ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Gandhi: To be or not to be

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gandhi.jpgLet’s go back to Circa of Aug 1947, when India got Independence. A new republic was born. And there was one man, Mahatma Gandhi around whom the freedom struggle was fought. There has been a debate over the years about Gandhi, what he did and his legacy.

Fortunately I have been brought up with both sides of the spectrum. My Maternal Grandfather (Nanaji) was a freedom fighter who fought alongside Gandhi. My Paternal Grandfather (Dadaji) was a businessman. Both had differing views when it came to Gandhi. Nanaji was a Gandhian in spirit and in practice. He had a big framed photo of Gandhi in his room. He praised Gandhi a lot for what he did for the freedom of the country. “Desh ko ajaadi dilwayi Gandhiji ne”, he often said proudly. He also related me stories as to how the freedom fighters were tortured in jails during British time.

Dadaji had a family business. According to him, life pre and post 1947 was poles apart. He was no fan of Gandhi. No so much for his role in freedom struggle. But what happened post that. Nehru was the damnation which led to destruction of the nation. Steep inflation and rise in crime rate were two things that he saw soon after Independence. “Son, there was a leadership deficit. He made Nehru PM, who had no plan at all. No plan at all”, he told me. Dadaji was not a political person, just a common man. “Ghee, Dal, Atta ka bhaav aasman choo gaya. Chori chakari, aam baat ho gayi. Angrezon ke jamaane mein yeh sab nahin tha. Kya faida hua?”, he often lamented.

They both were good and honorable man who never tried to impress these views on other people. This is what they thought and told to people who came to have a chat. I think both were true in their own regard. Gandhi was a unifier who brought a fractured nation together against British. At the same time, we all know how that freedom withered away with rampant poverty, corruption and breakdown of law of order.

Disclaimer: These are from my childhood memories to the best of my recollection.

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Written by arpitgarg

February 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm

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