When the world celebrates Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, the question arises how far his own country has done justice to his philosophy and dreams. Prime minister Narendra Modi spoke at a special UN programme organized by India on the topic ' Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in ther contemporary world'. He stated that Gandhiji inspired the ideals of democratic leaders not only in India but in the entire world. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela belong to that class of leaders. The prime minister also asked the UN to release a special commemorative stamp on Gandhi Jayanti.
To pay tributes to Gandhi, India not only released stamps but also implemented 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'; another program was the international cleanliness conference and in Rajkot 'Mahatma Gandhi Museum' was also launched. A separate website was opened exclusively for memories of Gandhi. At the same time, during these celebrations, a question that arises in the minds of crores of people is what the state of affairs of his own country is. For, it is not by following the 'ideal s of Mahatma' but by rejecting them that political leaders conduct themselves. The freedom won under his leadership is being denied to the common people of the country. Truth, morality and non-violence are publicly ridiculed. Unity becomes an outdated concept. Democracy becomes a mere game of numbers and the multiplication of gagging laws. Even political activity itself has become synonymous unholy power hunting.
The world view of Gandhi, who had said 'my life is my message', is founded on the twin ideals of truth and non-violence. But the decadence of the post-truth era has gripped even the higher echelons of powe r in India. Words devoid of honesty and full of hypocrisy abound. Ruling the roost are those whose word and deed have no congruence. Even those at the top of the ruling elite, take the initiative to spread fake news about sections they loathe. History is being rewritten. Everywhere, from parliament to public platforms to social media, adulterated news have become rampant. In the country of Gandhi – who proved that non-violence is the most powerful political weapon - mob lynchings have come to enjoy the tacit approval of governments. While victims get more and more tortured, the culprits enjoy the protection of the government. Those who directly opposed Gandhiji's non-violence habits and peace missions are in power now. There are many among legislators and ministers who openly justify Gandhiji's assassin and even praise him. The worldview of hate that created Godse not only is reminiscent of Germany's Nazis and Italian Fascists but even copies them. The loyalty of the anti-Gandhi school including Golwalkar, is not to the egalitarianism of Gandhiji but to the hegemonistic world view behind South Africa's apartheid and Israeli Zionism. It is such a belligerent and hate-inspired ideology that created not only Godse but also the culture of ultra nationalism. And the current rulers captured power on the back of the same ideals. Therefore, those who give the lead to the 150th anniversary of Gandhi jayanti, should do that only after decrying the philosophy that physically liquidated him, at least now; that is what honesty dictates.
Together with truth and non-violence, another value upheld by the Father of the Nation was trust. What the central government does in Kashmir is the exact opposite of that. When the prime minister says during his speech in New York that everything is fine in India, an entire people in Kashmir are suffering in an enlarged jail, as testified by fact-finding teams. In the country of Gandhiji, who had delcared that Hindus, Muslims, Christians and other sections are all Indians entitled to equal rights, rules are being issued that divides people based on communities. In the same land of the leader who had strived hard to win freedom, rights and sense of security, the government has started its hunting with the torture machinery called citizens' list. It is in the same India of Gandhi, who had said that when any law is made the poorest citizen should be kept in mind that common people become paupers and giant corporates fatten themselves. It would be better to ask which among the values of love, k kindness, secularism, commitment to popular will and freedom, survive now. Our betrayal of the Father of the Nation has gone that far. And if that is going to continue, the only gain would be that with each repeating Gandhi Jayanti we will be assassinating him again and again. Every word uttered in his praise while staying rooted in the ideology that killed him, would be hypocritical. If leaders are not able to declare a clear standpoint between Godse and Gandhi, all the current celebrations will become hollow lies. And preaching love for Gandhi, while remaining a Godse fan, would be another sin.