Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The middle-class antipathy to Gandhi cuts across ideologies

LEADER ARTICLE: Death Of The Mahatma Ashis Nandy TOI 30 Jan 2008
The middle-class antipathy to Gandhi cuts across ideologies. During one of her earlier tenures, Mayawati precipitated a first-class public controversy by attacking Gandhi. But she was only joining a long line of distinguished critics of Gandhi, stretching from Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the classical liberal turned Muslim nationalist, to Bal Thackeray of the Shiv Sena. New, aggressive critics of Gandhi are now being thrown up by the knights of globalisation in India...Godse thought he was executing Gandhi on behalf of a majority. Exactly as Mayawati and, before her, E M S Namboodiripad felt that they were speaking on behalf of a majority - the bahujan samaj, the proletariat, the Shudras and the Dalits - when they attacked Gandhi...
The liberals have never found Gandhi digestible either. Shankaran Nair, an early Congress leader, said that Gandhi was against everything that the great sons of 19th century India stood for. Gopal Krishna Gokhale was even more forthright. He declared Gandhi's Hind Swaraj to be "the work of a fool" and prophesied that "Gandhi would destroy it after he spent a year in India". Such honest estimates are now rare, because the liberals in the meanwhile have produced their own house-broken Gandhi - modern, nationalistic, progressive, statist and secular. There is nothing left of the politically incorrect, intellectual maverick who took on the imperious Enlightenment vision and refused to accept that its dominance was proof of its finality.

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