Friday, October 2, 2015

Remembering 'Mahatma' Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi - a lot being debated on the great man even now.Some people oppose Gandhi saying his non-violence approach was not effective and India would have got freedom much earlier,had they followed the Netaji way.Another group claims Mohandas Gandhi was a British Agent and gives lame facts to justify the claim.They go on to say India became independent,because British had no might to rule us further. Some Hindu groups too hate Gandhi and blames him for all the problems in the country.Ironically, people who are hell-bent on bashing these Hindu groups too hates Gandhi. Gandhi did some mistakes. Some of his political moves too were wrong.

He nominated Mr.Pattabhi Sitaramaiah against Netaji for the post of Indian National Congress president. When Netaji won and Pattabhi got defeated, Gandhi said, 'Pattabhi's defeat is my defeat'. We can conclude - the relationship between Netaji and Gandhiji was not so good. When you are fighting for a cause, it is practically impossible to avoid people with different ideologies. Obviously there will be difference of opinion and strategies against each other. As a common man,I was disappointed with Gandhi's stand on one particular issue.We can understand from the recently declassified files(by Central Govt) that Netaji did not die in the plane crash and he lived as a prisoner in Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin kept him as prisoner and he was executed there. Nehru didn't make any efforts to save Netaji.Its understandable, as he is a politician. But Gandhi too didn't make any efforts it seems.Ofcourse, we can get more details only when all the files are declassified, but my instinct says, Gandhi didn't make any efforts to save Netaji. Inspite of all this,what makes him a Mahatma?

Bhagat Singh was a hero. He fought for the nation boldly against the British and sacrificed his life.Netaji wanted to throw away the British rule using weapons and army.There were lot of warriors who fought against British.Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Veera Vaanchinathan,Bal Gangadhar Tilak etc. They were all patriots and what they did against British was an act of bravery.But that was not enough to throw away the British empire. They fought either individually or with the people belonging to a particular region.

Entry of Gandhi changed the scenario completely.He had the charisma to unite people.He converted the 'Swarajya' into a mass movement.People from all parts of the country stood behind him.The freedom struggle gained momentum and the British found it difficult to go. It was in 1922, people the Chauri Chaura incident happened,in which a police station was burnt.Gandhi immediately stopped the non co-operation movement saying that we were not matured enough to rule ourselves.This move came under severe criticism and there is an opinion among the current generation people too that India would have become independent well before 1947, had Gandhi not called off the movement. But Gandhi was right, an achievement through violence will not last long.In 1930 he again came back with Civil Disobedience Movement and Dandi march against the salt tax.From then on, no stopping. India had to wait for 17 more years to get freedom.

This is a nation built on Gandhian thoughts and that is why India still remains a democratic country. Since 1947, India has seen many Prime Ministers,it had an emergency,it had witnessed the emergence of many political parties, but irrespective of whichever party or PM in power,we are able to voice out our opinion against them independently. Don't refer to one or two stray incidents and say the Gandhian model is a failure.

There is a pic of Gandhi doing rounds in social media. In that pic, Gandhi is seen dancing with a foreign lady.It has gone viral in social media and none bothered to check the authenticity of the pic. The person seen in the pic is not Mohandas Gandhi, but an Australian actor posing as Gandhi shaking a leg with the lady.Such fake images and information about Gandhi has actually made many believe that Gandhi was a womanizer, while he was not so.

I strongly believe,it was because, we got freedom through non-violence, we are still independent and have seen these many developments. Had we got freedom through Netaji's approach, there were high chances of someother nation colonizing us.

While Netaji had a different ideology, similar to Gandhian ideology, leaders like V O Chidambaram Pillai and Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar - the national poet, too united people. Mr.V O C was the first Indian to run indigenous ships in Indian sea to counter the British. Mahakavi Bharathiyar, through his poems united the people and made them think.

We can debate a lot about Gandhiji's assassination. We can also consider what Ghodse had to say on his act and debate whether his arguments are acceptable.But that is a different topic and we have to come up with lot of facts and figures to discuss about it. This post is all about some misconceptions and facts about Gandhi and how effective was/is his ideology.

Gandhian principle is not just ahimsa/non-violence, it means not-to-give-up and also not-to-indulge-in-violence. Don't give up your fight until you achieve your goal, at the same time, be sensible. I don't find anything wrong in this and nothing better than this approach. With some 'enhancements', still the Gandhian ideology is the best. One may or may not like Gandhi, may or may not agree with Gandhian principles, but don't abuse him. Sharing fake images/information without checking their authenticity is sheer foolishness.Sharing them purposefully, to malign Gandhi's image, only shows the sick attitude of people. 

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