The word ‘Gandhi’ brings to my mind a pedestal bearing a life-size statue, soiled with clotted droppings of a thousand pigeons in flight that use the top of the statue as rest-room. Once in a long while you see a couple of municipal workers putting the statue to a beauty-parlour treatment. Which is when I guess Oct.2 must be around.
In can’t think of a town in our country without a Gandhi statue. If only a statue can speak, we would probably hear from Gandhi Square in every town a common cry of anguish, ‘Hey Ram, what have I done to deserve this?’ When people want to forget someone special, they put him on a pedestal . And Gandhi is the best-known forgotten figure in our recent history.
Even during lifetime he proved inconvienient to many of our leaders. Subsequent generations found his socal prescriptions, such as caste equality, communal harmony and corruption-free society, tough to put in practice. Those who put Gandhi on a pedestal are happy keeping him there, for ever. If the statue on our neighbourhood Gandhi Square is allowed by the authorities to make just one wish, it would be, ‘Bring me down from the pedestal’.
My thought on this Gandhi Jayanti Day is that the father of our nation, who sought to lead a simple life amid ordinary folk during lifetime, would probably like, more than anything else, a parole from the pedeastal, so that he could step out on the street and join the never ending public morcha of social activists against the powers that be.