Hey Raam!!!

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Friends, Letter, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life)


Rahul, hope you are doing good.

On Martyr’s Day, i ask you if you remember the first time we met, in october 2008? I had just come back from Heggodu where i had met Tushar Gandhi (great grandson of Gandhiji) and you had posed a question to me “Do you think Gandhi is still relevant?” and as an answer i had quoted what Dr. Surendra Rao had said in a seminar on Gandhi in Udupi “The question if Gandhi is relevant stems from the guilt of having killed the ideologies for which he lived”

From the past few days i have been preoccupied with the murder of Gandhi his ideology,  your question and my reply, after the recent brutal attacks in Mangalore by Sri Ram Sene. Murder of Gandhi is murder of peace too. So everytime, peace is murdered, we tend to remember Gandhi.

The whole debate that is taking place after the attack of a pub in Mangalore on January 24, is around the question How can we tolerate women going to pub and drinking? While it should have been around the question How correct was it on the part of Sri Ram Sene to take law into their hands?

Tushar Gandhi told us this small incident at Heggodu, which i think i must tell you. It seems once a foriegn journalist gifted Gandhi with a basketful of booze and such items which was of no use to him. Gandhi passing it on to one of his companions said “keep aside the booze for people who would like to have it and keep the basket for me”

Now, how i wish these Sri Ram Sene people and the ones supporting them understood this story from the life of Gandhi! All of us know that Gandhi was against the consumption of alcohol but look how he respected other’s choice to drink, though he himself did not drink!

Last evening a childhood friend of mine was asking me as to why we criticize only saffron outfits and not the islam fundamentalist groups. I had to tell him that i am critical of any fundamentalist group. But that again reminded me of another story from Gandhi’s life.

Riots triggered by partition was catching up all over. Gandhi then decided to go to Punjab from Naukhali (W.B) where communal tension was shooting up. On his way to Punjab he halts in Delhi for a few days as he finds out that even Delhi has become commnallu tensed. On one day at Delhi some fundamentalist attacked his prayer meeting and asked why he was not opposing, questioning and fasting against the Hindu victims in Pakistan. It appears like a valid question. But what Gandhi answered to them, is important and gives an insight into his philosophy and politics. He said “if given a chance i would like to go to Pakistan and conduct prayer meetings there and question the people as to why so much of violence was being inflicted on Hindu minorities in Pakistan. But how will i show my face to them when i have failed in ensuring the security of Muslims in India?”

In this current socio-political scenario where we have murdered the teachings of Gandhi i was remembering all these stories and felt like sharing it with you. But then, do you know what the greatest tragedy is? This is the nail on the coffin it appears to me. After the recent attacks i had turned by G-Talk status message to Hey Ram!!! to say that peace has been murdered. And a childhood friend of mine asks me on G-talk “Sam, have you joined Sri Ram Sena? i see this slogan Hey Ram as your status message” and i was stunned! We have killed not just the teachings of Gandhi but also his last words. What else do i call this other than ‘nail on the coffin’?

With all these developments taking place around me, i feel that the day when Ghodse or Savarkar will be announced as the father of the nation is nearing. And with these thoughts my heart cries HEY RAM!!!

We have forgotten Gandhi’s life, his ideology, his teachings, we have murdered him, his ideology and his last words too. But lets remember this one point, in this troubled times: There may be many debates as to what Gandhi lived for, but there is no doubt as to what he died for: the secular philosophy (Harsh Mander in Madison on 27 June 2005)

I end this letter, Rahul, by the line of the prayer of Gandhi Sabko Sanmathi De Bhagwan.


Samvartha ‘Sahil’
30 January 2009

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