Two days before October 2, Gandhiji’s Birthday, Narendra Modi addressed the students of an MBA Institute in Mumbai. There he talked about Gandhiji. The salient moment in the address came when Modiji said this: Gandhiji never acted violently in his entire Life, but what is interesting, he always carried with him a Danda (Lathi).
Modi Sahab, Please Spare Gandhiji! Even if you have least respect for the man, don’t ascribe out of context and irrelevant meanings to Gandhian philosophy and its symbols.
Gandhiji carried a lathi as it was a norm those days. Gandhiji never said he carried a lathi for self protection. This becomes more evident, when one sees the non-violent track record of Gandhiji. That apart, people also carry a Lathi to assist walking.
Irrelevant use of Gandhian Lathi by Modi, to give it a different connotation (a Weapon of Self defense) is similar to the statements that make a Gamchha (a cloth worn by men around the neck in UP and Bihar) a strangulating tool, a pen in a woman’s purse as a weapon to poke eyes and blah blah blah. If such a viewpoint is accepted, then everything in a woman hand bag or in a man’s self or pocket can be called a Weapon.
Gandhism is an elevated state of being. Unfortunately, Modi Sahab can’t understand that. He’s in a habit of creating fear in people’s mind, so that some superficial self protection tool can be suggested.
Gandhiji discouraged violence in every form: Violence in Action, Violence in Speech and Violence in Thought. Those who believe in Gandhian philosophy see nonviolence as a strength. They don’t see a need to intimidate others by actions, Speech or Thought. Why intimidate someone with even words? Is Gandhian Philosophy.