Gandhi : Then and Now

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or our very own Bapu has shaped India into a country like no other in the world. In terms of philosophy, beliefs, unified society and a peace loving nation that has struggled hard for its own identity and survival. There are many principles that Bapu has taught us and we as Indians follow them in our every day practices morally. In fact, we have adopted Gandhian beliefs as a base of our Constitution. There is no way that anyone could ever be able to diminish the impression of Mahatma Gandhi on India. But what about diversion? That certainly can be done and has been happening since a long period.

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The name 'Gandhi' itself carries a philosophy but have we been confusing ourselves with a different ideology instead of Bapu's just because of the name? Besides how is the name yet in existence when, the current Gandhi family has nothing to do with M K Gandhi or with any Gandhi whatsoever? Rahul Gandhi is not a descendant of Bapu, and the family which is entirely responsible for the Congress Party has no relation with Mahatma Gandhi. Then how come Indians confuse them with Mahatma Gandhi and Gandhian principles as the principles of Congress? What is the difference between 'Gandhi then and now'?

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The Indian National Congress, established in 1885, was at that time the only national party formed to attain Swarajya. Therefore, absolutely any influential leader in pre - independent India was associated with INC. Mahatma Gandhi worked with the Congress leaders in the later phase of the freedom struggle when, Indian freedom struggle adopted a peaceful path to deal with British oppression. Although Mahatma Gandhi was not the first one to call for a unified freedom movement, beyond the demarcation of caste and religion, but he can be counted as one of the most potential people who were practically able to eradicate this divide, to a wider extent. Mahatma Gandhi had strengthened the Indian freedom struggle with the simplest of actions and made a huge difference.

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His involvement in the National movement had become a big challenge for the British. One major reason for this was the unification of Indian masses which gave an alarming challenge to the British 'Divide and rule' policy. This is what Mahatma Gandhi did, selflessly, only to attain Swarajya. Now lets jump to what the current Gandhi family has been doing in this regard. In spite of desperate efforts to unite Indians, people were divided into the minority mindset leading to social disintegration. Congress is known for the Muslim appeasing politics and this dominantly starts from the Shah Bano Case which not only went against the principles of Mahatma Gandhi but also created internal tensions among the party. Regarding the case, when the SC had given its judgement in favor of Shah Bano, the Rajiv Gandhi led government passed the 1986 Muslim Women Act which eventually diluted the SC decision. The whole incident was an outcome of Minority appeasing policies of Congress, which later created tensions within the party as well.

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The Gandhian principles of social equality were put on stake by today's Gandhis to fulfill their aim of minority politics. The name 'Gandhi' had been contradicted by the family in its approach to gain its political ambitions in today's time. There are many theories in fact, to explain how the family is not actually 'Gandhi' and is merely using the name for their political convenience. No matter whichever theory one may believe, but each one suggests that the surname was adopted by Indira Gandhi after marrying Feroz Khan only in consideration of the political calculations.
So let us all understand the fundamental, ideological and philosophical difference in the Gandhis of today and yesterday, to become sensible citizens of the nation. Let us get our facts cleared before we confuse the Father of our nation with a family driven by personal political agendas.
- Himali Nalawade