What is Gandhi’s greatest gift? He made the British go away, made them feel ashamed of themselves as the greatest champions of human values. They were so ashamed it was a coloured person born in a heathen, uncivilized and non-Christian country, who was considered the greatest champion of all that is most glorious and worthy of the values of the human civilization! Not only that, he also made them realise that it was impossible for them to rule over a country that was ready to submit itself to the violence of their armed forces, he made Indians capable of fighting the strongest imperialistic power in all human history bare handed. This was no small achievement, in the backdrop of the most recent history of the world which had seen the likes of of Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo– the great Barons of power! But though Gandhi gave Indians freedom, it was Indians themselves who murdered him. Though Gandhi took away Britain’s imperialistic power, denied her the luxury of ruling over one of the greatest colonies, something the British so much prided themselves of, it was not the British who murdered Gandhi. It is an conundrum of history– why did the British not kill Gandhi? Knowing as they did that he was their greatest adversary, and that it would be so easy for them to get rid of him and remove him from the scenealtogether, they did it not. They knew first hand how a Christ is born and a religion founded. So, they quietly went back, relinquishing their great empire. On the other hand we Indians, who were given their freedom by the Mahatma conspired to get him out of the way! There must be some deep moral into it! If we look at it in some depth, we will realise that none among us was interested in his life or death. After India became independent, what the Indians realized was that they had always wanted independence not for the sake of abolishment of absolute oppression but for the sake of abolishment of oppression at the hands of outsiders. They wanted to oppress each other instead. The stronger among them wanted to have the power to subjugate the weaker, this is what has transpired in the seven decades of our Independence. We’ve become skilled in the art of subjugation. Gandhi on the other hand counselled us to surrender our powers. He wanted Indians to adopt a new way of life, to evolve a new concept of Civilization, for which few among us were ready or even prepared. They wanted to gather and shout slogans in Gandhi’s name and to participate in his various movements without even understanding what they stood for. The only thing they could see was that it was leading them somewhere and that it was an embarrassment for the British and was making things impossible for them. But with the British gone for good, Indians themselves were not ready to tolerate those obnoxious ideas of Gandhi. So, though it is a fact that a person named Nathuram, a fanatic minded religious begot, shot Gandhi, he was just a sham, the real face behind him were all those who went to touch his feet everyday, but were ready now to do without him, for what they were really after was to take power in their own hands. The story of our democracy has been the story of power struggle in name of various theories and principles. But with Gandhi gone, no one any longer believes in the principles and ideals forwhich he lived and laid down his life.
- Anand Bahadur