Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Who shot Gandhi ?

Someone under the pseudonym of Kochuthressiamma has written this very special article on the Gandhi Jayanthi day. A candid appraisal of the present day living, too good.

Talks of the many Indias.. Which is the India that is really growing ?? finally the statement that Gandhi is still being shot today sums up everything. We needed Gandhi only to bring us independence, not to follow his ideals and teachings.


Kochuthresiamma p .j

Gandhi Jayathi is almost on us . As usual, there will be appropriate
noises made by politicians, Congress party, media etc on the 2nd Oct.,
and then this great man will be shelved for another year. maybe this
year things may be a little different- thanks to Munnabhai!!!

Not surprising that the great man should be treated like a necessary
evil by the land which gave birth to him.

This cutting him down to size began before India became a free
country. With the Partition, the pluralism (genuine pluralism, he
believed, was native to India) which he tried to reinstate with his
spiritual weapon received a deathblow. Poor man, what he did not
realize was that he was incarnations ahead of those who fought with
him for India's freedom. Each of them had his agenda and the scramble
began once the British were out.

After Independence,Nehru took care of edging Gandhism out of the
political and economic arrangement for free India. Mesmerized by
modernity derived form the ideals of Enlightenment rationality (which
was already taking the world to the brink of disaster), Nehru, who
represented the sentiments of a nation rearing to go the western way,
found Gandhi an embarrassment. And Gandhi withdrew from public life.

Gandhi had realized that India had the advantage of choosing the mode
of development best suited for her. Time and again, throughout his
engagement with the destiny of India, he wrote, spoke, advised,
warned. He pleaded for grassroots movement, for organic village
communities and agriculture centered economy. he had nothing against
technology, but he knew that uncontrolled technology would lay waste
India's greatest asset - human resource. He warned against the horrors
of modern industrialization, commercialization; of the dangers of the
scientific outlook divorced from dharma. But no one paid heed to him.
So India missed that chance and put the wrong foot forward. Since the
die was cast, Gandhiji realized that India now can only learn the hard
way. He came to terms with the fact that the post independence
leadership had neither his hindsight nor foresight, that clarity of
vision to see that its choice of the political arrangement and the
economic policies will only serve the geopolitical and corporate
interests of the developed west. For, the Indian 'elite' leadership in
the period immediately following independence continued to be
colonized in their minds. India had been decolonized only politically.

India is surging ahead , we claim today. But all those farmers who
commit suicide - are they not India? All those small players in the
industry who have to wind up their businesses that sustained them -
are they not India? All those small time planters who had to sell out
and have their means of livelihood taken from them - are they not
India? All those tribals who are displaced by huge projects - are they
not India? All those ultras, Maoists and Naxalites - are they not
India? pray, which India is going to be the global leader? Does this
potential 'global leader' include the majority?

Dismal thoughts on the occasion of a Gandhi jayanthi.

I must share a strange and disturbing scene i witnessed a few years
back. I was at the Mani Bhavan ( where Gandhi stayed whenever he was
in Bombay – it is a very badly maintained Gandhi museum now – compare
it with the Indra Gandhi memorial , No. 1 Safdarjung Road - and we
come to understand what is wrong with India today). Sorry for the
digression. I continue -- - - It was in Mani Bhavan that I heard this
question "WHO SHOT GANDHI?"

I turned around to find an East European (i think) posing this query
to an Indian tourist. 'Godse", the latter replied. "Why did he shoot
him?". To my utter surprise, the man threw a furtive glance around and
made a hasty exit from the room which had miniatures of events from
Gandhi's life and last moments. I hung around hoping the European
visitor would put the question to me but he didn't. He must have
sensed something was wrong ( was something wrong? What was it?. I
couldn't figure it out) . He went around the room careful not to make
eye contact with anybody.

Who shot Gandhi? Godse, yes. But his shot was the kindest of them all.
The fusilade began long before Godse actually pulled the trigger. It
began towards the last lap of freedom struggle when it became pretty
clear that independence was only a matter of time. Gandhiji continued
to be shot when the country was partitioned, when his lofty concept of
India as a nation fell flat on its face with the communal riots. The
unkindest shot was the political and economic dispensation chosen by
the leadership of Independent India which totally ignored Gandhism. AS
early as 1906, Gandhi had, in his HINDSWARAJ warned against the
mistakes of the post industrial, post Enlightenment modernity of the
west (which ultimately would culminate in two World Wars and all its
horrors).: " we want English rule without the Englishman. You want the
tiger's nature, but not the tiger; that is to say, you would make
India English. And when it becomes English, it will be called not
Hindustan but Englistan. This is not the Swaraj that I want."

Gandhi continues to be shot today.

We live in times which fear to even give a name and face to the forces which destroyed the man who ranks among the greatest of creations.

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