mercoledì 26 gennaio 2011

Gandhi and India

Gandhi and Nehru
During my first trip to India (1984) my indian friend told me, "Gandhi in India is just on the banknotes." Perhaps she a bit exaggerated, but no doubt the opinion that the Indians have of Gandhi is not unambiguously positive as we might think.
In fact, there are many who revere him as a Mahatma and Father of the Nation, but there are so many, I dare say more and more, not only are not  in agreement whit him, but even hate him.
When I was new in Facebook, a October 2 - the birthday of Gandhi - I posted a picture of Gandhi with the words "Happybirthday Gandhij”, I was the cause of a sensational brawl among my Indian friends and there were a lot of insulting remarks against Mahatma held responsible for deaths of hundreds of thousands of Hindus. I’m not surprised therefore to read in the international and in Indian press that an IPS officer of indian state of Uttar Pradesh would bring an action against Facebook  because in that social community there is a group "I hate Gandhi." In fact, the pages and groups against Gandhi in Facebook can be counted in dozens.
In this period of Hindu revenge, of Hindutva, of severe religious conflicts in the subcontinent with their political manipulation, the heroes are not Gandhi or his disciple Vinoba Bove, but the violent figthers for indipendence like Subhas Chandra Bose, allied with Nazi-fascist nations during Second World War. He wanted to get rid of the British colonialism by violence.
But what do his opponents contest to Gandhi? The list is long. First they criticize his attitude towards Muslims to which Gandhi would have granted too much, then they criticize the strategy of nonviolence that - they say - would have delayed Indian independence. They feel him responsible for the partition of 1947 that gave rise to the Islamic state of Pakistan. In particular, they criticize the period of the Quit India, when to protest against England, Gandhi launched the period of absolute non-cooperation of the Indians towards the British Empire and he forced the resignation of his followers any representative council and board. They object to Gandhi had not exploited the difficulties of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Many also accuse Gandhi of having conspired with the British to capture and hang another independence fighter, Bhagat Singh, or otherwise not doing anything to stop his execution. Gandhi is also criticized for some heterodoxy from the dictates of Hinduism and is challenged his indictment of the caste system and his favorable attitude towards the untouchables whom he called Harijan, the children of God.What can I say? No doubt that today India has the admiration of the West, the stock market in Mumbai, the two-digit GDP, the Silicon Valley of East and unbridled consumerism, the shining India, India Superstar, India nuclear power is not the India of Gandhi. The development model of the Mahatma was autarchy, self-sufficient villages, he repudiated industrialization and mass production, he supported the continuation of traditions and the environment. In the villages of India we can guess what was the thinking of Gandhi and there are still those who believe - as Arundhati Roy in a very good essay that I have in part already published in this blog - that India and just India can be example of sustainable development and other than Western model. It seems to me however that the path embarked on this wonderful country is going in the opposite direction, unfortunately.

1 commento:

  1. Salve, scusami se ti commento un post vecchissimo ma mi sono persa a leggere il tuo blog! Molto ben curato complimenti! Io sono Desirée Righi, assistente alla produzione di "River to River. Festival di cinema indiano" che si terrà dal 2 all'8 dicembre 2011 presso il cinema Odeon di Firenze. Chiaramente sei invitato a venirci a trovare dato che abiti anche vicino! Puoi trovare il programma sul sito: Potrei avere un tuo indirizzo email per contattarti in privato? Ci piacerebbe se tu potessi scrivere un post su di noi sul tuo blog. Grazie per l'attenzione e ti aspettiamo al festival!!