Bapu has been in the news for quite some time now and interestingly, for all the right reasons! The Gandhi that we grew up reading in schools and colleges has become a subject of public scrutiny today. Was it all eyewash, designed by the Congress party? There are numerous documented conspiracy theories that expose Gandhi’s hidden agenda. His filthy politics and how he may have played a devious role in the disappearance of Subhash Chandra Bose is unsettling. Historians and other scholars say the father of the nation was responsible for the division based on religious lines. He kept talking about the importance of Hinduism and its guiding principles in his public speeches. He was clearly inciteful.
He is appearing to be a very different person from what we have known of him. Conniving and shrewd, Mahatma Gandhi is back to haunt you, in all his inglorious self.
Amidst all this, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court has ruled that the use of disrespectful language against Gandhi is unacceptable, even if it is done in the name of satire or art. The Supreme Court even attempted to instil fear by mentioning that those who speak against Gandhi can be jailed for up to two years under section 292 of the Indian penal code. If this was the case howcome a movie with such scenes went under the nose of censor board.This video will help you decide:
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said ‘the freedom of speech and expression is a ‘regulated freedom’. Whatever be the basis for this change in law, it is fundamentally flawed.
Effectively speaking, anyone who did not live in Gandhi’s time to be in a better position to judge the man, is naturally forced to accept history as it is written. The impression of the man in our collective psyche has been imposed upon us. Of course, there are archived footages and films on his struggle for freedom but they only deal with the surface. Gandhi as a man, as it is slowly being revealed in the public space, is not who we read about.
This man had a way with women, he indulged in drinking and was particularly cosy with really young, nubile women. Without doubt, these are serious allegations and a whole lot of people are likely to feel offended and angry. But not speaking about what we all know makes no difference.
Living in the 21st century in a country that has such a robust, vibrant democracy, how can the esteemed Supreme Court direct us to restrain from speaking our mind about any person, dead or alive? The charges have been documented over the years. Social media like Facebook and twitter are flooded with views and reactions on the subject. The big secret is out.
There have been many books written with the intention of presenting facts related to Gandhi. Books like ‘Naked Ambition’, `Great Soul; Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India’ have all been banned in India because the Governments of the past did not want the truth to come out. Well, truth has its way of revealing itself. Many believe he had active role to play in the deaths of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. His inability to tackle the Kashmir issue has led to many conflicts between India and Pakistan.
Our freedom of speech and expression cannot be taken away just because some emotional fools believe Gandhi was a saint. If their sentiments get hurt from listening to or reading about the long-suspected truth, then they can’t be helped.
SC can’t curb our freedom just to accommodate emotional fools who worship Mahatma Gandhi. We should be free to express our opinion on Gandhi, however hard to swallow!