No Place for Gandhi in Modi's India - By Aijaz Zaka Syed  - IAMC
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No Place for Gandhi in Modi’s India – By Aijaz Zaka Syed 

Nothing is so prized in politics as a short public memory. As India and the world mark the 150thbirth anniversary of Gandhi and world leaders ply us with the usual platitudes about the greatness of the Mahatma and his teachings, it’s extraordinary how anachronistic the man deified as the ‘Father of the nation’ has become in today’s India.

And those who have spent all their lives fighting and mocking his ideals and teachings see no irony in lining up to offer rich tributes to the great man and portraying themselves as his sincere followers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been considerate enough to pen an opinion article for the New York Times on the occasion. Irony of ironies, the same issue of the Times had on its front page a stunning image of distraught Kashmiri women, endlessly waiting for their loved ones – many of them young children – who were taken away by security forces.

As Nicholas Dawes of the Human Rights Watch tweeted, “it takes some chutzpah to write a paean to (Gandhi’s) non-violent resistance when you’ve locked up and locked down so many elected Kashmiri leaders and ordinary citizens!” The greatest irony of these perfunctory ceremonies is how the Mahatma has been successfully appropriated by the very forces that detested his worldview, collaborated with the British and eventually killed him.…