Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi..... did he make India what she is?

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The man who spread the message of honesty (satya) and peace (ahimsa). Yes, he is one of those rare gems that will keep shining brightly (for eternity perhaps) in India's history. But.... is he responsible for India's freedom? Has he rightfully been accredited as the Father of our nation?

It is a fallacy that Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent policies drove the British away. Far from it....
The British left our lands in 1947. Two years after the end of the IInd World War. The end of this war marked the re-alignment of world power from the British throne to the US and the USSR. Right... and of course it also marked the establishment of the United Nations. 
As per the United Nations charter signed in 1945, countries that previously held colonies had to begin decolonization. Which meant, a formerly dominating powerhouse like Britain had to let loose of all its colonized outfits. And therefore, not just India, but a string of thirty odd countries gained independence during the post-ww2 period. 

So, how come... we blasphemously accepted that it was Gandhiji's truthfulness that drove our colonizers out? Isn't that very docile? Yes, he must be remembered and his paths must be followed - but to the extent of blindfolded acceptance that he has made our country what she is, is.... well, thats not just very progressive now, is it?

Gandhiji, is an exemplary and a great teacher. But leader? I doubt there was any progress during the twenty-five odd years of his "moderate" freedom struggle. He was responsible for the execution of deserving brave-hearts; Bhagat Singh and co. His Dandi March, today, has been hailed for its good natured cause and peaceful effort. But back in 1930, its yield was poor. All that resulted was a dis-satisfactory and rhetorical truce between Gandhi and Irwin (rep. of the Britishers in India back then).. and that too a whole year later (in 1931).

To an extent, Gandhiji's humble persona and his soothing nexus with the poor made him the ideal face of a newly independent India. But you know what? It took crores of rupees (in those days!) to keep M.K.Gandhi in poverty! Hah :)

The principles of Gandhigiri, when followed, will definitely transform society into a more humble, humane abode. But... have our historians painted a colorful picture, as in a 256 million colors one, and have we, the independent India, blindly accepted it in the euphoria of being independent? 

Defaming Gandhiji of the honors bestowed is no solution. We have imminent problems to find solutions to, and will do much better to focus on them rather than revisit history that will have no possible effect on the progress of the country... That is not the point... However, as educated people, we can only try our best not to be victims of the blind-following the-blind system by letting the sound of our thoughts inspire some thinking....