Bapu was a man of vision. He had a vision for independent India, for how our villages should be and for how women emancipation is possible. Owing to the extremely motivated efforts he made, all his visions saw bear fruits. He had a very different methodology of getting things done and one of them was the Dandi March. How would he have thought that in the decades to come, politicians would exploit his peaceful marches in their political avatar as ‘rallies’ to win the game of power? Thus, when we remember his ways today on the anniversary of the ‘Dandi March’, we see two of Gandhisms uniting: Women emancipation and the Dandi march. Sonia, UPA chief; Mayawati UP CM and BSP supremo and Sushma swaraj, BJP’s national executive member. All women, all emancipated and all were at the helm of recent rallies. Love for Gandhi at its height (Let the sarcasm not be missed).
Mahatma Gandhi organized the Dandi March to register the protests of millions of Indians who were in grave economic crunch due to the heavily taxed production of salt. If his motive was to break into the territory of the British, then Mayawati too, had the same motive. The only difference is that she wanted to break into the territory of the Congress in Delhi. After conquering in UP, this PM-hopeful made a successful attempt at Delhi in the MCD elections and to reiterate the same, she organized her ‘bhaichara’ rally ahead of assembly elections in the state. If Mahatma’s march gave shivers to the British Empire, then Congress faced the same, as it has already lost UP to BSP. Sonia may be not be a Gandhi-born, but she truly lives up to her surname, as she successfully did her PR exercise after making the FM announce waiver for the farmers. Though Bapu aimed at uniting India by marching his way to glory, all that Sonia wanted was to retain the famous ‘aam-aadmi’ flavour of her party and get to the power again. Thus, Delhi saw Dhanyawad rally which Congress sponsored for itself, humorous, though it may seem. Her move may not benefit many farmers at the ground level but she has tried to do a stunt of gandhigiri bole toh benevolence. Gandhiji were of the view that true emancipation for women comes when they participate in every activity of nation-building. If seen in that light, what BJP’s Sushma Swaraj did by organizing ‘Arakshan’ rally (to demand 33% reservation for women in Parliament) was truly gandhian. However, one can not still term it so because such a move coming around elections seems to be another way of wooing female electorate for 2009 elections. Gandhi’s vision is seeing a new reality everyday but what one needs to ask is whether this is really what Bapu wanted.Monica Verma
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mon_oeil/2235952894/]