It is apparent that Prime minister Narendra Modi is an ardent fan of Mahatma Gandhi. Time and again, he mentioned how much he was inspired by Gandhiji. In the initial years of his tenure, the PM started his pet project ‘Swatch Bharat Abhiyan’ with the inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi ji is revered not only in India but also all over the world as an icon of peace and non-violence. All humans are fallible but what Gandhiji said or did is infallible to many in India specially to most of the intellectuals. Sadhvi Pragya calling Godse a patriot: he was, is and will remain as a patriot and Kamal Hassan (actor, politician and head of a political party) calling Godse, a Hindu terrorist – both are reprehensible.
Terrorist is a ‘boo’ word in any case. Could the same be used for Tamil guerrillas of LTTE by Kamal Hassan? No. They’re freedom fighters and Liberation Tigers. They are also driven by ideology and eliminated people on their way. So, the word terrorist leaves plenty of room for argument, given that its interpretation will depend on the hearers’ ideological position on the one side or other of the conflict.
Even in the textbooks of students Nathuram Godse’s excessive love for his country is mentioned. Anything beyond the limit goes astray. It’s also mentioned that he did his Pranams to Mahatma before shooting him for the kind of service Gandhiji had rendered to the country. Godse recognised Gandhiji to be highly patriotic, however he differed with Gandhiji’s ideology of appeasing Muslim minority. Godse’s assassination of Gandhiji vilified Godse so much so that he became a villain in the minds of people. Extremism is never tolerated in this country whatever the motive behind it arguably.
Kamal Hassan has a fad to bash Hindus. He has no qualms in making a terrorist out of them. A number of FIRs are readily waiting to be registered on him and he is seeking for an anticipatory bail. The United Nations (the biggest international body for bringing peace among nations in the world) has not been able to give a definition of “terrorist “. But Kamal Hassan so easily mouths and names Godse with the term without knowing the repercussions. In the public perception Kamal Hassan is a known Hindu baiter. However, Sadhvi Pragya should have chosen her words carefully. Of course, she said coolly and clearly that ‘Godse is Deshbhakt’. That begs the question – as to why he killed another Deshbhakt Gandhiji?
Hindus in India would not condone violence. Buddhism and Jainism of extreme non-violence kind originated in India. Hence in the light of most peace loving religions both Kamal Hassan and Sadhvi Pragya’s statements are under snide, suspicion and scanner by the people. In Sadhvi Pragya’s case which is related to Gandhiji, who is the father of this nation, she should have been more careful. As far as Gandhiji is concerned, he is the most venerated figure in India.
By any means, the press would like to drag the politicians out.
For them, right now, the most vulnerable and susceptible one seemed to be Sadhvi Pragya with her uncouth and unbridled statements. They asked Sadhvi Pragya’s reaction on what Kamal Hassan had said somewhere in south India in his election campaign. She reacted to it in the manner she thought to be right, by totally forgetting that she belonged to a responsible political party. Imagining what the rippling effect of her statements could be on the on- going elections, the party went into a damage control mode. In the humdrum, hectic violent campaign of West Bengal, hopefully the murky statements of these two politicians go into dust.
All told, Mahatma Gandhi was an epitome of all Hindu values which the Hindutva proponents yearn for viz. vegetarianism, prohibition of liquor, Gau-Raksha, eating of Satvic food, punctuality, honesty, integrity, morality and austerity in one’s personal life. It’s said that Gandhiji is remembered in the early morning prayers of RSS Shakhas for being the greatest leader of this country.
As far as in Indian intellectual circles and with well-meaning citizens, to criticise or a make a comment on Gandhiji is deplorable. Anything regarding Gandhiji is a ‘no-go’ area. Having entered into that terrain of ‘no-go’, Sadhvi Pragya’s apology should put to rest the topic and the likely fall-out.