Reader Contribution: Now, even Gandhi is not safe!
Gandhi is not safe in India. Now any one can go to the extent of saying that Gandhi made Khadi lose its luster because of his association with it. In his comparison the image of PM Narendra Modi is more glamorous and has been responsible for the rise in the sale of Khadi. He can […]
Gandhi is not safe in India. Now any one can go to the extent of saying that Gandhi made Khadi lose its luster because of his association with it. In his comparison the image of PM Narendra Modi is more glamorous and has been responsible for the rise in the sale of Khadi. He can go to the extent of saying that the Indian rupee got devaluated because of Gandhiji’s photograph on Indian currency. He does not stop here and goes on to say that by and by Gandhiji’s picture will be removed from Indian currency. He is no less than a minister in a state government. He is Anil Vij , a minister in the BJP government of Haryana, led by M.L. Khattar.
The BJP Chief Minister M.L. Khattar simply sheds away his responsibility by saying that it was his personal opinion. On the opposition from his own party Anil Vij withdraws his comment saying that he is willing to withdraw his comment if it has hurt feelings of anybody. This clearly suggests that he still holds the opinion he had expressed and is not apologetic.
The controversy started when the Khadi Gramodyog Commission used PM Narendra Modi’s picture plying a Charkha on its calendars and diaries. Replacing the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi by the photograph of Narendra Modi is symbolic of BJP and RSS’s agenda. It is not an innocent step as is being suggested by the BJP spokespersons. More than anything else it is an attempt to dislodge all icons which stand for democracy, secularism and socialism and replace them with the icons or personalities which represent Hinduism. Not merely this , the argument that is forwarded by the BJP leaders says that the sale of Khadi has increased because of Narendra Modi’s promotion. The argument is clearly an articulation of capitalist thinking. Anything that promotes business is acceptable. Khadi is not just a commodity to be sold and used for profiteering. Charkha was a tool of self reliance and economic empowerment of women. An ideology which advocates moral policing, restricting women’s freedom in selection of their outfit, their outdoor activities and even their relationships cannot espouse Charkha or represent Gandhi in any form.
The irony is that the leaders like Anil Vij do not want to enter any informed debate on Gandhi. They are too ill informed to do that. They just want to bulldoze him by sheer strength of the political power that they wield or more than that the muscle power that they are trained to use against their opponents. This was seen time and again. Even in the case of demonetization many of the opponents of the policy were publicly harassed and dubbed as anti-national. Is demeaning Gandhi ji not anti-national?
This is for sure that M.K. Gandhi is not that small that he can be thrown into the dustbin by the foolish remarks and actions of BJP governments and their leaders. He is too tall a personality for them. In the world leaders he has a place of pride in the company of leaders like Nelson Mandela, Mao Tse Tung and Fidel Castro. There may be difference of opinion about his political decisions and his ideology but his place in the history of India cannot be taken by any Golvalkar, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee or Dindayal Upadhyay – the only icons that BJP and the Hindutva brigade have. The biggest strategy of the Hindutva brigade is to demonize their opponents and shout loudly repeatedly so that the whole atmosphere is charged with their lies. As they have done in the states like Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh where many innocents tribals who are fighting for their land and forest rights are dubbed as naxalites and Maoists. They have no shame in equating them with terrorists. And the churning of this lie goes on incessantly.
It is a shame that Anil Vij continues to be in his chair of a minister even after what he has said. More shameful is the tight lipped silence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose picture caused the entire controversy. He has to beware of the sycophants who sometimes compare him with Sardar Patel, sometimes with Vivekanand and now with Gandhi. He cannot wash his hands of what happened in Gujarat in 2002 after Godhra. No amount of excuses and clean chits can absolve him of his responsibility of the massacre that took place in Gandhi ji’s Gujarat.
Contributed by: Dr.H.S.Chandalia