Why is Mr.M.K.Gandhi needed today?
I neither follow Mr.M.K.Gandhi staunchly, nor I completely reject him. I feel that the positive and negative exaggerations revolving Mr.Gandhi chiefly arose because of idealising him. As our text books called Mr.Gandhi a 'Mahatma', majority of us have him in our good books till we pass out of our high school. Later, when we come to know about the other side of him, we'll be shocked to realise that all we had read about him is not what he really was, and we'll start to hate him. Both these extremisms are wrong. First step in understanding Mr.Gandhi is removing the prejudices on the positive 'Mahatma' and the negative 'Experiments' from our mind, and approach him like approaching a human being, a human being like us who can make wonders as well as blunders.
Yes, Gandhi might have used his power in the wrong way as some call and in the right way as his conscience call, but even after neglecting the fact that no leader was 100% perfect, I still support Mr.Gandhi in these hard times, because of how much he and his principles were needed and are needed today. Whether or not Gandhi deserve to be the father of our nation, he is needed. Why?
1. The Concept of India:
Mr.Jinnah was politically secular in the beginning, Mr.Gandhi started to become politically secular in the middle, and Mr.Nehru was the administrative face of Mr.Gandhi. These three men, along with other well-thinkers once dreamt on how India should be, after Independence. Mr.Rabindranath Tagore called it ‘The idea of India’. My entire stand on India is based on it. It’s my very foundation, and hence if someone wants to convince me, I would advise them to try shattering my beliefs on it. To know what the ‘Idea of India’ means, click the below link.
A Nation Consumed By The State - Ramachandra Guha
2. Gandhi’s Secularism:
Mr.Gandhi was one of the very few leaders who recognised that western ‘secularism’ cannot be implemented in a secular India. In Europe, secularism means to separate the functioning of government with the interference of Church. In a country like India where there are more than five religions, it’s not possible. Hence, Mr.Gandhi framed an Indian version of secularism. Western secularism is to deny religion completely, whereas Indian secularism is to treat all the religions equally. At the same time, due to the horrors of partition, Mr.Gandhi wanted the minorities, i.e., Muslims, to be given priority over Hindus in secular India, for them to feel safe and to make them feel that their decision to move to India or to stay in India was not wrong.
3. Extension of ‘Gandhi’s secularism’ - Common Civil Law:
A common civil law was not enacted as soon as India became politically independent, as it would’ve made the Indian Muslims inconvenient. The common civil law should have been gradually implemented from time to time, as the Indian Muslims get slowly acclimatized to the post Independent India, but unfortunately it wasn’t enacted. Hence, now the complaints on ‘pseudo-secularism’ has increased. After the riots in Ayodhya and Gujarat, it has now become practically impossible to enact a common civil law. One of the intense 'Post-Gujarat riots' speeches was the speech of VHP president Mr.Praveen Togadia, who asked the public to “abandon Gandhi”(Proof is in the link below). This is where Mr.Gandhi is needed again.
2002 Gujarat Riots Full Documentary - YouTube
4. ‘The Independent India’:
How can we define India? First of all, How can we frame a country? How can we regard a country that “Yes, this is a country”? Conventionally a country can be framed by the following ways.
A.Common race(Hitler’s united Germany)
C.Common language(Portugal, Spain)
D.Common enemy, etc.
But how can we frame India? India has more than five religions, more than 1,600 languages, and mixed races. Mr.Nehru decided to follow Non-alignment policy after Independence, hence the fourth option was also ruled out. Then how can we define it? The more easy it was for other countries to frame themselves, the more difficult it was for India. There were two conventional ideologies on how the ‘Independent India’ should be. One was Mr.Savarkar’s ‘Hindutva’ that arose in 1923, other was Mr.Jinnah’s ‘Islamic Nationalism’ that arose during 1937-38. Both of them were conventional ideologies, influenced by the west. This is where Mr.Gandhi comes into picture. He introduced a third ideology called ‘Secular India’, which is also a western concept but it also consolidated the Indian roots. Gandhi’s secularism was something new, something the world has never seen before. Gandhi’s India was simple. ‘Fortunately or unfortunately you are inside a land mass called India. You have a birth certificate issued by the government of India. Hence, you are an Indian. Whatever religion you follow, whatever language you speak, whatever customs and traditions you follow, you will be called as an Indian’, this was Mr.Gandhi’s revolutionary concept, and is the most practical ideology among the three ideologies that tried to shape Independent India.
5. Post-partition Hindu-Muslim communal riots:
Through his sathyagraha, which some may call the ‘emotional blackmail’, Mr.Gandhi was able to achieve many things which few countries failed to achieve even through arms. But still, there was one thing which Mr.Gandhi couldn’t completely eliminate. That was the Hindu-Muslim communal riots that became extremely violent after partition. What he couldn’t achieve was achieved by his death. It was finally his death that brought peace. That peaceful situation was almost maintained until Mr.Rajiv Gandhi did a blunder in and after ‘Shah Bano’ case.
6. India, a pioneer to the futuristic 'United World' concept:
India is experimenting a socio-political system which is totally new to this world. It's the first and it's not going to be the last if we co-operate. 'The concept of India' should not become a failed experiment. A person who is reading the history of modern India with an open mind can understand it better. We differ in many ways yet we are united by a country. We don't need visas to travel from TN to Maharashtra, where things are entirely different. India is a minor model of a united world. If we make this experiment successful, we can expect a united world in the distant future, where the concept of India will be it's pioneer. What the concept of India have in theory is the most revolutionary reform of modern history. Even if I'm not going to help it become successful, at least I'm not going to disturb it.
Mr.Gandhi was neither a perfect angel, nor an evil demon. He was a human being, like us, who made wonders, as well as blunders. But he was needed. A big propaganda is been launched to defame Gandhi in all dimensions. If the criticism is genuine, I'm ready to welcome it. But most of the propaganda which I see are false, like the below picture, and hence I find the need to turn them down.