GANDHI DAY

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Shashi Tharoor’s audacity has always made news. Come to think of it, we have to hand it to the guy for tweeting his way to turbulence more than once.
An interesting one is about Gandhi Day being a holiday did whisk me two years back to a train journey to Bangalore for a Theatre Festival on the 2nd of October. I remember an article in the supplement paper not about what the Gandhi did (the usual single page dedicated to history and significance), but whether most Indians have any idea about who the man was in the first place! (beat that).
Unpredictably not many Indians do.
There were rampant polls and surveys conducted about peoples’ basic knowledge of Mohandas Karamchand, and the outcomes were not merely to start a hilarious riot; they were merely flabbergasting. Gandhi the first President, Gandhi made salt, Gandhi built the Taj Mahal,the results were endless. It is a pity I never kept a copy of that paper.
Just like Tharoor, I did too wonder why we did not have to turn up for classes or go to work on Gandhi Jayanti, when there is a majority of the Indian populace who do not even have a clue about his identity.
Maybe Gandhi was better known to the non resident Indians since he had spent a considerable period of his life abroad.
I am not going to say awareness should be created, people should be educated, Gandhiji’s principles should be implemented and the like. People before me have arrived and left with the same note.
I am merely of the opinion that, for those who do remember this one man’s struggle against a great empire through his simple yet compelling life style, every single day should be honored in his name both in thought and action. A once in a year affair just does not seem fair; besides a day of ahimsa just would not make much difference to a country which has begun to see a lot of religious and political strife offlate.
I say, Gandhiji would be so embarrassed to see his baby all messed up. After all that stubbornness and starvation
For those who do not know or donot care, well maybe it is time to pick up those old school texts and start reading.
Reshma Raju
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