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India has failed Gandhi

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on February 08, 2020 with No Comments

Indians protesting against the much debated Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)—which essentially disenfranchises minorities, especially Muslims— had to face bullets when on Thursday, 30 January, when a 17-year-old shot at peaceful protesters, injuring one, near Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. It is noteworthy that on the same very day, India had commemorated 72 years of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Protestors, onlookers and those who watched the video were left dumbfounded as the shooter ‘the game is over’ for “azaadi” seekers.  The pictures of cops of Delhi Police standing with their arms folded with his juvenile went around carrying his gun. Just two days later, a  man fired bullets in the air, shouting ‘only Hindus will have their way in India’, near the anti-CAA protest site at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi. Police were quick to claim he was ‘self-radicalised’ by watching news and videos on social media, same way it had gone all out for prove that the earlier one was a juvenile.

Why such firing incidents took place only last week while these protest have been going on for close to two months now? Some political leaders have made their contribution in their own way ! Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur being the first one.  At a rally for the forthcoming Delhi Assembly elections, Thakur shouted from the podium Desh ke gaddaaron ko, and crowd shouted in response Goli maaron saalon ko.,as if they have been blood thirsty.  Elections in India are not contested on real, prevalent and pertinent issues like education, poverty, unemployment, economy but on emotive issues.  For many elections, these emotive issues have been Ram Mandir , Cow Protection, Hindu Muslim divide; and when everything else seems to be failing the issue of Pakistan is sure to churn out emotions. The emotive part of the elections can be gauged from the very fact that the media doesn’t say contesting the elections, it rather uses “fighting the elections”.  Anurag Thakur was canvassing for a BJP candidate and his sloganeering may have been with or without the consent of the candidate.  Certain rules of the Election Commission may also have been breached. The concern is even without mentioning any religion, feelings of enmity and hatred has been ignited.  Who are the desh ke gaddaar ‘who deserve to be shot’?  In the present volatile social and political environment it Anurag Thakur has made an obvious reference to those who have been protesting against CAA, and have been given many names by the spokespersons of the ruling party and the anchors showing alliance to the ruling party.  These incidences only cement the view that the right-wingers have for long spoken against Islam and Muslims for being extreme and aggressive, while emphasizing that the Hindu way of life was one of peace and harmony. Second, today either in India, you agree with the BJP’s Hindutva policies or you are anti-national and anti-Indian. BJP’s followers are consolidating to fight imaginary enemies – ‘urban Naxals’, ‘tukde tukde gang’, Shaheen Bagh supporters.

Another deplorable comment came from former Union minister and BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde  who attacked Mahatma Gandhi and called the freedom struggle led by him a “drama”. Hegde also questioned as to how “such people” come to be called ‘Mahatma’ in India.  While addressing a public event in Bengaluru, the Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada said the entire freedom movement was “staged with the consent and support of the British”. Hegdge had said that freedom fighters, who did not sacrifice anything, made the country believe that it attained Independence through ‘Upavas Satyagrah’, Gandhi’s preferred mode of agitation, and became Mahapurush (great person). Bringing disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi, whom the world recognizes as the paragon of peace, who is called the father of the nation; just amounts lowering down the political stance.

The Mahatma Gandhi who isn’t considered just a leader in India but of the world, that Mahatma Gandhi has been insulted.  

The worrisome part is while India has not fully adopted the doctrine of non violence that Mahatma Gandhi was known for, however misguided youth have taken a lead from Anurag Thakur and have resorted to picking up guns. The nation has failed Gandhi.


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