“A man is but a product of his thoughts.”
This year marked the 72nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, along with Gandhi, irony also died a thousand deaths yesterday. The current situation of the nation reflects the idea of extremism over constitutionalism. Mahatma Gandhi was a person who never believed in the idea of violence, remember the Chauri Chaura incident? It was a huge success until it turned out into a violent massacre, and ultimately, it was Gandhi who called off the movement.
On 30th January 2020, another incident took place in a similar manner, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia was attacked with a fire shot by a person named Gopal. He did this in the presence of the local police. Gandhi has already been assassinated, but now, his ideology is being choked to death by these goons.
India got independence with the help of Non-cooperation and Non-violence movement(s), but now, it seems that asking for freedom from fascism, discrimination, communalism and violence is in itself an offence. It is really strange that a law like sedition, which was introduced by the Britishers to exploit the freedom fighters, is being used as a tool to curb dissent. There is a group of extremists who celebrate Republic day as ‘Black day’, but there is a problem when Advocate Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav assert their freedom to walk through the streets to remember Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary.
One cannot exclude Gandhi from the freedom movement, because, without Gandhi, the idea of Ahimsa and truth is incomplete. There was a time when Mahatma Gandhi and Dr B.R. Ambedkar were not on good terms, but even then, he urged Pandit Nehru to ensure that Ambedkar was part of the drafting committee of the Constitution.
Being a student of law, I know the difference between the ‘rule of law’ and ‘rule of men’. The current situation of the country is somehow like the hedonic calculus, and higher pleasure is equivalent to justice, but what about the lower pain? The pain which everyone is going through in the country: politicians are talking about religion and citizens are worried about employment and economy. India has enough lawyers, doctors, actors, but now we need more politicians.
Peaceful protest is a right vested with every citizen of this country, either it is by assembling peacefully without arms or protesting through your ‘pen’. The force which is being used by the local police on the students is in all sense, not ‘appropriate’ as defined by the criminal code. I remember the night of 15th December 2019, when my university was vandalized, along with the idea of a university.
Mahatma Gandhi is not amongst us, but his vision is always there. The state is using Gandhi as a product, not as a vision. One cannot follow his ideas, just by wearing ‘Khadi’, one needs to understand the idea behind Khadi and how it gave livelihood to the people of the country during the colonial period.
Let us remember the Father of this Nation and pledge to follow the path of Ahimsa and truthfulness. Long live the struggle, long live Mahatma Gandhi.