Musings on Gandhi Jayanti
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns

Musings on Gandhi Jayanti

October 3, 2019

Yesterday, 2nd October 2019 was the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. We call him ‘Father of the Nation’ because he got us the freedom from British subjugation and taught us many values that we should practice in our personal, family, social, economical and political life. No wonder, when he was asked by a foreign journalist, “what was his message to his people?”, his instant answer was, “My life is my message”.

I am a passionate admirer of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB) ever since I studied journalism in its institution at Mumbai in the 60s. So when its Mysuru Chapter was started I got associated with it from day one and at present I am the Vice-Chairman of BVB Mysuru. Its activities and publications resonate both Indian Civilisation and Hindu religion with the emphasis on tolerance and acceptance as expounded by its founder Dr. K.M. Munshi, reverentially called “Kulapathi”, just as M.K. Gandhi is called “Mahatma”.

BVB Mysuru Chapter runs a school in Vijayanagar First Stage and I, as in the past, attended the celebration of       “Gandhi Jayanti” by our students. As we know Gandhiji was very fond of Bhajans and his prayer meetings wouldn’t be complete without a Bhajan. It was, therefore, expected to have some Gandhiji’s favourite Bhajans rendered. And it was so. His favourites and also  mine, “Vaishnava Janato…” and “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram Patita Pavan Sitaram, Ishwar Allah Tero Nam Sabako Sanmati De Bhagawan…” were sung.

As I heard these two Bhajans rendered mellifluously by Shampa Sharma, a Bengali and Girija Rajkumar, Mysuru, both teachers in BVB School, three thoughts crossed my mind. One was about Gandhiji’s extreme love and compassion for humanity transcending all of kinds of barriers — Geographical, Racial and Religion. Second was his love for Lord Rama as a divine Avatar and protector of the mankind. No wonder, even as he was assassinated at the age of 78 years on Jan. 30th 1948 and the assassin’s bullets pierced his fragile body,  his last breath uttered the words ‘Hey Ram’.

Singing for the glory of Mahatma: At the harmonium is seen Shampa Sharma and to her left Girija Rajkumar with children as supporting artistes

In fact, when the Supreme Court, at long lost, decided to decide on the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute case taking a two-pronged approach of Mediation and the Court, I thought, Ram Mandir for Gandhiji’s favourite divinity would be ready for his 150th birthday. Sadly, it did not happen. Reason, of course, is not far to seek. If only those whom he loved… Perish the thought.

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The third thought that crossed my mind was about Gandhiji’s staunch support to ‘Khilafat Movement’ in India despite reservation by a large section of Indians. It was a pan Islamic force that emerged in 1919, after World War I, in order to save and salvage the Ottoman Caliphate (in Turkey) as a symbol of unity among Muslim community in India during the British Raj. Wonder, if a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya could not also be a symbol of unity among Hindus after 72 years of Independence? Yes under Modi Raj?! Let it be.

Anyway, much as Gandhiji might have thought that supporting Khilafat Movement would help in India’s freedom struggle by getting total Muslim support, it did not happen that way. Instead it had, in a subtle way, helped division of India. And now after Pakistan was isolated internationally at the UNGA, the idea of reviving Caliphate seems to have surfaced under a new name — Islamic Renaissance. Turkish President Erdogan had said that                                                          solidarity among Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan “is necessary for the unity of the Islamic World”. Against whom? No prize for guessing.

Be that as it may, I am left wondering, like many, why was it that we Indians in a free India could not tolerate Gandhiji even for 6 months nor protect him from an assassin’s bullet when British kept him and protected him for 60 years under grave provocation. Destiny?

Whatever might be Gandhiji’s fads and foibles, even eccentricities and idiosyncrasies (of them there are many) there is absolutely not even an iota of doubt in my mind, from what little I have read about him, that he is the most sincere and honest person with an intellect as sharp as a razor’s edge. Like Dadagiri, his Gandhigiri worked well in taming the mighty imperialist British. His Brahmastras were non-violence, non-cooperation and civil disobedience — Satyagraha. It worked.

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I always remember Gandhiji’s words about seven social sins he has warned us about whenever I see our politicians, bureaucrats and business tycoons in jail. These seven social sins according to Mahatma Gandhi are:

1. Politics with out principles.

2. Wealth without work.

3. Commerce without morality.

4. Education without character.

5. Pleasure without conscience.

6. Science without humanity.

7. Worship without sacrifice.

Are we following these precepts of Mahatma? Let us introspect on his 150th birthday. As for me, I had personally paid my tribute to this mighty soul the day following his death by tonsuring my head as a mark of grieving at the Gurukul Ashram in Kengeri where I was. If there is anyone among my readers who has likewise tonsured his head please let me know.

Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai

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13 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Musings on Gandhi Jayanti”

  1. Strangeworld says:

    Would Mahatma be pleased to see the fruit of his effort in freeing India degenerated into: “what is in it for me” fervour driving corruption, nepotism,massive quick-rich methods among both politicians and people alike? Independent India is mired into the above cesspit. The purpose of celebrating his Jayanthi in this situation, sounds hypocritical when the politicians and people have betrayed him.

  2. Srikrishna Bhagwan says:

    crediting 100% to Mahatma for our Independence is debatable . Had WW II not happened Britain may had enough resource to
    drag its legs in giving Independence to India for some more time. WW II played decisive role and also the loss of Conservative
    party headed by Churchill had some effect on the outcome.

  3. Rahul says:

    Eventhough we got independence, it was not exactly independence that Gandhi envisioned! The selfish politicans used Gandhis’s closeness to manipulate India and we all got conned! Nation was handed over from one kind of colonialism to another kind of dynasty under the name of democracy and the entire nation was hoodwinked ! Even now supporters of dynasty is doings everything to thwart the democracy by giving their own version of truth!

  4. manava says:

    Look t What india was before British rule. Muslim rulers major and minor and plethora of minor Hindu chieftains of all kinds, fought each other through deceits and skulduggery. Dishonesty, corruption and backstabbing prevailed on a large scale. Indians think that before British rule it was a kind of Ramarajya! India was never destined to be a civilsed country, and perhaps Mahatma Gandhi wanted it to be, which was a mistake. He should have realised , what would happen after independence, given the above history of India. Even before 100 years after independence, the country has sunk as a swamp of selfish-derived institutionalised corruption There is no deliverance from this. Before Mahatma Gandhi, the country produced hundreds of saints and reformers unparalleled in the annals of any other country. Still, look at the moral degeneration that prevails!

  5. Srikrishna Bhagwan says:

    maybe Churchill was right. The concept of India is as artificial as the Equator …

  6. swamy says:

    Britishers did a favor by ruling India. India is united today, and also thanks to the efforts of Sardar Patel. My gripe with Gandhi and Nehru is, why did they not tour whole India from east to west, south to north, and collect the opinions of Indian public about partitioning the nation. They did this in a closed room to cater the whims and fancies of Jinnah. Who are they to unilaterally decide the nation to be divided? This was a major blunder. Why there was no protest all over India? Because somehow somebody started communal violence which lead to partition. Britishers left India hurriedly leaving Indians and Pakistanis to fend for themselves.. We are still paying price for this. I am not surprised that rogue nation might start a nuclear war in the future with a provocation from Chinese..

  7. manava says:

    @swamy. The partition was bound to happen, when the British were leaving. The mistake was that during partition, there had to be an exchange of population, so that most Muslims in India would have had the option to move to Pakistan, and the very few Hindus in Pakistan would have the option to move to India. This exchange process is nothing new as Greece and Turkey did this when both became independent.
    As for China, which is a superpower now, unlike the mere third world county India, India should be better served by friendship with Russia, which supported India in the last decades. I have no problem min saying this even though I live in a Western country. Modi is a fool to trust America-he is vulnerable for any selfies with Western leaders and that congregation in Texas simply simply mesmerised him-the poor man did not realise that it was a political stunt by Trump, who cares less about Modi and India, although , he pretends otherwise. Afghanistan bordering Pakistan means, Pakistan is milking what it can from America.

  8. swamy says:

    @Manava. Modi is not a fool to trust America. Lots of software money is being exchanged between the two countries and Modi cannot afford not to ignore that. If Trump is defeated, Modi will not go and console. It is a friendship of convenience like you scratch my back, I will scratch yours..

  9. manava says:

    @swamy You have no clue! I employed many so called Indian software engineers in the US, who are simply coders and the software they produce is verified for quality, often poor and the software money you mention may be huge for India, in terms of Indian Rupees, but is a pittance . China manufactures all Apple hardware products including iPhone and indeed most US manufacturing is gone to China. There is very sizeable Chinese community in Us and Chinese president does not go with wide eyes as this idiot Modi. Chine deals with US on equal terms as an economic and military superpower unlike India. Grow op to know the reality. That rally is mere show for Trump, but for this idiot Modi it is a game changer. Note, US. never supported India.

  10. Neenarigaadeyo Yele Manava says:

    @manava.. I have an observation to make! You must be an arrogant slob who never achieved anything in life and jealous of anybody who achieved something . Also suffering from a mental disorder and can’t digest that people may be better than you . May be you should see a psychiatrist soon while still there is hope!
    Here are the reasons why I she to this conclusion
    . According your view point,
    1. Modi who was elected twice o popular mandate in a democracy you call him an idiot
    2. He is well received by almost all nations as per you is a moron and AN under achiever
    3. All other people who comment in this section are clueless , you doing mind insulting them
    4. All software developers are coders who write buggy code and are useless ! If you have any braincells free of garbage, you must realixze, Today, in the world, more than 50 percent of the code is written by Indians, and equal number of software projects are managed by Indians! So, you must stop that medication immediately that is causing the hallucinations!
    5. All Indians for centuries are useless people!

  11. manava says:

    @Neenarigaadey Yours is a rant of a lunatic. It is your minimal brain cells count that drove you into this sate!

  12. manava says:

    Correction: State.

  13. strangeworld says:

    @Elemanava Twice-elected does not mean Modi is great. It means the Safron party is in ascendance. Reading what News says dos not mean Modi is loved by all countries. Believing this makes you an idiot.

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