In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi admitted to his misdeeds and uncovered his wrongdoings. Disclosing one’s immoralities in an autobiography is no easy task. This probably defines the eminence of the Mahatma.
I remember during my secondary years of education a few years ago, I used to hate Gandhi, my mind had the corrupt image of him. Actually I wasn’t a bona fide learner while studying Gandhi. During those years, I didn’t try to understand him accurately, I was believing whatever I heard; or I was following a rumoured notion of him.
But things are different now. Today I believe Gandhi is a robust persona, he was a tough man. He was a nationalist. Achieving Independence in 1947 wouldn’t have been possible without him. He proved what the power of peace is. He showed the world that non-violence is strong. He demonstrated that love can triumph over hatred. He was the protector of civil rights. A lawyer who advocated freedom.
He was a successful barrister and his welfare works in South Africa made him a national hero of Africa, but his life journey in South Africa was not that easy. While residing over there, he faced discrimination because of his skin colour – he was attacked by mobs, people spit on him, and he was humiliated many times.
He fought against racial discrimination and helped black South Africans in gaining their right to vote. South Africa helped Mahatma in developing his ethics. His advocacy of winning hate with love made him the champion of truth.
Victorious Gandhi left South Africa and arrived in his homeland, India, to fight against the British. His arrival brought hope for freedom fighters. India desperately needed a person like him.
He left the legacy of Suit & Tie and adopted Dhoti & Shawl. He fought for peasants and labourers. He fought against the devilish practice of discrimination on the basis of caste. He tried his best to erase casteism from the Indian society. He played a chief role in constructing Hindu-Muslim unity. At that time, India was badly suffering from casteism and communal violence, and it was a social evil that was aiding the British to rule India fearlessly. Gandhi knew that without defeating casteism and communal violence, it was impossible to win Swaraj.
He undertook several fast unto deaths to earn freedom for India. Even at the age of 78, his mighty patriotic soul allowed him to practice fast unto death. He was imprisoned for many years.
Gandhi’s freedom movement is a long struggle. He didn’t leave the struggle even after many defeats. He was a strong man who fought with peace instead of gun.
From, Champaran Satyagraha in 1917 to the Quit India movement in 1942, he delivered everything for India’s Independence. He spent half of his lifetime demanding a free India.
I appreciate Gandhi but I also criticise him for some of his stands. As we all know, no human is perfect, and Gandhi was no alien. And I don’t hate Bose. Please stop thinking that if someone praises Bose, that person hates Gandhi or vice-versa. I accept that there were differences between the ideologies of Mahatma and Bose. No problem. Don’t kill their values and contributions by debating over that.
October 2 is the international day of non-violence; I thought of writing this and sharing this because I have seen many people, specially younger generations, using foul languages for Gandhi. They should educate themselves with correct facts before destroying and disrespecting the Mahatma. You can find few faults with him and criticise him for that, but please stop ignoring his contributions and learn to admire his services to the nation.
Moreover, Gandhi was not in favour of ‘Divide India’; in fact, he didn’t celebrate August 15 because his country was seeing communal riots due to the partition.
There are many misconceptions about Gandhi. Do not fuel such misguided statements without genuine and authentic study.
Let’s make his dream of Swachh Bharat a reality, and not believe in rumours.