There is one famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” Poor Mahatma, even after so many years after his death, he could not prevent dirty feet moulding his brains for their political gains. All this, even after Gandhiji was always abused and accused by BJP and its support group for separating India and Pakistan. He was always addressed as separatist by this same ruling party and its leaders. RSS pracharak Nathuram Godse is worshiped by these people for killing Gandhi. All of sudden, BJP and its supporters are paying homage to one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite tenets – ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ – a weeklong cleanliness drive has been planned in connection with Gandhi Jayanti?
Mahatma Gandhi was the person who has given ‘Freedom’ to India from British-rule by employing non-violent, civil disobedience. Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world. The son of a senior government official, Gandhi was born and raised in a Hindu Bania community in coastal Gujarat, and trained in law in London. Gandhi became famous by fighting for the civil rights of Muslim and Hindu Indians in South Africa, using new techniques of non-violent civil disobedience that he developed. Returning to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants to protest excessive land-taxes. Mahatma was lifelong opponent of “communalism and hard core secular”. He loved everyone equally; rather he was more concerned about minorities and Dalits of this country. Whereas BJP is communal party and they always had hate agenda for minorities. This cleanliness drive by Modi gives many indications and exposes hidden agenda. Modi is known as a Muslim hater and he is symbolised as extremist and violent leader post Godhra riots. Moreover, RSS is hated by most of the seculars for killing Gandhi. Somewhere even too much hype for Sardar Patel was damaging Modi’s image. They selected Gandhi Jayanti to repair their tarnished image. By doing this, RSS and BJP are snatching the national leader who is known as Congress leader.
There are some personalities in every country who are respected by everyone like Gandhi. However, Gandhi is such a personality who is respected and followed by all over the world. So, there is nothing wrong if Modi is using his name for good in whatever manner he deems fit. A person like Gandhi may not be relevant today with change in human attitude, increasing possessiveness resulting from crave for money and materialistic pleasure and absence of a “true leadership”. Democracy becomes meaningful and continuing only when it is for the people. Gandhiji came back to India, relinquishing his lucrative law practice in South Africa, with a single Mission: to win Freedom from British Colonial rule. Freedom was finally achieved on August 15, 1947, through his astute leadership. He was then killed by a group, who seem to have their own ideas! Probably that was the way it has to be – India’s need of a Gandhi is over, although his name is often evoked for something or the other – a sort of gimmick and hypocrisy. Gandhi himself had advocated relinquishing of ministerial “chair” and going to the people at grass roots to develop India – the villages. He had envisioned a system of Governance where the “weight” of the Parliament should not crush the more than 638000 villages – each village would be the power center, where there would be about 1000 souls – the souls of India. However, that is forgotten, and self-centered rule is the practice, on whims and fancies of some individuals.
MK Gandhi’s political ideas may not be fountain head for political masters who have earned mandate to run the government today but the ideologies still remain relevant when viewed from the prism of inclusive democracy. Most of the problems in this world are related to our perception. Even Mahatma Gandhi couldn’t shield Indian sub-continent from the vicissitudes of artificiality in the world of politics. While Gandhi treated the colonial masters as trust worthy fellow human beings, they proved to be conmen interested in leaving a gaping wound in the psyche of the sub-continent. Truncated India and the newly formed Pakistan wasted their energies for almost 70 decades, drawn into the whirl pool of tragedy left by the British. Both these nations continue to pump in all their energies to hate each other. Political class in India evolved to a replica of the erstwhile collaborators.
Anyways, Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated with enthusiasm this time around as the Indian people really connected with the Swachh Bharat campaign launched by the PM. Apart from non-violence, a clean surrounding was always advocated by Gandhi and it was great to see people evoking the same for a common benefit. Keeping public spaces clean needs collaboration between local bodies and the citizens. Decentralised segregation and compositing of organic waste and recycling of plastic by industry are necessary. Local bodies are always short of cash and beg for money before state governments. We need to depoliticise the local bodies as Gandhiji envisaged it. Professional local administrators can bring about a huge impact. By the way, whose job is it to build and maintain sufficient number of public toilets? Why is there not a mission for this? Political or non-political, Modi had launched a noble venture, clean India is need of today and also due respect to all those national leaders who got us independence is also necessary, combining both was applaudable initiative, irrespective of the intent.
Let us all keep this Gandhi vision of Clean India and Green India.