Agra: Who gained most
from Mahatma Gandhi's assassination and what if he had lived a
These questions were posed to leading Gandhians in the Taj city
Monday, his death anniversary. Most said it was a huge national
tragedy. Gandhiji's presence after independence would have made a
world of difference to India's politics and governance, they felt.
Surely Gandhiji would have played a crucial role in bridging the
communal divide following partition. His presence would have
helped evolve a growth model that would have really empowered the
rural masses, the Gandhians said.
"If only Gandhiji had lived for another 10 years or so, conditions
would have been different. The assassin who killed the Mahatma
obviously failed in his mission and objectives. What have the
fanatics achieved except getting a tarnished image that they have
not been able to get rid of till this day?" Gandhian and senior
Congress leader Satish Chandra Gupta, 86, who was a legislator in
1985, told IANS.
It was Jan 30, 1948 when Gandhiji fell to the bullets of Nathuram
Southeast Asia specialist and commentator Paras Nath Choudhary
told IANS that "looking back it now appears that the killer of the
Mahatma was an agent of the corrupt ruling elite that took over
the reins of governance and in later decades played havoc with
"If only Gandhiji had lived a couple of years more, the Congress
would have either been disbanded, paving the way for realignment
of political forces, or gone through a restructuring of a
Jitendra Raghvanshi, the national general secretary of the Indian
People's Theatre Association (IPTA), told IANS: "Definitely, if
Gandhiji had lived a little longer, the agony of partition would
have been minimised and the presence of a moral authority would
surely have kept power brokers and tainted politicians in check.
"Nelson Mandela in South Africa was able to keep the nation
together and avoid a split on racial lines. Mahatma Gandhi too
would have made sure that the ill-effects of the two-nation theory
were drastically contained and the peoples of the two countries
lived in harmony."
The debate continues, as people wonder why Gandhiji was
assassinated and what have been the net gains to fundamentalists.
IANS talked to some students too.
Manoj, a journalism student, said "the foreign-trained rulers did
not like Gandhiji's lifestyle and his moral preachings. Such
elements must have rejoiced over his death."
Neha Rajaura said: "Had Gandhiji lived longer, he would have been
been sidelined by power-hungry politicians."
Ashok Kulshreshtra, a prominent leader of the Braj Prant Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), said: "Nobody has gained anything from
the assassination of Gandhiji. If he had lived a little longer a
lot of distortions in body politik would have been rectified.
Gandhiji always experimented, learnt from his mistakes and
revised. The RSS has never supported violence in any form."
Khandelwal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)