The rise of Modi has made Gandhi controversial. Either Mohandas was fake or Narendra is real. Even in his life Gandhi was perceived differently by different people. Winston Churchill called him a half naked ‘Fakir’. Even Jinnah suspected hidden intentions behind Gandhi’s humanism and secularism. Ghaffar Khan was always in his camp which earned him the title of ‘Frontier Gandhi’. The movie on his life and political struggle was an epic which Modi has washed away with his fascism.
Sheikh Abdullah, the Sher-e-Kashmir was also won over by Gandhi and Nehru. Jinnah’s straight talk could not convince him to come under one flag. In his lifetime the Sher-e-Kashmir realized his blunder and now his entire family is behind bars. The people of Kashmir are paying a heavy price for the folly of the Sheikhs.
The “Lahore Resolution” of 1940 proved to be a major milestone in the partition of the Indian Sub-Continent. In the year 1944 Gandhi traveled
to Bombay for parleys with Jinnah. While Gandhi wanted to keep India united with Muslim majority autonomous regions quite like Kashmir, Jinnah insisted on the two nation theory. Unable to convince the great leader, Gandhi returned empty handed. Modi is now trying to undo the partition of the Sub-Continent. He has gone a step further by revoking article 370 of the constitution which allowed autonomy to the only Muslim Majority state in the Indian Union.
RSS kept going despite four bans and murder of the father of the Indian nation. Now their consistent efforts have been paid off through Modi.
The concept of a secular “Indian Union” was the biggest hoax of the 20th century. Like Modi, Gandhi also desired a Hindu dominated state. Jinnah understood the Hindu mentality as he worked closely with the congress leaders in promoting religious harmony. After the frustration of his genuine efforts he left politics to practice law in UK. It was Allama Iqbal who convinced him to come back to the motherland to lead the movement for partition of the Sub-Continent.
Pakistan despite its problems is a reality, its defenses are impregnable. Where Gandhi failed, Modi will not succeed either in undoing the partition or cornering our freedom. Unity of India can only be ensured through secularism otherwise it will collapse. Minorities (Muslims, Sikhs, Christians) are insecure. Even the Dalits are not treated well, they remain untouchables. For political advantage Gandhi brought the Dalits into the Hindu fold but their inclusion into the mainstream of politics was just cosmetic.
Kashmir is a test case for the ‘Indian Union’ as conceived and proposed by Gandhi to Jinnah in 1944 parleys. Sheikh Abdullah acceded conditionally to be a part of this union and so did the Sikhs. By opting for a separate state the Muslims of Bengal, Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan secured their future. Millions migrated to the new land from all corners of India. Those who relied on Gandhi’s assurances now face an uncertain future. Bangladesh came out of Quaid’s Pakistan not Gandhis India. Currently there are about 18 freedom movements in Modi’s India with Kashmir being the deadliest.
The government of Indian National Congress (INC) sponsored the movie on ‘Gandhi’ which proved to be an epic. Now in opposition, INC should initiate a movie on Modi to keep Gandhi’s legacy alive and separate the heroes from zeroes. If INC decides to look the other way then the government of Pakistan should sponsor several documentaries with the titles of’ ‘Butcher of Gujarat’, ‘Reincarnation of Hitler’, ‘RSS the Nazi Party of India’, ‘Brahmin Democracy’, ‘Military Annexation of Kashmir’, ‘The Siege of Kashmiris’, ‘Freedom for Kashmir’ etc. etc. These short films on the social media can be used to expose the fascist designs of the Hitler of the 21st century.
Akbar S. Ahmed’s movie on ‘Jinnah’ did not have the same impact as Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi’. By his fascist acts Modi has neutralized the ‘Gandhi Myth’ of secularism and humanism. Jinnah and his principled stance has been vindicated. It is time to highlight what he struggled and stood for. A strong and vibrant Pakistan is the best gift for the father of the nation who worked honestly and selflessly to carve out a new country by his effective advocacy without firing a bullet.
Modi is taking India into a dark alley from where there is no coming back. While we in Pakistan remain committed to the vision of the father of the nation, in Modi’s India Gandhi’s effigies are being burnt. It seems the father of the nation is being replaced with K.B. Hedgewar the founder of RSS. While both Gandhi and Jinnah struggled for the freedom of India, Hedgewar founded RSS in 1925 to create a fascist Hindu state.
In Lahore Allama Inayatullah Khan Mashriqi also launched his ‘Khaksar Tehrik’ to stop the partition of India, when he failed he disbanded his party in 1947. RSS kept going despite four bans and murder of the father of the Indian nation. Now their consistent efforts have been paid off through Modi. BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is only a cover up of the RSS hidden agenda.
How will India come out of this lockjam only time will tell. History may be repeating itself, Hitler destroyed himself, his country and the world. Unless stopped Modi is treading the same path of turmoil and destruction under the garb of democracy. To save India and humanity he has to be dealt with before it is too late.
Dr. Farid A. Malik is Ex-Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation. The article was first published in The Nation and has been republished here with the author’s permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.