Anna and Gandhi

Nitesh Chaudhary belongs to the 2K10/EEE batch of the Delhi Technological University/ Delhi College of Engineering. He many-a-times happens to board the same metro as me and that does lead to some fruitful-mostly-political discussions. He also has a knack to find people to debate with other than his batch-mates or people from his university or any other college for that matter. He doesn’t really blog, though he could be found here.

Here, he talks about the conflicts in ideologies between Gandhi and Anna. Read on.

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Source: Google Images

Had the familiar figure of “Munnabhai Lagey Raho’s” Gandhi’s phantom met Anna today, what possibly would they have talked? Would the two old men discuss forgiveness, punishment or their ideas’ superiority over the other?

While Gandhi became a Mahatma by his service to the needy, and strengthened them from inside he did not believe in just ‘organising’ rallies. His methods were clear- “I follow my conscience, and the ones awakened by my call follow me.” At no point in his life, did he resort to accusations of the British. What he did however was do the right thing the right way-his way. People stood up against him and he gave himself no day to rest to take a break. His actions were little different inside and outside the jail that he entered and exited quite regularly- spinning the charkha and doing his common chores himself. The old- figure kept walking with only a stick to support him and the nation followed. The independence was hard to come but eventually it did. Gandhi was Mahatma to the world and a common man to himself. His visions were bold but the methods too novice. It was no doubt a blot in India’s history when he muttered ‘Hey Ram.’

Years passed and generations changed. We came to saw another movement that reminded us of our freedom struggle. The struggle for independence had begun again, with hopes that it does not take a two century period to accomplish the job left undone. The methods were different, the euphoria was different, and the old man in his ‘I am Anna’ cap would walk out of air conditioned SUVs to address the media. The words were stronger, the allegations intense. What followed was unpredictable –a split in the movement, discontent in ideologies of the various factions and reports of individual ridicule among team members. The news channels who apotheosised the same Gandhian figure to Mahatma’s stature would grill him with gruesome questions and his actions’ credibility. The figure was reduced to null after a year of limelight. And the viewers too are content with the hotter topics of the ruling party’s leader’s son in law. The shift in focus reflects our mercurial nature. What we said yesterday no longer holds valid, and after all we have to move on. Surely this was the attitude that is attributed for our two century long captivity. But servile attitudes die hard, and for people like us, sab chalta hai.

It’s high time we realise who we raise to the statures of our freedom struggle heroes, and if we do, we respect their ideals and struggles. The independence came when the country’s poorest joined the struggle and, in its true meaning shared the struggle with their life. Only if we learn from our counterparts seventy decades back in time can we see another wave of unrest sweep a revolution and see ourselves deserve  the ‘Anna cap,’ for it’s not ballyhoo but transformation what our leaders wish.

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