Tushar Gandhi: To drag Bapu in was strategically planned

Updated: May 22, 2019, 07:53 IST | Hemal Ashar

Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson Tushar on why Bapu would not have cared about the current mud-slinging

Tushar Gandhi: To drag Bapu in was strategically planned
Tushar Gandhi

Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi is currently in New York and the high decibel election, exit polls and tumult is resonating loud and clear in the Big Apple too. Gandhi said, "Exit polls, results, controversies and mud-slinging, Bapuji would not have cared for all this."

Gandhi has trenchant words for the way his great grandfather has been dragged into the elections. Bapu's shadow fell long over the bitter days, "which saw hate and division like we have never seen before," said Gandhi. The Mumbai native believes, "the real war during the election phase was being fought on social media. The verbal violence was unreal and poison was coursing through venal cyber attacks."

Saffron strategy

Gandhi said, "Actor Kamal Haasan [he has got anticipatory bail] stated that Godse who assassinated Bapu was a Hindu terrorist. What is wrong with that statement? Godse was the first terrorist of Independent India."

Yet, you saw Sadhvi Pragya saying that Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt. "This was orchestrated strategy. The responses to Kamal Haasan's statement were so rabid, you know that there was a plan to all this. Anti-Bapu rhetoric reached a fever pitch."

When Gandhi was asked whether the stereotype that Bapu appeased the Muslims or had pandered to the community had any truth, Gandhi said a firm, "No, that is as baseless as saying that Bapuji's actions were detrimental to the nation. Those who say this have tainted eyesight themselves. Some of this was tacit at first, but is increasingly getting open now, and official support. For Bapu, the nation came first. The image of a secular, tolerant India is undeniably associated with Bapu."

Peace, love

Yet, when asked then that to shut down conversation of those opposed to Bapu's ideology is to be intolerant, the very trait that these so-called haters are accused of having, Gandhi said, "Healthy debate is always welcome. Yet, there is a difference between debate, dissent and abusive comment, which is what this campaign with unfortunately, Bapu's shadow falling long over it, was reduced to."

Gandhi claimed that there was truth to the parallels that some draw between the current situation in India and the USA. "In the US too I see so much polarisation in society. Unlike India, the threat of violence may not be as close to the surface but US society too is radically divided," finished Gandhi who said as we wait for just 24 hours for election results that hate is temporary, but peace and love are for eternity.

'Kamal Haasan is tired and retired'

Mumbai's Shriraj Nair, spokesperson Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) simply said, "Kamal Haasan has got anticipatory bail but he claims he will not withdraw his statement about Nathuram Godse. Kamal Haasan is a tired, retired and sulking actor, who is now trying to make his place in politics but he is going to fail. We accept that Godse was a murderer, not a terrorist. Godse committed a murder and he was punished for it. We wholeheartedly condemn Kamal Haasan's statement and know that he has no guts to talk about Islamist terror or brutalities of colonial rule."

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