Remembering Gandhi on his 73rd Martyrdom Anniversary

In Cover Story

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Today is Gandhi’s martyrdom day. He was killed by a fanatic who claimed to be a Hindu and felt that Gandhi was working against the interest of Hindus. A fake narrative has been built since then. It was sad to see Gandhi’s statue being desecrated at some places in Italy as well as in United States. I dont think that serve any purpose. Gandhi was a political leader who played a big role in bringing anti colonial forces together in India and led India’s freedom movement. We may disagree with Gandhi’s views on caste system as well as religion but we can not ignore his pivotal role in our freedom movement. We have a right to reject his theories on caste and untouchability. We can also reject his socio economic model but let us not take away his role as a leader who brought together people from diverse communities and faiths.

The government of India ‘condemned’ the desecration of Gandhi’s statue in the US. It is strange to see this government so ‘active’ to protect Gandhi’s ‘honor’ in the US and Italy but failed to do so in India. After Modi assumed power, he converted Gandhi into a #swachchbharaticon and completely ignored his other work. The murder of Gandhi was a brahmin called Nathuram Godse and his lunatic followers are celebrating Gandhi’s killing. Can you imagine a twitter hate campaign in the United States.

Twitter and face book show spine to block president Trump in the US for his tweets which they claim were unsubstantiated but twitter and Facebook have shown no responsibility and accountability that way in India where the goons continue to use social media to intimidate the opponents with active support from the ruling party. The collapse of institutions have ensured that those who fight for their rights are treated as criminals and face numerous cases filed against them while the goons sponsored by the ruling regime become the ‘rastrabhakts’ and supported by the police. The JNU, AMU, Jamia, Rohit Vemula case, Delhi riots are example how police is behaving as the militia of the ruling party which will have a devastating impact on our democracy and institutional impartiality.

It is not unsurprising to see the hate campaign against Gandhi on twitter and facebook without any action being taken against them. Afterall, the leader who termed Gandhi as ‘chaturbania’ is the second most powerful person at the moment.

Gandhi was not killed by a Muslim. He was not killed by a Dalit or Adivasi. In fact, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar saved his life by signing the Poona pact but none claimed that they saved Gandhi. So, the thing is that the Hindutva leaders who hated Gandhi want to use Gandhi by chanting his name but at the same point of time allow their chelas to carry out hate campaign against him. This is hypocritic that those who benefited from Gandhiism are crying against him.

Today, when Indian government was condemning vandalism against Gandhi statue in US, the same government did not act or did not ask any of the social media heads to take action against those celebrating Gandhi’s murder. Nobody can beat Indian political leadership at the moment on the issue of double speak. Condemn what happened outside India but allow your chelas to abuse. Demagogy at its best in India.

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