It took a lot of speeches, numerous fasts, howling Britishers, panegyric followers, hotshot journalists and a Bapu to make Indians realise the importance of non-violence, truth and love. This was 63 years ago. 4 years back, Mr. Raj Kumar Santoshi got an idea that made his protagonist the most talked about character in India. All he needed was a movie that was a boffo at the box office, an illustrious Munna Bhai and some publicity to make people talk about the same antediluvian reforms so lucratively renamed as “gandhigiri”.
A lot of questions come up at this point. How is it possible for a group of people to enter a theatre with a set of ideals and come out with a completely different set? Are we so easy to influence? How was it possible for people who did not believe in all that Gandhi preached to send “get well soon” cards to their enemies after the movie “Lagey raho…”? Just because some “Munna Bhai” said it was right? Why was it so difficult for us to understand the same things when a man in flesh and blood went all round the country trying to make people understand what he was saying?
Whatever be the case… Indians today are divided into a section of the population for whom Gandhinian path is the right one to follow, and a section that opposes that idea. All of us are distinguished individuals with our own thoughts and opinions. We don’t need to follow a particular course. None of us will be called demons if we don’t want to trust what Bapu said.
The world today is very different from what it was back then. We need to change our track with the change of situation. If we start going in for gandhigiri today, we’ll surely be screwed up like hell in a few situations. What if you are not done with your project on the deadline and you tell your ferocious boss the truth that you have been partying hard for the last two weeks and not working at all? What if you tell your girlfriend the immaculate truth that you were with her friend last night? Man….don’t even think of trying that.
I am sure you will slap back the person who hits you no matter who is right. If you are a famous person and somebody does not charge you for a bus ticket if you don’t have money, you will surely not have the intentions to give the money when you have it. We live in a world that is not suitable for things that we don’t believe in. We have gotto do things that seem right at a particular place.
So there’s no need to make a fuss of the fact you a die-hard fan of Gandhi and a friend of yours is not. Do what you think is right. And there is no hard and fast rule that decides what is black and what’s white.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.