Truth and Prejudice
Another national holiday and the reason is Gandhi Jayanti. Another round of speeches by eminent personalities, project launches in the name of Gandhi, national anthem recitals and pack up. Back to the routine life without any values and morals.
I personally am not a Gandhi fanatic. I admire the man for unifying the country and for inspiring people to fight for a common cause. People tend to attribute the independence of India to Mahatma Gandhi. I agree he has played a pivotal role, but still it wasn't just him. Probably his role has been overhyped, as is the habit of Indians to overhype heroes. People want to attribute evrything to something, much better if this something is a person. So, probably when we became independent, we attributed it to Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. No offence to him or his believers, but still I feel he or for that matter any other leader of that stature deserve so much.
Actually, I would have vehemently supported Gandhi if he sacrificed his life like Nelson Mandela. Mandela stayed in prison for more than 20 years to fight against apartheid and he won. He worked within the law and fought lawfully, if thats the word, and showed his people that sustained efforts and perseverance can take them to their goals.
Gandhi, on the other hand, went to jail several times ofcourse but that isn't the metric here. He had exuberant relations with high profile English officers and most of the time need not go through all the toil that a common man went. Ok! that's for leading the team. But, as heavily touted, he hasn't done everything single handed and I would believe in the school of thinking that he is also one of the reasons why the cottage industry never grew. He gave the concept of charkha and it ate away the market in rural areas. He was against English mills, Swadeshi! But why was he against Mumbai and Ahmedabadi mills? Why did he so vehemently oppose industrialisation? Gandhi looked poor, followed the Jainism principles of non-attachmen and non-acquisition, but once Sarojini Naidu said," It takes a fortune to keep Gandhi in poverty."
I completely support SS Gill, once Secretary to Government, with respect to his views expressed in his book Gandhi: A sublime failure. Gill states even heavily hyped events led by Gandhi, like Civil Disobedience and Non-cooperation did not succeed to that levels which they were expected to. Freedom granted to India, was not due to all these, but due to losing sheen of territorial colonialism post World War II. If not Gandhi, we would have been free around the same time, through the completion of 'incremental constitution reform' which commenced in 1861. I had to use these excerpts from Gill's book to save myself from any criticism that I would have to face from the people who idolise Gandhi.
Not that I loathe the man, but my liking him is not due to his being Mahatma or Father of Nation or Messiah of Independence struggle, I like him truly for carrying around the torch of truth. I like the man for teaching people to stand by truth, honesty and non-violence, come what may! I admire him for helping people realise that strength is not physical, but mental and divine.
I know he is a great man, just liked for the wrong reasons. I am not a person who can judge someone like Gandhi, but to put my views straight, that's Gandhi for me. Just a symbol of truth, not the symbol of Independent India. The symbol of Independent India is legends like Potti Sri Ramulu, who fasted unto death for liberation of Madras state. Sacrifices like these are to be idolised!