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October 11, 2019

With Blood on his hands Modi is the Antithesis of Gandhi

What an irony.

Indian PM Modi’s opinion article in the New York Times on Gandhi’s 150th anniversary coincided on its front page with a stunning image of distraught Kashmiri women, endlessly waiting for their loved ones — many of them young children — who were taken away by security forces.

Nicholas Dawes of the Human Rights Watch; “it takes some chutzpah to write a paean to (Gandhi’s) non-violent resistance when you’ve locked up and locked down so many elected Kashmiri leaders and 8 million of its citizens!”

The same dark forces that Gandhi fought tooth and nail, especially in his twilight years, until he fell to a Hindutva soldier’s bullets have captured the reins of the country for whose independence, he dedicated his life and spent long years in prison. His assassin, Godse, an advocate of Hindu nationalism, was a former member of the RSS, a right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation in which Modi once served as a full-time worker.

Those who plotted his assassination have never apologised for it are no more the fringe that they had been during Gandhi’s time.  Today, they are at the heart and centre of power, truly ruling the country and transforming it into the Hindu state of their dreams. 

If Gandhi were alive today, he would have been aghast at the state of the nation he led to freedom. 

Historian Manu S Pillai raises an interesting possibility in his new book, The Courtesan, The Mahatma and the Italian Brahmin, wondering how Gandhi would have reacted to today’s India and tragedies like the atrocities committed in Kashmir and treatment of minorities which was close to his heart. If he had lived long enough, “He would have died of a shattered heart, in a country he no longer recognized,” the author answers his own question.

More important, how would he have responded to the challenges and threats facing India today?

A life-long champion of Hindu-Muslim unity, how would Gandhi have responded to the challenge of Hindutva fascism and the open war it has declared on the Muslims on every front?

What would Gandhi have done to help the hundreds of thousands of helpless, dispossessed Muslims of Assam who have been declared ‘illegal aliens’ overnight after living for generations in the country but speak the wrong language and worship the wrong God? Modi’s home minister warned that all the ‘infiltrators’ i.e. Muslims will be out as he ‘assured’ Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs will be made citizens of India and need not to worry at all. The government is already making ‘detention’ centers everywhere so that it can keep the ‘termites’ in them.

In India, democracy is a ritual observed with massive money and muscle power than the expression of the will of the people, this is how they have sustained the illusion of democracy.

In the aftermath of the massacres of Muslims in Gujrat in the year 2002 under his watch as the chief minister, Modi was prohibited from setting foot on U.S. soil and the European countries. Once he was elected Prime Minister things changed dramatically. It is a lesson in hypocrisy; how the west that banned him and distanced themselves, shamelessly welcomed him to demonstrate that a commitment to the market is all that matters to capitalism.

Modi has blood on his hands who continues to unleash his dark, nihilistic violence on minorities, particularly Muslims.

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M. Elmasry

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