“Ideologies of great people are susceptible to being misinterpreted if they are worshipped as a tainted hero after death, worse if the same is already observed during his life.”
Dear Mohan Sir,
Though you are encountering the address of “Mohan Sir” for the first time, but I am sure you are not amazed by it. Sir, let me make it clear to you that it is neither that I have read some 10-12 pages of “My Experiments with Truth” nor a small visit to the nearby Charkha Center, which sparked an ephemeral desire to write to you so as to seek guidance on issues which are pertinent to India as well to Indians. Contrarily, it was after examining your political and social ideology, I came to know through your various articles. I admit some views expressed by other luminaries were of great help, but they were not easily understandable by mass public. The enchanting thing with you is that your ideology appeals to every common man. Even an illiterate can easily follow the path shown by you.
Before moving on, let me share a thought on why from now on I will address you as “Mohan Sir”. Please do not give me a stink-eye if I say the address “Mahatma” is the main culprit which diluted the perception of the masses towards you. Canny people have done all kinds of nefarious acts under your name. The common man is deliberately kept away from philosophies by certain groups with vested interests, except handing them pamphlets titled “Mahatma”. When the common man gets equipped with a rationale, he tries to examine you through the lens of “Mahatma”; and finally, in despair, he revolts against you. I am here with some queries for a simple, Gujarati Mohandas Gandhi, who was thrown out from a train because he was Indian.
This phenomenon can be understood by recent examples when the public had adopted violent means for a cause. In their defense, they cited Bhagat Singh and various other revolutionaries. What an irony Mohan Sir, Bhagat Singh and his colleagues had the utmost respect for peaceful protest. I am citing Bhagat Singh here, to show how much faith he had for the concept of “Non-violence” practiced by you.
“The sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting-stone of ideas. This is what we wanted to emphasise. Bombs and pistols do not make a revolution.” (Bhagat Singh)
Anyway I will not start a discussion with the petty question of why you failed to save Bhagat Singh and his revolutionaries, because I have a fine understanding between history and the coming future.
Moving on, you once said, “The day when girls can roam freely on streets during nights, India will be then a true free country.” Alas! The Guwahati incident, Hisar gangrap, honour killing in broad daylight are questioning you, is India an independent country?
Sir, Dalits and Tribals account for a staggering one-fourth of India’s total population. To give them the justice pending for a thousand years, you called them Harijan and Girijan respectively and fought for their rights. But Dalit and Tribal people are at same position where you left them. They are the primary victims of the so called development process. Almost every minute a Dalit or a Tribal person is murdered or raped or some other grievous offence is done against them.
Sir, I want to put a question that after the Chauri-Chaura incident you called back the Non-Cooperative Movement, as per your opinion India was not ready for freedom. Yet, after knowing the above facts, should we surrender our independence? To whom?
Sir please explain to the youth of our country that the freedom movement had nothing to do with the Caliphate movement, but still you extended full support to it. A bunch of fanatics which are present in every sect, are doing every bit in their power to tear the social fabric of India. Going on the lines of the Caliphate movement, the rational youth of India is on the way of respecting each other’s religion. But Mohan Sir, in your time you tackled issue of religion in a sophisticated manner and here, now, is a Pandora box of various similar issues. Maharastra, where you met your political guru Govind Gokhale is no more an accommodating place for people from Bihar, the same Bihar you opted to visit first to know about ground reality of country. A Brahmin is jealous of Thakur and a Thakur is jealous of Dalit. Fanatic Hindus want to kick out those who shy away from worshipping Lord Rama, while fundamentalists are destroying statues of Buddha, the epitome of non-violence and peace. The Car owner did not a want biker near him while a biker wants a road free from cyclists. And nowhere is the youth interested in solving the situation; a situation showing the path of peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit.
Mohan Sir, I admit that youth are becoming materialistic day by day and refuse to face the problems, which may take the form of a cancer for the future India. However, do not get disheartened; didn’t you stage various religious and social events on the stand of entertainment? You knew the pulse of youth. The only thing is to channelize this materialism in the proper direction. With new technology, the youth is gathering under a single roof of deep thinking. The evidence lies in the huge support of your follower Anna Hazare. It’s a different matter that the charm of Anna is no more, but Sir it is pleasing enough that the youth is engaging in serious dialogue.
Mohan Sir, this 2nd Oct I have decided to plea no more for your re-incarnation. You have sent many angels in the form of Jaiprakash Narayan, Vinobha Bhave, Sunderlal Bahuguna and many more. This time we are going to read your soul. The soul which cannot be destroyed by a random tweeter praising Nathuram Godse. Sir, following your footsteps we have forgiven Nathuram for his ideology. Democracy needs diversity to groom but even if you came to the rescue of Nathuram, we are sorry, for us human life is the most precious thing on this planet.
In the end I swear to create your identity as a real counselor for the Indian masses. I again want to emphasize that it is a great time to free you from the image of “Mahatma”. Let yourself be the same immortal person who stood by his principles, against the wishes of his son. The same immortal man who had the guts to discuss his mis-adventures with celibacy. The same immortal man who had committed the mistake of not giving a position to Subash Chandra Bose. Let me introduce you to my little brother as “Mohandas ji”. Wish you and your astro-twin Lal Bhadur Shastri a happy birthday, spreading a new and youthful renaissance.