A few sacred things about Gandhiji on October 2

Written by Ramu Ramanathan | Published on: October 2, 2019
Mahatma Gandhi

So Gandhiji’s Swachch Bharat is sacred
Even if you are unhygienic on the inside
 
So Gandhiji is sacred
But his trial, where he along with Shankarlal Ghelabhai Banker, editor and printer and publisher of Young India were charged under Section 124 A by CN Broomfield, the district and sessions judge, Ahmedabad, proves nothing has altered hundred years later
 
So Gandhiji’s cow is sacred
But other living species (especially Untouchables and Muslims) are not
 
So Gandhiji is sacred
Even though they say it is not a Hatya but a vadh (similar to Ravana Vadh)
 
So Gandhiji is sacred
But his action in Champaner to begin an agitation for 19 lakh oppressed peasants is not
 
So Gandhiji is sacred
But his words in Hindustani about Nai Talim during his path breaking speech in Wardha are not
 
So Gandhiji is sacred
But his speech in Gujarati at the Gujarati Vidypeeth extolling students to raise their voice against injustice has been erased
 
So the Bardoli and Kheda agitations are sacred
But the message from these agitations is not what the World Bank and IMF want to hear
 
So the economy and its prized-mascot the GDP is sacred
But daily wages for daily wage labourers are not
 
So GST is sacred because it means a level playing field
But Ahimsa for all is not
 
So movement of inter-state goods is welcome
But inter-state movement of Satyagraha is not
 
Speaking of inter-state movement, travel and tourism and trade and commerce is sacred
But truth is not
 
So wealth is equitable
But the wealthy have not been informed about this
 
So malls are sacred
Mall-nutrition is not
 
So Gandhiji’s two themes of truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills
But these hills are being mined for ore and sand
 
So water in the Holy Ganges is sacred
But potable water for 1.4 billion Indians is not
 
So, The King of Good Times is sacred
But liquor is on the verge of being prohibited in one more state
 
So the Modis and Choksis and their multiple passports are sacred
But Manilal Maganlal Doctor being despatched by Gandhiji to Mauritius and Fiji to provide legal counsel for indentured labour is no longer part of our memory
 
So jawans are sacred
But what they eat or wear or think when they do their sacred duty is not
 
So the nation is sacred
But domi-nation through violence is even more sacred
 
So marriage is sacred
But Bapu and Kasturba holding hands in Modern Indian would be un-sacred
 
So knowledge is sacred
But recruiting teachers for rural schools is a no-no
 
Speaking of schools, government schools are being shut down under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, which is means whatever Dr Ambedkar said in the 1950 is no longer sacred
Knowledge is ex officio, I guess
 
So science is sacred
Which is why, we have no popular science magazine. And we have TV shows with lots of temper and none about scientific temper
 
So bhajans and pravachans are sacred
Which is why, more and more channels are mutating and praying for a miracle on the Sensex
 
So the Indian atma is sacred
But I need 4G to download the app to access it
 
So Parliamentarians are sacred
But Parliament is not
 
So voting is sacred
But voters are not
 
Which brings us to the wretched and the poor - and the minority
Who are they? Can we banish them, forever?
 
So Satyamev Jayatev is sacred
But trolling is preferred
 
So reserving our seats on a flight or booking the next iPhone is ok
But they can't reserve a place in our society
 
So your identity is sacred
And it is defined by the cars and gizmos you use
 
So books are sacred
Which is why, they are banned by those who never-ever read Tolstoy or Thoreau or Tagore
 
So democracy is sacred
But not for We the People
 
So Bharat Ma is sacred
But her daughters are in danger due to female infanticide
 
So the national anthem is sacred
Especially if you are very audible about it
 
And finally, the Constitution of India is very very sacred
But only 0.1% people on this land have read the said document
 
And finally, My Experiments With Truth is sacred
Especially since no such experiment with truth will be permitted, today
 
Ramu Ramanathan is a Mumbai-based playwright who has penned two plays about Gandhi – Mahadevbhai and Postcards from Bardoli
 
Image Courtesy: Getty Images