhi ji’s peaceful agenda. To stand in the way of a party which is breaking the nation with communalism, we need another party which is more resolute than ever to keep the nation united with the principles of a man that never broke faith with harmony.
Today, political parties can be seen using Mahatma for political harvest, but is there anybody who is really taking his ideology to every citizen? Is there any torchbearer of this legend? Regrettably, no!
Before he becomes a delible image, someone should come forward and be the ray of hope that Gandhi ji’s beliefs need. And, I see that glimmer in Rahul Gandhi.
If you were to find someone who puts up with all kinds of abuses, meets every form of hatred head on, and still doesn’t react with a warmongering temperament, then it has to be none other than Rahul. His apathetic attitude towards this spiraling acrimony confirms the faith that this man has in positivity. Something that Gandhi ji always believed in.
Once the Mahatma also said, “The world will live in peace only when the individuals composing it make up their minds to do so”.
And, the calm mind that Rahul has, surely draws a reflection of Gandhi ji’s ideology within him.
When Bapu returned to India, he was around 46 years old, just how old Rahul is now. So, if Bapu had set the pace for civil disobedience at that age, why can’t Rahul be the crusader who can let the country awake from the slumber that mantles it today? Why can’t Rahul bring the change that he wants to see in the nation?
He should let the entire nation know about the ideology of that saintly man of peace that Gandhi ji was. And, this should be his avowed intent.
Even though Rahul is no Mahatma Gandhi, but in today’s times, he can definitely be the torchbearer of Gandhi ji’s principles.
What’s left for us to see is – will he?
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.