Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Mahatma had never been my Father of the Nation. I don't know whether there was a consensus regarding this title bestowed on him back in his times.However,even if there was,I don't see why popular consensus should be taken for granted over the ages when the poplulace changes!
I had always been somewhat apprehensive about accepting his greatness based on my History books and the discourses about him that I managed to chance upon here and there.It seemed rather biased and unconvincing to me.
I watched Attenborough's Gandhi recently.It gave me goosebumps and showed me I had been rather immature in my judgements all the while.Yes,I agree it is a 'Bio-pic' of sorts and Kinsley's amazing portrayal worked as an enhancer and it deals with the white more than the black,(pun intended).It did not make me idolize Gandhi,put him on a pedestal and accept his philosophy overnight.What it did was to stimulate a tremendous amount of interest and awe for the man who did manage to inspire a nation and it was not merely an inspiration towards independence,but I believe it was the heralding of a new consciousness.
I don't know whether all he did was right.I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't.He was no saint.He was a great political thinker.I think it's high time we stopped either worshipping him as God incarnate or direct scalding critical invective on the man.If we think it is outrageous to see the 'Naked Fakir' on a Mont Blanc pen that ironically marks the union of Mr.India and The Father of the Nation,we should stop making him the brand ambassador of Truth,in whatever distorted form that it is envisaged!He was a politician , a mighty good one too and stretching and re-defining the truth becomes almost mandatory in the process.His life was an experience with truth in the truest sense of the term but not an embodiment of it,in my opinion.Trying to present it as the latter I believe,would be undermining his own philosophy.
I do not question the greatness of this man any longer.I would be a fool to do so.But what I seek is the nature of the greatness that is accorded to him.I want to decide for myself,independent of all the jingoism and critical tirades associated with him,whether to accept or reject him as my Father of the Nation.However to me,he shall remain my Leader of the Nation!