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Mahatma Gandhi's Assassination - the tragedy retold!
The reality is stranger than fiction.

While the world was remembering the Apostle of Peace on his 71st death anniversary, also celebrated and known as Martyr's Day, the RSS / BJP's sister acolyte 'Hindu Mahasabha' decided to recall Mahatma in their own way.

They celebrated Mahatma Gandhi's assassination by shooting Mahatma Gandhi's effigy and garlanding the statue of his assassin Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who was once a devoted member of RSS. Of course, we all know that Right Wingers of Theocratic India have always held Gandhi responsible for India's partition.

In Uttar Pradesh – the Yogi Land at present where the greatest peaceful spiritual event upon earth is taking place, at Aligarh, on January 30, the Hindu Mahasabha's national secretary Puja Shakun Pandey shot Bapu's effigy using an artificial gun, following which 'blood' oozed out of the effigy.

Our 'Bharat Mata' as well as the entire world must have been aghast as a story is making news – to the dismay of peace loving creatures of this planet.

Now the usual formalities to see - till the echoes of this 'mockery of democracy' dies down. We hear the statement released by Aligarh Police, SSP Akash Kulhary that a case has been filed against Puja Shakun Pandey, her husband and 12 unknown under section 147, 148, 149, 295(a), 153(a) IPC. Arresting is yet to take place in the incident.

Not long ago, in Prime Minister Modi's movement for a clean India, the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, which was inaugurated on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday in 2014, used his CHARKHA and glasses in adds that emphasised the dignity of manual labour and vision. Of course, you might have seen several ministers in the Modi government who were more interested in photo-ops with brooms than in practicing rules of sanitation.

And you must have seen the official rituals yesterday where President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation on Wednesday in paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 71st death anniversary.

The Great Saint of Modern India - Gandhi had dedicated his life to the larger purpose of discovering the truth, or Satya. He tried to achieve this goal by learning from his own mistakes and conducting experiments on himself. He called his autobiography 'The Story of My Experiments with Truth.' He said that the most important battle in the struggle was overcoming his own demons, fears and insecurities. At first, Gandhi summed up his beliefs by saying, "God is the truth. Later, he changed this statement to "the truth is God. Gandhi gave India its very first lessons of tolerance, non-violence, Satyagraha, the Quit India Movement, the Dandi March, and of belief in one's own faith. He not only played a crucial part in India's independence, but also brought it up as a mature nation on the world platform. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi fondly known as "Father of Nation", was not just a leader but also a visionary who led India to freedom from the oppressive British colonial rule.

The famous historian Dilip Simeon writes in his work "Gandhi's Final Fast":

This is 1947. September is when Gandhi arrived in Delhi, 9th of September, and he arrived just after coming back from Calcutta. He was en route. He wanted to travel to what became Pakistan, but en route he stopped in Delhi. So the last few months of his life was all spent in trying to grapple with the consequences of partition and the terrible communal outrage and upsurge that was taking place in those days. It started with the so-called Great Calcutta Killings of 1946 which some of you may have heard of which was in August 1946. And after that there was a series of riots and all going on in Bihar, and soon after that Gandhi departed for Noakhali in Bengal and he spent several months in Noakhali trying to bring about some kind of communal peace. Now, this was the time when India was also becoming independent, and Gandhi was isolated. He was isolated from high politics but he was very close to his people. This is the most astonishing thing, when all his lieutenants were all engaged in high political activities, Gandhi was actually spending most of his time with the most ordinary and humble people of India.

On 22nd of December 1947, Gandhi made an announcement and I'll read out what he said: 'Some eight or ten miles from here in Mehrauli there is a shrine of Qutub-ud-din Bakhtiyar Chishti. It is esteemed to be second only to the shrine at Ajmer. It is visited every year not only by Muslims, but thousands of non-Muslims. Last September this shrine was subjected to the wrath of Hindu mobs. The Muslims living in the vicinity of the shrine for the last eight hundred years had to leave their homes. I mention this sad episode to you that though Muslims love the shrine, no Muslim can be found anywhere near it. It is the duty of Hindus, Sikhs and the officials of the government to open the shrine, and wash this stain off us. The same applies to other shrines and religious places of Muslims in and around Delhi'.

On the 30th of January, one Nathuram Godse, editor of a Poona Marathi journal called 'Hindu Rashtra', shot at him three times at point blank range and killed him."…..end of quote.

Godse had said during his trial, "With due respect for Mahatma I have to kill him because he has destroyed Hinduism and India."

In 2009, when Barack Obama was visiting Wakefield High School in the US, a ninth grader asked the would-be President: "If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?" Obama chuckled and answered: "Well, dead or alive, that's a pretty big list. I think that it might be Gandhi, who is real hero of mine."

Nelson Mandela, great leader of the South African people and another giant of the 20th century anti-colonial struggle, often cited Mahatma Gandhi as one of his greatest teachers: "Gandhi's ideas have played a vital role in South Africa's transformation and with the help of Gandhi's teaching, apartheid has been overcome."

I'm not surprised at the drama created by religious fanatics yesterday. India is changing. There are lessons in history for every one of us.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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