There is no such thing as Gandhism, and I do not want to leave any sect after me. I do not claim to have originated any new principle or doctrine. I have simply tried in my own way to apply the eternal truths to our daily life and problems....I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both, on as vast a scale and as best as I could. In doing so, I have sometimes erred and learnt by my errors. Life and its problems have thus become to me a series of experiments in the practice of truth and nonviolence”
– Mahatma Gandhi, in an address to the Gandhi Seva Sangh on March 28, 1936
What is Gandhiji’s legacy? If one has to believe Congress president Sonia Gandhi then the Congress has followed the path of Gandhi. As her speech goes, “India has Gandhi's principles as its foundation. The India we have seen in last five years will shake Gandhi's idea of India.” And her usual rant ended with reference to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “Quoting Mahatma Gandhi is easy but it is tough to follow his path”. Simultaneously, there is a debate going on whether Communist can be really liberals and Gandhians in the context of series of events. Both these questions pose fundamental issues before us pertaining to our nationhood and the methods that we want to employ in bringing change.
Gandhiji is considered as the face of Bharatiya civilisation at the global level. His idea of dissolving the Congress was to precisely avoid this legacy claim and creation of cult. Truth was his guiding force and he believed in reaching the ultimate truth with the help of individual relative truths, again in tune with the Bharatiya ethos. One can always debate what Gandhi would have done on issues like terrorism or separatism. What one cannot doubts that Gandhi would not have accepted misusing his legacy for a dynastic rule. He certainly would have defied corruption of any sorts. Misusing his name to accumulate power and wealth would be the last thing he could have stood by. Sonia Gandhi and her family exactly stand for all these and still Nehru-Gandhi Congress can claim legacy over Gandhi and nobody else? What kind of Gandhian approach is this?
The imposition of Western concepts of Socialism and Communism with centralised State power is the biggest Nehruvian legacy that we are trying to come out from. Instead of working for Swaraj and awakening the society for the same, strengthening the British systems of bureaucratic mechanism and false conception of ‘nation in the making’ are at the edifice of this fictitious Idea of India. Hinduphobia and anathema to civilisational values are the practices that are nurtured in the name of secularism. The communists who put Lenin and Stalin above Gandhiji or any other Bharatiya hero, who considered Mao even above Nehru has been the ideological torchbearers of the Congress Sonia Gandhi is batting for. Piggybacking with the communists, standing with the breaking-Bharat forces and speaking for the corrupt dynastic practices are definitely not the ingredients of the Gandhian legacy.
Instead of celebrating his 150th birth anniversary as legacy for the world, the claimant of his legacy are getting into to a political war is the biggest insult to Gandhiji. The occasion is to rise above party lines and try to emulate whatever best we can to address the contemporary national issues. If RSS is showing the right path for this let it be; do not kill Gandhi again just because you desist RSS. As a revenge perhaps, Congress should claim legacy of Dr Hedgewar, the founder of RSS, who himself was the Congress member. Instead of dividing our forefathers and freedom fighters on caste or party lines, sharing the common legacy for constructive resolution of problems is the right path Gandhi would have preferred. Addressing the soul force of people is the only way out to claim legacy of Gandhiji. Nehru-Gandhi Congress riding on dynastic capitalism but intellectual communism unfortunately is no mood to chart this difficult path shown by Gandhiji.