A word that brings a variety of emotions within every Indian. A word that gives most of us a moment of pride every time it is mentioned; a word that outshines all those reasons that tarnish the image of India in the current scenario.
Many people may not agree with some of his decisions or opinions, some blame him to be biased but then we also have to accept the fact that the phenomenon known as Gandhi, at the end of the day was a human.
His greatness lay in his humility, in his silent strength to face his shortcomings and his efforts to overpower them.
Gandhi is not an era that has passed away. Gandhi is a word that changes its effect with every generation. For the youth of the ’40s or ’50s, he was the ideal representation of the Indian Independence Movement and the momentous glory of the time. In the sixties right up to the eighties, he was the force behind a revolutionary young Indian fighting for his right to jobs, education, union and demands for basics of ‘Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan’.
The nineties saw Gandhi as a word associated with development where Brand India not only took charge but also co-habited with its western counterparts. And then came the millennium youth to whom Gandhi’s khadi is a fashion statement, and to whom Gandhigiri is synonymous to demands but not the kind we learnt as Satyagrah (Demand for Truth, Demand for Right, Demand for Righteousness).
And for this generation, the word Gandhi has become the Irony of India!
Irony, because today the youth is taught to be brutally competitive and at the same time cooperate, share and diplomatically be adept at teamwork too. Overexposure has made us accept the violence of any form and take it in our stride. And what can one say about the “The oxymoronic policy of honesty.”
Be loyal to your employer but sell at any cost; meet your targets by hook or crook but Customer is the king, Cost Vs Quality and so on. The word “Instant” replaces Gandhi’s “Patience” in today’s world and then the youth is blamed to be confused.
Maybe that is why we need the idea of Gandhi. Maybe he alone can help us find the answer and make us accept our flaws before we take on the larger world. Maybe the irony we call ‘Gandhi’ will bring out the ‘Murali’ behind all of us ‘Munna Bhai’ and not let us be taken for a ride.
Maybe for once, he will help us find the truth behind everything that ends up as just another news to fade away. But before all this, for once we should pause and ask him –
“Mr Gandhi, are you still interested in being the face of India?”
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