In my previous article I used the term “Gandhi Nehru” axis which had dominated the Indian political, social, Economic and cultural context in more than six decades and in this piece of article I want to elaborate more about the phenomenon of “Gandhi Nehru” axis but this elaboration has nothing to do with the merits of this phenomenon because writer of these lines believe that in those years of domination of this axis may be it had happened to be the best way to deal with the situation.
Gandhian way of politics – In the days of around first world war when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi returned to India from South Africa riding on the wave of popularity after his successful experiment to lead a movement with new method of leading the agitating mob without taking the route of violence to take the law into their own hands but violating the law in peaceful manner to force the authorities to negotiate the agitators on their own terms without being branded as violence seekers and shrinking the space for state to crush the agitation with counter violence . The post industrial Europe which was engulfed and blurred with ideas of imperialism , white men’s burden and greed of capitalism and violence , war along with competing ideological visions had made the whole political and economic climate very confused and uncertain and in that hour of darkness the new method of non cooperation and non violence of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi created a space for the alternative voices and resentment to take on state and system in form of agitation and battle of legitimate rights not a gorilla war .
When Gandhi returned to India and was confronted with the political realities of India he found that defunct resistance of the then elitist Indian National Congress for the rights of the people of the country was more a fashionable drawing room politics without any substance and given the situation he immediately defined his political vision and method to achieve his vision.
When Gandhi landed in India he find himself stuck in multiple fractured visions which were pulling each other in different directions to shape the new destiny of post Mughal India.
The Bengal Bhadralok had transformed them with changing realities of the contemporary world and the massive reformation process was happening in social and spiritual sphere to political awareness. Another part of the country where things were moving and churning with more visibility was the western part of India particularly Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Gandhi assessed the whole situation and as a smart strategist found that the whole political movement for liberation needs to be infused with religious and spiritual connotation to communicate it to the most of the people of the country and in this process he decides to revive the “ Bhakti Movement” in contemporary political context and as it was in the medieval days of “ Bhakti Movement” during Mughal period the saints and sages had evolved an unique formula of non violent and soft non cooperation to defy the supremacy of Mughal rulers in Delhi as they themselves declared that Ram and Krishna are their masters and this message was delivered to the common people of the country to avoid the day to day armed confrontation with rulers without being indulged into direct defiance or mutiny on one hand and keeping their distinct identity remain intact from any possible social and political intermingling .
Gandhi revived the formula of “Bhakti” and “ Raghupati Raghawa RajaRam” become his mantra to communicate his political message to the masses .
The other most important aspect of Gandhian Politics was his assertion on “ Simplicity” , given the contemporary political and economic situation he knew it very well that any armed confrontation or guerrilla war could give much needed cover to the British Empire to use undue violence against the dissenting voice for the aspiration of the liberation and the whole movement will lose its ethical and moral support against the very idea of imperialism outside India so he argued to stick to the non violence and non cooperation with spiritual purification and his assertion for more “ Simplicity” was another tool to connect him to the masses directly but it not only connect him to the masses it also exposes the hollowness of the whole ideological myth of western imperialism based on the idea of “ White man’s burden” and the “ Simplicity” of Gandhi along with his Dhoti alone on the whole body as part of dress with support of Lathi always symbolizes not only the simplistic nature of his personality but also the exploitative part of the British Empire which converted India into this situation with their economic and mercantile enterprise which easily conveyed the message to the other parts of the world among more enlightened people in the west that British empire has not been able to deliver its promise to its colony and it always made apologetic to those who were truly devoted to the message of the “ Son of God” and with their true service wanted to bring more people into his kingdom.
Nehru phenomenon– JawaharLal Nehru was the visionary leader who too blended three revolutions French revolution, Industrial revolution and Bolshevik revolution into one idea of India to take independent India to new heights and laid down the vision for future of the country.
His foreign policy was more based on the moralistic principle of taking the burden to be more ethical and moral without interfering in other’s territory.
When we sit to evaluate the relevance of “Gandhi Nehru” axis in contemporary world we forced to conclude that keeping all the respect for their contribution and vision in their era it is no more a blasphemy to reevaluate their ideas and methods in new context.
The over emphasis of the necessity to be “Simple”, undesirable to the material growth or giving up every worldly desire to be a good public figure has become the hall mark for the Indian social and political figure in India but this criteria has made the whole system hypocrite rather than honest or sacrosanct.
The “Ganhian” phenomenon of simplicity and giving up every worldly pleasure is so deeply ingrained into the minds of the people as far as image of any person is concerned that it invite people to pretend to be simple, honest and Saint in worldly life who does not desire to become wealthy, he want to give up everything for the sake of the service of the people of the country. This phenomenon has developed the hypocritical attitude in the society where wealth , materialism and pleasure is being considered as bad and dirty words and people spend their more money in hiding their wealth rather than disclosing it proudly or spending them to create more jobs or growth. This is one of the main contributors in this whole debate of corruption in India where people are unable to distinguish the difference between a wealthy people or corrupt people and to them ever one who is wealthy and contributing in material growth to the country with his spending is legitimate case for suspicion to be corrupt and immoral.
The Nehru phenomenon to needs to be rectified particularly in the changing global scenario as foreign policy can no more depend on the moralistic principle of ethical and morality of non interference in other’s territory even if our interest are on the stake.