BJP can’t stake claim to the legacy of Gandhi. As its Hindutva is entirely opposite of what Gandhi Preached. This explains why BJP’s clever PR team tried to create a new Analogy.
M.K. Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi (if one wants to address him with reverence) is known the World over as the Messiah or Prophet of non-violence. Today, on his birthday, the Modi Government tried to change that perception. Since the BJP can’t claim the legacy of Gandhian non violence, it tried to overwhelm that with its PR created strategy of making him the “Messiah of Cleanliness”.
BJP can’t claim Gandhi’s non-violence, as its overall ideology (created around the Hindutva ) is almost polar to what Gandhi preached and practiced in his lifetime. BJP has its heroes in Patel (iron fisted), Bhagat Singh, Veer Savarkar, Chandrashekhar Azad (BJP’s UP Chief very recently called their party that of the sons of Bhagat Singh, who believe in ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth’) etc. Interestingly, for some reason BJP sees them as sporting their version of Nationalism. That’s why Mr. Modi calls himself a Hindu Nationalist.
Actually, Gandhism is a philosophy of Life. A philosophy of life which is founded on the tenets of non-violence of Thought and Action. A philosophy of life which empathizes with the pain of a fellow human being. After Gandhi, many political leaders the World over have used Gandhism to varying degrees of practice, to achieve their own goals. One of the key figures among them was Nelson Mandela. That apart, many common people are living Gandhism in their everyday lives. We don’t hear much about them, as they don’t feel the need to explain that to anyone. They know what it’s all about. To tell you what it is, I can only say : It’s not what Yogi Adityanath, Amit Shah and Asaduddin Owaisi stand for. It is not what Mr. Narendra Modi stands for either.
A small section of Indians are particularly happy today, as they see it as dwarfing Gandhism. They see it as an intelligent move to dissociate Gandhi from those who claim to be living Gandhism. They also see it as Mahatma Gandhi (siding Modi) exhorting the Nation to get rid of Trash (real and symbolic), and make the country clean. They may also be lauding Narendra Modi for his attempt to connect Gandhi with Cleanliness. PR people may be seeing it as another master stroke from Modi’s PR team. But tell you, it’s difficult to substitute Gandhi’s legacy that easily. It’s difficult to use Gandhi for one’s clever PR tactics. It’s difficult to end Gandhi in our hearts. Gandhi can tolerate everything but violence.
Gandhi stands for non-violence in Thought and Action, and he will remain alive in that form in every person who knows the true meaning of Gandhism. It’s hard to preach Gandhi or Gandhism, without practising it.