Recently a debate about ‘Gandhi vs Godse‘ has emerged in the national media for the last few weeks. I have followed this debate since then. The debate has been initiated by a group of people who claimed to be the ‘true nationalist’ and ‘patriot’ of this country known as “INDIA”. Who these people are and what their political affiliation is; I don’t want to comment on it now. It needs a deeper analysis. Here I would restrict myself just on the “Gandhi vs Godse’ debate.
I was appalled to see that people are debating the importance and relevance of Gandhi with Godse. For few days I just didn’t know how to react to this situation. My language was not cooperating with my heart and feeling. I was stunned at this very thought that how can we (the people of India!) compare Gnadhi with Godse?
On 30th January 1948 Gandhi’s body was killed. As the news of Gandhi’s death spread, the most infamous communal violence of the country stopped. It was a miracle of the modern history. In the midst of that violent time, an old man gets killed and the communal violence stopped. Its an amazing moment recorded by several people from Marxist historian to nationalist historian.. A famous historian Sumit Sarkar has written in his book ‘Modern India’ that “as he died, the soul permeated the country”. Today, there is an attempt going on to kill that “soul” of Gandhi. It is this soul, the idea, the very essence of Gandhi that is under attack. This is the danger that we face today. .
No doubt, It is very good to reevaluate the historical facts and events time to time. But, should we do this in this way without any logic and historical reasoning? I think we have deteriorated ourselves as ‘INDIANS’ and as ‘HUMAN BEINGS’ by doing so. We have ridiculed and mocked the legacy of non violence and peace of Mahavira Jaina, Buddha, Ashoka and Gandhi. This message of non violence is one of the greatest contribution of INDIA to the world and humanity. This debate is an insult to this greatest contribution . This is not only an insult of Gandhi but every person who believes in peace and brotherhood and well being of all the humans on the earth. This is an insult to the secular vedantic idea of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam” (universal brotherhood) popularised by the Vivekanada, which Gandhi uphold throughout his life.
I think its very germane here to have a look on Gandhi’s ideas briefly. Gandhi was a man who lived for the humanity and service to the poor and unfortunately he died defending the same cause. He was the man who alone challenged the supremacy of British imperialism. And he did this by applying his won unique methodology and weapon. His method was ‘satyagrah’ and ‘civil disobedience’ and his weapon was the ‘non violence‘.
The Gandhi’s legacy has spread all over the world. Nelson Mandela adopted the Gandian methodology to end the most heinous apartheid system in South Africa. Martin Luther KIng adopted Gandhian way to end the discrimination by whites towards blacks in United States of America. There is a big consensus from Nelson Madela to Martin Luther King on Gandian methodology. Mandela was a Marxist and Martin Luther King was a Christian. From Madela a atheist to King a religious person, there is a big bridge called Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi.