Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Need to break the Gandhian Myth.

Few months back a right wing magazine in Kerala published an interview with a former Naxalite in Kerala. The cover page of the magazine itself read almost like this . "Civic Chandran defects from Maoism to Gandhism. In fact Civic Chandran had left Marxism- Leninism-Mao thought (that time it was only Mao thought and not Maoism) decades back and these lines were aimed at deceiving the new generation who didn't know of this former Naxalite. This tactics of upholding Gandhi is widely applied these days to counter the Dalit, Adivasi uprising seen in India under the leadership of the Maoist forces. But is Gandhi a model as is made out by them? Was he a genuine saint of peace? Was his approach to the Dalit, Adivasis of India right? Was he a democrat? The answer to all these questions forces us to believe otherwise. The truth is that he is a false model to be defeated.

And no other incident has exposed Gandhi as his fasting in Yerawada Jail has done . It was in 1932 September 20, in opposition to B.R.Ambedkar's demand for separate electorates for the Untouchables, Gandhi started his indefinite fast. Following this moral blackmail from Gandhi Ambedkar had to give in as he feared a wide village backlash against the Dalits. In fact we have seen this kind of backlash in India against the Sikhs, Muslims and Christians. And this Yerawada episode speaks volums to us on Gandhi. Though Gandhi always spoke of pacifism, here his pacifism falls flat. His message to Ambedkar was clear. Obey me or face the consequence. It was the lives of millions of Dalits in India and Ambedkar had no other option but to give in. Though Gandhi succeeded in his fast, as Gail Omvedt wrote, "the fast represented a failure of non-violence . In fact Ambedkar posed a unique problem to Gandhi's whole non violent methodology." And this incident once again exposed the caste Hindu in Gandhi.

Though he spoke of democracy and all, Gandhi didn't know what democracy meant. He would make decisions and others were only to obey it. If somebody expressed dissent, he would go on fast as we saw in Yerawada. All the great leaders of the time would rush towards his ahsram and pray to him to stop but he wouldn't listen unless his conditions are accepted--any conditions, undemocratic, dictatorial and idiotic.

So no wonder the right wing find Gandhi so dear. But for the people he is a model to be defeated. He is a myth to be broken.
Watch this video 'Pacifying Resistance'

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