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Showing posts from October, 2018

Good Bye, Gandhi!

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L.K. Sharma
Mainstream, VOL LVI No 44 New Delhi October 20, 2018
It was the best day for Gandhi, it was the worst day for Gandhi. The President, Prime Minister, Governors and Chief Ministers paid tributes to Gandhi’s memory, some Hindu nationalists took to social media to pay tributes to Gandhi’s killer, thousands garlanded Gandhi’s statues, a few saffron-clad Hindus garlanded his killer’s statue, the world celebrated Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2 as Nonviolence Day, some countries marking the day by violent thoughts and deeds. In India, the day saw police action against poor farmers trying to enter Delhi to highlight their plight. Indian political leaders read out homilies, they sucked morality out of politics, they called on the nation to follow the Gandhian path, while their govern-ments promoted economic policies that went against Gandhi’s vision.

In seminars and TV studios, some said Gandhi was more relevant today, some others said Gandhi was outdated in the modern age. Ga…

Iron man: In flesh and blood

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Rajmohan Gandhi Indian Express 28 October 2018
Can we get to know, today in our 21st century, a heart that began its life in the 19th century and expired in the middle of the 20th? Researching the Sardar in the late 1980s, I was staggered by his self-sacrifice.

On the 31st of this month, when his mammoth statue is unveiled, India will see the Sardar raised to the sky.
Here’s a slice of history. On 15 January 1948, rebutting stories that Vallabhbhai Patel was a reason for his latest fast, Gandhi frontally rebuked the Sardar’s critics for, as he put it, “isolating [Patel], a lifelong and faithful comrade, from Pandit Nehru and me, whom they gratuitously raise to the sky”. (Collected Works 90: 427)
Privately or publicly, some will portray the unveiling as Patel’s liberation, 68 years after his death, from Gandhi and Nehru, and congratulate the statue for soaring past Gandhi and Nehru, leaving the latter two stranded on mere earth. Others may want to know what the flesh-and-blood Vallabhbhai w…