The Resurrection of Gandhi

Arvind Lavakare in an article titled The Myth of Mahatma Gandhi notes that the Gandhi icon had been losing its sheen for years until the present government began giving it a nice new varnish. Maybe it is an attempt to “to fuse the original Gandhi image with the Italian one” he hints. I am convinced of that, however. Reading the comments on that article is instructive. Many of them are the equivalent of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and loudly repeating “I am not listening. nana nana nana.” If people who are literate and supposedly educated are brainwashed enough to not even entertain an argument supported by evidence, what hope is there for the vast majority who have no access to alternative viewpoints to ever recover from the effects of the constant barrage of images promoting Gandhi as the sole savior of India?

If I were an illiterate person, I would be convinced that Gandhi is goodness personified. After all, doesn’t Indian money carry his image? Isn’t he the father of the nation? And should I not vote for Gandhi’s children — Rajiv, Sonia, Rahul, whoever? And should I not vote for the party that Gandhi founded? And should I not believe everything from a person who says he is a Gandhian?

Anyway, I must admit that the Congress party of India has a winning formula and they know it. Gandhi is the biggest brand name in the world — forget Coca Cola and McDonalds. Mera Bharat Mahan!

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

2 thoughts on “The Resurrection of Gandhi”

  1. Secular is not the same thing as atheism, a society or government is secular, and I’m not sure what being a secular person means if you can’t deal with religions as you wish.

    There is more to satyagraha than a couple failed incidents, and the “serious” questioning of Gandhi’s commitment to non-violence doesn’t even pass the giggle test. One cannot imply he was as neutral as the swiss and in the next line say he was a war-monger.

    In so far as Gandhi’s role in South Africa is questionable, Penn & Teller’s Showtime show Bullshit did a better job than the article does. They had video of him speaking about it.

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  2. Whats illitracy got to do with not knowing the full history of gandhi
    When i have attempted to probe these(political) questions with illetrates, they were indifferent.
    My expereince has been with literates that gets their undies in a knot if some one questions/criticizes something gandhi related or religios matters.
    Its largely a result of dont question attitude that has permiated in india.
    The following utube video would get them all wound up

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