From all kinds of questions that can be asked, ‘what if’ questions are the most interesting. It does not need a practical base, a backbone of reality as-we-know-it, and is generally free from the social, political, administration-al, religious, national, anti-national, survival, and all different kinds of norms or bans that have become an integral part of our lingo, thinking, or rather, being – all thanks to touch-me-not attitude that we have all developed. Cough. Cough. Intolerance. Cough.
One such interesting question is – What if Gandhiji were alive today? (Yes, nerd level – GandhiTopian).
My first instinct is that he would take a pillow, shield himself with a comforter, and pray that this is just a bad dream! I am sure Gandhiji’s worst nightmare is our reality – harsh or not – today!
And then of course, he would be thrilled to know that we have put him to such good use! I mean with his picture on our currency notes, which are daily used for wonderful acts of “kind”ness, and violating one of his most important principles – Honesty. Corruption and politics have grown to become the two sides of the same coin- more inseparable than ‘Saamna’ and controversies.
This reminds me of something that Kumaraswamy had said during the Anna Hazare’s India against corruption movement –
“Today, politics and corruption are synonymous. If someone in politics says he is not corrupt, he must be lying. If Mahatma Gandhi was alive today, he would have had only two options: either stay in politics by becoming corrupt or to get out of politics and remain clean. It would take a greater movement than the country’s Independence movement to stamp out corruption…”
I was baffled when I read this. It had wiped out all the left-over faith that a girl in young 20’s had with the system or this country! (Not that I am any older today, but yeah, the faith – umm – completely wiped out).
It’s just ironical that India plans the surgical attacks in the birthday week of the one person who preached non-violence till his death-bed! I am not saying whether it’s wrong, or right, but it definitely is incongruous. I mean we certainly have come a long way from Swachch Bharat to Swachch Pakistan!
Having said that, I believe we wouldn’t have been so religiously intolerant in the first place, had he been alive today, and all through these years! Considering his intent to dissolve the congress (oh, how I love the sound of this!), or his opposition to bifurcate the states based on languages, may be the scenario today would have been a tad-bit different!
But alas, we can only think, and day-dream – because who dreams of a corruption-free India at night. Come on!
To sum it up, had Gandhiji been alive today, this is the meme that would do the rounds –
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Can’t you all see? Oops!” – Mahatma Gandhi, 2016.