Today happened to be the 64th death anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi ( a name bestowed upon him by Rabindranath Tagore); yet to my surprise, of all my 850 plus friends on facebook, most of whom are Indians, none, except one, chose to mention him in any way.
Rather alarming and shocking. Quite a few of them are even supporters, and quite vocally so, of Mr. Hazare and not so long ago equated him (erroneously so, in my opinion) to the Mahatma.
Yet they remained silent about the actual one.
You must understand, I speak as one, who himself has issues with the Mahatma. As I suppose most children born to dispossessed families or second generation exiles (refugees, to use the more brazen and politically incorrect term) would be entitled to.
The partition of our state did not and will not go down amicably in the history of our people. Only recently a prominent politician remarked “There will not be another partition...” reinstating that we have still not come to terms with it. Nor with the riots that followed.
But that is a debate for another day. Not today...
Today I pay respect to the man who changed this nation and the world. Because, regardless of everything, he deserves it.
This is a man who touched all; not only his countrymen. His influence can be traced from Martin Luther King to John Lennon.
Yet the multitude is silent, a silence that sends down cold shivers.
What has become of our hero? Has he been forgotten?
The state may employ all kinds of machinery to make sure he is remembered, from dry days to dry states to currency notes. Yet can these means really convey to the public psyche the essence of what he was. Will they ever go beyond the man, and maybe have a fleeting glimpse at what the man was about?
Today’s deafening silence makes me worry. Are we just creating an entertainment hungry populace who refuse to acknowledge anything beyond sports, movies or the current in-fashion political stance ?
Somewhere, if my Dad, who is not so net-savvy, would have read this, he would perhaps smile and say to me “That’s your MTV generation…”