Last Sunday, we made an experiment with Gandhian approach. Residents of the sector, both men and women, I live in, could make the adamant, to certain extent rogue contractor stop the construction of the boundary wall right in the front of our houses that would have suffocated us and taken away the greenery that we have created in years. Finally, the project engineer came on a Sunday and himself suggested a way out, as we expressed our determination to not allow the work even if the CEO, Noida wishes.
As I understand, a recent poll on university campuses across the US put Mahatma Gandhi ahead of all political personalities anywhere in the world. Surprisingly, the only man more popular than him among the student community understandably was Bill Gates. It clearly shows the aspiration of the younger generation and who are inspiring them. I don’t mind Gandhi competing with Bill Gates or even Narayana Murthy in the student community if that were so.
Gandhi is very much relevant but for our politicians. It pains me and must be doing so for a large number of Indians. Sudheendra Kulkarani has expressed his pain in an article in Indian Express, ‘Some Gandhian lessons for the Gandhis.’
Sonia Gandhi, accompanied by her son Rahul, will be representing India at the UN General Assembly on October 2, when the world body will declare Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday as World Non-Violence Day. In what capacity she can represent India at the UN, one doesn’t know. It would have been in the fitness of things if our prime minister represented India. Kulkarni refers to the film ‘Gandhi My Father’ by Feroz Abbas Khan, which is one of the finest cinematic narrations of the greatest hero of modern Indian history. It tells how the Mahatma detested nepotism and would do nothing whatsoever to promote his son’s career using his personal influence.
Sonia pretended to became a Goddess after she refused the chair of the prime minister in favour of Manmohan Singh. Does she think that India is destined to be ruled by her family only?
Another headline in today’s ‘Times of India’ shows the moral standard of Indian politicians. HD DeveGowda is one former prime minister of India, and presently supreme of JD (S) in Karnataka, the state so famous as the Silicon Valley of India. HD Kumaraswamy has been the Chief Minister of the state because of an understanding with BJP. As agreed at the time of alliance, he is to give up his chair in favour of BJP’s CM-in-waiting B S Yediyurappa. But the former prime minister tells BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, ‘Let my son continue as CM’, and trying to adopt all the political meanness to have his wishes fulfilled. Can Gandhi be of any relevance to persons such DevGowda?
Another shocking news is from no other than Mayawati. I am sure Dr. Ambedkar must be getting restless in his grave with the news of her wealth. The latest is amazing. Let us go through the press report in Times of India.
Mayawati now not only figures among the country’s richest politicians, but also has officially become the highest tax-paying people’s representative. The UP chief minister and BSP supremo has, between July and September 15 this year, paid a whopping Rs 14 crore as advance income tax for the assessment year 2008-09.
It shall help Ms Mayawati legitimise her huge wealth acquired over less than a period of three years, when her declared income grew from barely Rs 1.67 crore – as recorded in the affidavit filed along with the nomination papers for 2004 Lok Sabha poll – to Rs 52 crore this year.
Is Gandhi, or if she doesn’t like Gandhi, Dr. Ambedkar laughing somewhere?
On this day, I think Gandhi must be in extreme pain with the way the politicians in power would have started behaving. According to his personal secretary, V Kalyanam, Gandhi on the night of August 14, 1947 wrote,
“I have repeatedly said that I have neither any part nor say in many things that are going on in the country today. The plain matter-of-fact is that I am no longer the current coin I fancied I once was. My voice is in the wilderness. Time was, when whatever I said the masses followed. Today, mine is a lone voice. I now say things which do not go home. I know that I am a back number. Yet, I go on saying what I believe to be true.
“Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep. My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.”
Gandhi is thus relavant for all but the present politicians, otherwise Karunanidhi would not have gone for hunger strike for Sethusamudram Project and Dasmunsi wouldn’t have called it Gandhian. .