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Paradox Paradise

Would you still call it nonsense, if sense exchanges its meaning with nonsense?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shoot him again, if you please. He was dead long ago.

"His [Gandhi's] activities for public awakening were phenomenal in there in their intensity and were reinforced by the slogan of truth and non-violence, which he paraded ostentatiously before the country. No sensible or enlightened person could object to those slogans."
- Nathuram Vinayak Godse, in his deposition in court

I’m not exhibiting the journalistic, manipulative, smartness of quoting only a part of the assassin’s statement that would support my views. I’m only bringing forth the point, from which Godse, and most others, got diverted after Gandhi had become obsolete, and even obstructive, for their personal goals.

Gandhi had a dream that no one has ever dare to dream of. Before, or after his time. And his convictions were stronger than anyone who had walked upon earth. Buddha started off by quitting. Jesus had given up after three years. Gandhi didn’t dream of a land that would one day be able to answer back in the face of the opponent with nuclear warheads, like the former poet-prime minister had dreamt of. He didn’t dream of a land, whose sons will walk on the moon, like the current poet-president is dreaming of. He dreamt of a land where women can walk safely in the streets, at midnight, that too even without any clothes! Not a formidable dream, in the eyes of the other practical dreamers.

Many times I have thought about this. What if, Godse had shot Gandhi 10 years before? In 1938, when Subhash Chandra Bose was elected as the president of Indian National Congress. Gandhi opposed Bose mainly for the latter’s lack of commitment to democracy and lack of faith in non-violence. The idea Gandhi had in his mind was obviously beyond the comprehensive levels of many others like Godse. Gandhi believed democracy is for the people, not the other way around – as practiced elsewhere. Today, the textbooks portray Shivaji, and Tipu Sultan as valiant, proud patriots. They were fighting to secure their thrones, and nothing else. It was very similar thrones Bose, Nehru, Patel and Jinnah fought for, while Gandhi was fighting to destroy the throne. Bose didn’t win the throne, nor did Gandhi succeed in destroying the throne.

Gandhi wanted to convert the viceroy’s residence to a General Hospital, instead of keeping it for an Indian mimicking the viceroy. He wanted the ashram he started with 25 inmates grow to fill the land and house one fifth of the human population. He wanted every one else to become a Gandhi. And no one ever wanted to.

He never dreamt of an India that’s as prosperous as the British Empire. He never wanted India to become and international power to have the power to oppress other populations. His ideas were not progressive, as the word progressive is understood today.

Gandhi was needed for a while, and became unnecessary too soon. Gandhi was the only solution in the two decisive decades of 20s and 30s. By 40s, there were more than enough people who wanted to replace the British, and have the seats for themselves. I have read, and heard from many, that it was the British Raj that made a country out of several hundreds of kingdoms fighting with each other. I have read, and heard from many, that it was the hardworking administrative and judicial machinery implemented by the British that created the idea of India as a nation. I have also read, and heard from many, that the decision of granting independence was inevitable, because the British empire was too exhausted after the WW II, and was in no mind to deal with the disruptions in the armed forces, which were sparked off by INA. But none of them told me, why Gandhi, and over a lakh of his supporters were kept imprisoned during WW II.

Gandhi had become obsolete, long before he was shot to death. But if it weren’t for his efforts of the initial 20-25 years, the 600 odd princely states that were given independence at the midnight of August 15, 1947 wouldn’t have come together under the tricolour. No other human being has influenced so many fellow beings in the history of human kind. May be it’s a little difficult to believe for the news channels in the country, and its regular viewers, that Gandhi was more popular than Amitab Bachan, or Sachin Tendulkar. The genius of Albert Einstein had foreseen it.

And if Gandhi had won! Obviously, I wouldn’t have been writing this piece, or you reading. I feel ashamed to be born in the same country as Gandhi. I wish, he were born as an African or South American, or Russian or even an American. Then I would have been seeing my fellow countrymen talking in reverence of him more often. And Bush’s sniffer dogs wouldn’t have been allowed to mistake his samadhi for another lamppost.

And here's the full statement that Nathuram Vinayak Godse gave in the court, during his trial. It might still sound heroic to an adolescent mind. If you have one, please take my warning.
Click here to read it.

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14 Comments:

At Tue Jan 30, 08:58:00 pm, Anonymous rini said...

nothng new....many hav dealt with d same..still ok..

 
At Wed Jan 31, 10:51:00 am, Blogger Abhieshek said...

a gud, sensible post

 
At Wed Jan 31, 05:00:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jubin,Nice to read your post.. good that u increased the frequency of your posts.

Every icon in history are icons because of exactly that reason, coz 'they are history'. Like Napoleon, or Alexander the Great, I cannot imagine these guys holding a regular day job. Will forever be fighting with his boss over salary increments not coming his way, or bickering with the neighbours. Would have been the dream come true of any reality TV studio boss:)..

Asd I read somewhere, Gen X has only irreverence for the irrelevant.Gandhi is irrelevant now, it doesnt matter whether he was right or whether he united India or whatever.Enjoy ur times, dearies,charge up your iPOD,get on your bike, catch the latest Sci-fi at multilex and eat some KFC.

Varkey

 
At Wed Jan 31, 09:56:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jubin,
pls write something about the RK episodes,like Tafseer/Ram and The Bike, Kannan and his marriage ,L chechi and Manthan,Shibu, Vincent,George etc..who knows, it might even land you a Booker!!!

Varkey

 
At Wed Jan 31, 11:38:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

Rini: No claims against it.

Abhishek: Than you. Wish you would come back to read :)

Vakey: Very right. But, I'm one of those incompetent ones in Gen X. And as for the latter suggestion, I guess I would wait till the exchange rate gets better :)) (Actually i have a few pieces written on those 3 years, but on double minds to publish it)

 
At Fri Feb 02, 11:54:00 am, Blogger clash said...

The poet president and prime minister; were the pinnacle of farcical nature Indian politics. They wordy whinings for sure is not going to help, India. Poems, if sentimental will shed only some tears, but if it is valiant will cause a revolution. (I think both poets in mention here belong to the senti-mental and Science fiction category; Our president, i wonder would have penned down some lines about Agni,Trishul!!)

Gandhi, yes he was the master mind behind the Indian way of gaining indpendence. The disregard or the obsoleteness of his stature is not an assumed feature. The world has changed immensely after 1940s, we were stuck in the quagmire of license raj till 90's and we whine about it, how we were tied up during those times. We observed and mourned all the deaths of eminent personalities, just by blacking out the Idiot box with some music. There was no constructive way to move ahead with the legacy of these great men. Leave alone Gandhi.

Now, Nehru vying for the throne, may be he did. But i can claim, it was only for the good. The base on which our country is thriving and bustling is entirley indebted to Nehru and his great visions. Many will have contrary opinions, but imagine a country of billion opening its doors for all those foreign capital right away in the 50's. India would have been an Africa. (Please keep in Mind, all closed economies are the booming ones right now).Nehru made attempts to stamp India's presence in the world also by forming NAM and other Instituions. (The secret soft corner for USSR is not forgotten). But it did help India.

In a world where only Addidas and oil matters, Gandhi seems to be a little out of place. I feel so, and so many out there feel the same. This does not mean that he is an obscure fakir, but conditions force humans to adapt and forget. Gandhi is part of that mass psychology.

His ideas and principles will prevail, but for them to win the world will be walloping deed!

 
At Fri Feb 02, 01:56:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

Clash:
I agree and I disagree.

Nehru, of course, did a decent job for the political structure he supported. I'm of the opinion that our decision to opening up the market was not late, and was almost at the right time - when human resourse has emerged as a commodity as important as an industrial product. But, the liberalisation is a very tricky thing, and i'm not very optimistic about the way it's been implemented.

Now, the mistake would be comparing Gandhi in Nehru's position. And 'it was for good' - that's where i disagree. Gandhi's democratic idea was decentralised to the extreme, on the verges of anarchy. In that version of India 2020, there are no place for colas or cars. But more primitive, yet more progressive people. Where there's enough for the needy. Where villages are richer than townships. Where people are a lot more significant than the GDP. It might sound utopian, but was really not an impossible dream.

 
At Fri Feb 02, 05:22:00 pm, Blogger shenoy said...

*Jubin
Finally we wish for the same thing. I wish too that Gandhi was born in America. Or anywhere else for that matter. Anywhere but here. Or if only he’d stayed back in South Africa (oh, that’s another story altogether, remind me sometime). Of course, the cost we would have to pay if that had happened would’ve been heavy. (Some costs should be read from a counter-factual point of view) – and I note below the costs that we would have to pay if gandhi had been born elsewhere, reasons that my adolescent mind tells me are good:
We would attained independence from the British much earlier
But hey! It wasn’t about struggling for independence now, was it? Aw, c’mon! It’s about the “struggle”. Go on a fast. Do “non-violent” surrender. Grovel before the British. What! You want to fight? No boy. Fighting is bad. Non-violent sucking-up is good. So what if more of our people die? So what if it means the most we will achieve is Dominion Status? Freedom can come later. Satyagraha is where it’s at! You don’t agree??? I’m going on a fast unto death!

We would be living in a country nor broken into three pieces
Ah! Now why would anyone want that?! An undivided country. I need to see my protégé Nehru, my heir apparent, take over. I owe him a lot. But then, I need to appease the Muslims as well. Ok. Carve up the country. Future generations will not want to live with “Pakis” anyway. See! I’m a prophet too! And while you’re at it don’t do anything against the people who killed trainfulls of people coming into India. But make sure you punish those who attack the Muslims. What?! You can’t? I’m going on a fast unto death!

We wouldn’t have had the rampant Muslim, oops! sorry Minority, appeasement that we see around us today
Yes. Correct. We need to take care of the Muslims. Poor folk. We should make them feel more Muslim than Indian. Those Hindus were privileged to have been have so long been oppressed under Muslim rule and then the British rule. They’re used to that. Appease the Muslims. We need them. If you don’t do what I say, I’ll go on a fast unto death.

Yes brother. The cost of having Gandhi not being born here would’ve been great, and not just the ones mentioned above. Dynastic politics. Hatred. So many more reasons are there. The price that we would have to pay would have been great. But I can live with that. Our country doesn’t need an Official Patron Saint. You know, the same fellow who the British (during the Cripps mission it was, I think) called “Our man in India”. Yes, I will give credit when it’s due. But the facet that you raised in the context of your post calls only for this. Credit when the context calls for it.

And yes, my adolescent mind also keeps thinking that Gandhi was lucky to have lived for as long as he did. He was lucky he didn’t get carved up for calling off the Non Co-operation Movement when it was at its peak for no reason at all. He was lucky not to have been chopped up for acquiescing and sending thousands of our soldiers to fight a wasteful Great War without asking for anything in return, Indian lives which he sacrificed at the altar of British imperial interests. He was lucky to get away too when he equated Khilafat of all things in the world with our Struggle for Independence. Or when he signed the Irwin pact, placing his aims and the congress’ goals above that of the nation. Yes, that same pathetic nation we call him the father of. As if he gave birth to the nation. As if he was the only one who fought the British. There are more times when he should have been struck down, But I leave that for later.

Oh yes, my adolescent mind also tells me that good that Godse did when he did it. Before he could do any more harm to our cause and country. And all this is write vis-à-vis the political stand w.r.t. to India. Spare me his philosophy for another time. And maybe we can say some good things about him at least. So there you go. I killed Gandhi once again. Shot him like you asked me too. He was dead long ago yes. Unfortunately not longer ago enough.

And speaking of food for thought, or rather fodder for adolescent minds, may I point out that the link you’d given is actually just a small portion of Nathuram Gode’s statement. I had the book, it was called “May it please your Honour” it’s gone now. Instead I give you this: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/7153/soh.html?mipyh.html&2
It’s more or less pakka. Just disregard the context in which the uploader has put it in. the whole soldier of hindutva thing, place it in the context of 1948 and read.

As far as the sniffer dogs go, even after all this, I will still take offence at stuff like that. Or if an outsider has the bollocks to abuse even Gandhi. This is do for the same reason I stand up for Jana Gana Mana, even after knowing what it’s all about. All said and done, it still is our national anthem. And Gandhi a part of our history that we cannot ignore. To outsiders who don’t know he still represents our country and for that I shall defend his name, but only against outsiders.

Yes. If I am to be considered adolescent for not following a flock and into mass lip service, adolescent am I.

* Clash
Yo man! For a person who likes The Clash, you sure have a stunted mind. Mass Psychology you call it eh? I think you’re just another brainwashed youth pretending to be a punk. Mass Psychology you call it eh? I call it Herd Mentality and you’re just one of the herd. I’m sure you think (at least in your own head) that you’re a rebel, a black sheep, somebody who is going against the flow. Guess what boyo? Going purely by your comment above, looks to me like you’re just waiting for your herd to stampede so that you can feel safe again in a crowd, where you can drown out your insecurities in the warm embrace of anonymity and same-ness, and where ignorance is considered a point of view.

“Cut the Crap” dude, as The Clash would say. If President Kalam has penned down lines about Agni and Trishul, I say Bravo! At least the world knows it can’t take us for granted. If push comes to shove we can fight back. With the same Agni and Trishul that you so sneer at. What would you have otherwise? Fight a Sonic Attack with the advancing enemy, try to push them back by playing Sepultura and Testament at full blast on speakers mounted on the border? Yes, I agree playing Alanis Morisette or Coldplay is sure to chase anyone way, but let’s not be facetious (like I am being now) or straight out impractical (like you are) or would you prefer the term ‘cool’?

Yes dude, you’re ‘cool’ aint ya? Calling a Prime Minister who had the balls to go nuclear again as senti-mental? The man who had the grace, and the first man, to call Indira Gandhi ‘Durga’ putting aside all differences and seeing the nation as paramount as senti-mental? The man who raised our collective head high by bring the first ever to address the UN General Assembly in chaste Hindi (which by the way is an Indian language), you call him senti-mental? You’re seriously into some HEAVY MENTAL ain’t ya? I think your always-on i-pod headphones playing at full blast have softened your brain. Heavy mental rock!

You think our President who dreams of an empowered India as views belonging to science fiction? If he wants the Indian flag planted on the moon, you call it science fiction? What do you know about science fiction dude? Guess what? The science fiction that Clarke (you know, Arthur C. Clarke, author?) wrote is science reality today. The science fiction of Star Wars and Heinlein and Van Vogt is almost reality today. What’s science fiction today will be reality tomorrow, and guess what? At that time, like now, I’m sure you’ll be one of the most ‘blissful’ people around.

Cut the crap. Give us reasons why you think Messrs. Vajpayee and Kalam are so hated by you. On what basis do you think they belong to the dustbin of history, a chapter best forgotten? (not your words, but I am phrasing your question better for you). It can’t be because they write poetry.

Nehru. Good man, at least a little. Some good ideas, nothing original, except spawning a dy-nasty that is the ruin of this country. Great vision???? Remove your blindfold bugger. And see with vision that’s your own.
Nehru’s vision…my skinny black arse!!!
Have you forgotten who was it that stopped our soldiers from totally wiping out the insurgents from Kashmir? 48 hours and the army would’ve have finished the job, and we wouldn’t have any Kashmir problem today. But no!! Who screamed “UN!!” “Plebiscite” and ran to the UN? Nehru, that’s who? That was the betrayal of a nation. For what? Because Nehru wanted to be seen as a “statesman” at any cost. Even his nation. And his people. The same was the reason behind NAM. What vision? Have you forgotten the China fiasco? I can go on brother, but my hands tire from typing.

In leaving I would like to reiterate that I have no clue who you are, but I’m sure you’re one of those prefers to say “Sepoy Mutiny” instead of “The First War of Indian Independence”.

What? In a world where only adidas and oil matter eh? Yup. Maybe. Am sure you don’t believe in countries and national pride and all those hopeless romantic notions that belong back in the 20th century. It’s about economics and liberalisation and nations without border no?
Dude, yes I too believe in the global village. And this global village needs an idiot. At the rate you’re going, you’re a shoo-in for the post. Cheers!

 
At Fri Feb 02, 06:08:00 pm, Blogger clash said...

@ Shenoy : Pull down that saffron shroud of yours; You belong to that herd for sure, vying for more ayodhya's, Godhra's and all. Dont you agree that Taj Mahal is a Shiv Temple?

I need not know Clarke or anyone, but i will despise and will speak only with disgust about a President who visits schools in our nation and give leactures about Missiles. I dont call him a Visionary but a mere disillusioned dud!

Speaking in Hindi in U.N. Yeap, hope it did solve all our problems! He is the epitome of cheap double speak, augmented with the saintly figure offered by the Media he and his cadres tried to manipulate the masses - Shining India! Remember? Sorry I cant type anymore!

 
At Fri Feb 02, 07:02:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

That’s some good clash happening in my backyard. A little too hot to handle though. :)

Yes, minus Gandhi, with Bose heading the struggle, the British would have left much earlier. In early 30s, at the earliest. And in that possibility, what I see is 8 or more countries, with the British still having its presence in two or more of its provinces, with one of the Indias liberated by the help of revolting armed forces, which will be under the ‘liberation forces’. And a constant fight in JK, Panjab and Bangal Provinces, and Hyderabad. Then, we would have had a better WWII, having the British presence still in the subcontinent. And the number of valuable Indian lives sacrificed in the altar of brave India would have been 5 folds or more. Just a logical assumption.

The power of Gandhi’s ‘non-violent sucking-up’ was in the mass participation it caused, which in turn became the power that overpowered the rulers of the princely states that were given independence. For an armed struggle, there would have been ‘many, brave, proud, Indians’, but even an adolescent mind can count the numbers.

And it’s not Gandhi who invented hindu-muslim conflicts. Even high school kids know it started with the fights between Hindu and Muslims rulers. And I would be surprised, if someone can believe that those rulers fought for their people! I thought they were fighting for their thrones, and harems. And the British fueled the fire to keep the oppressed people divided. And in my eyes, blaming Gandhi for Muslim appeasing is same as supporting the British Raj, for that was their design, and goal. And yes, I don’t believe a yet to be born Hindu child has more right on this land than a Muslim who was born and lived in the land for 70 or 80 years.

Nehru was not Gandhi’s protégé. Gandhi was no supporter of Nehru’s idea of a Nation – something as prosperous and progressive as the United Kingdom. Of course, Gandhi’s India wouldn’t have become a sample for starwars, or any of the Indians would have been reading or watching Starwars. If you want a proof for that, there are billions who still don’t just 40 or 50 kms away from your city.

“Our man in India” is a statement they regretted later, even you know that. Otherwise, there was no need for keeping Gandhi and another lakh, yes a lakh, supporters imprisoned for over 2 years during the WW II. Both the so-called Great Mistakes of Gandhi – Khilafat, and calling off Non co-operation movement at its peak, too are not that hard to understand either. It’s ironical to see that you find Gandhi more at fault than the British!

As for your support to Godse’s theory (it’s difficult for me to call it philosophy), you have confessed the reason – your adolescent mind. Otherwise, you could have easily see killing the Muslims in India wouldn’t resurrect the dead Hindus in Pakistan. More than that, partition was not Gandhi’s idea, neither were the killings that followed. All he did was trying to calm the situation here, as it was possible for him.

And for the fodder for thought: I gave the link, just to substantiate the first line of my post. And I didn’t find any much more than that in the book either.

 
At Fri Feb 02, 07:03:00 pm, Blogger shenoy said...

Pray tell me, how does one “pull ‘down’ a shroud”?? *cracks up*
I don’t belong to no herd. You herd me wrong dork!
No. I don’t agree with you when you say Taj Mahal is a Shiv temple.
Saffron? Where did that come into the picture?
Calling Pres Kalam a ‘disillusioned dud’ is your prerogative. It’s a free country. You’re entitled to your opinion. I to mine. Even the myopic and the ignorant have something to say. Even though ignorance I think is not a point of view.
Being a bakra for mass-media I’m sure you’re ok with India Poised, because it’s Times of India and you’ve seen it in Bangalore Times. Stop with the India Whining.
*gihahahaha* pull down a shroud!!! *hehicheehaha*sniffsniff*
thanks for the laugh dude!! You’re funny.
Know what? You’re actually a joke.
No point having a conversation with you now. Later.
…pull down a shroud….hehawwwww
applied for that post yet?

 
At Sun Feb 04, 08:27:00 pm, Blogger clash said...

May be people dislike (or color blind??) to identify with the putrefied, but their rhetoric sounds the same. Herd or pack.

I suppose you garner much of it from India Today and the idealogue is probably sudhir kulkarni or Swapan Das gupta. Sorry i dont belong to that "pack"

Idea about opinions; yeah i do like it.

 
At Wed Feb 07, 04:51:00 pm, Blogger K. Roy said...

Not within a system is a system too!

 
At Fri Feb 09, 07:00:00 pm, Blogger Taís said...

Hi, Pacifism should be the only way to solve our problems. But the insane part of the Homo "Sapiens" semme to not understand it. Thank's for sopping by at my blog. I hope you come back. By the way, did you see that I have posted the "Seven Blunders of The Worldl" by Ghandi a few posts befor the one you read?
I like Ghandi and India. Someday I hope to visit this Country.

 

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