In SouthLive (http://en.southlive.in/india, January 14, 2017
‘Charkha in hands and Nathuram in heart, no sin in calling a joker a joker;’ Gandhi’s great-grandson slams Modi over Khadi calendar row – Thushar Gandhi and Gandhi calendar
(Note: Aren’t we living in very, very exciting times, democracy glowing bright like the noon-day sun the world over, both in religion and politics. What is democracy at its best? At its brightest? At its core is Freedom of Expression, confronting argument with argument to demolish each other or persuade the opponent to bow out admitting defeat in all humility and granting victory to the other in respectful submission, with no love lost on either side and no violence indulged in. No one defended that principle ever so stoutly and beautifully as Voltaire who reportedtly said: “I wholly disapprove of what you say—and will defend to the death your right to say it.”
I said reportedly because there are still different persons who claim ‘maternity’ or ‘paternity’ to that quote. One version says, Voltaire was the pen name of François-Marie Arouet who died in 1778, another, that it was of an English author named Evelyn Beatrice Hall in 1906. To satisfy both the French and English, read the two versions: “Monsieur l’abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire.” Here is one rendering in English: “Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” Let the academic discussion continue, leaving us to accept its universally accepted content and explain its message and relevance for our days, irrespective of whether ‘Voltaire’ was a real or penname.
So what is the message: “If you deny to anyone else the right to say what you think is wrong, it will not be long before you will lose the right to say what you think is right. Defense of the freedom of others is self-defense. Voltaire stated this fact as a genius. No one is bound to accept my views, pleasant or unpleasant, equally no one has the right or the duty to forbid me to express my considered views. This applies with equal force to me when you – friends or foes, critics or supporters — express your bitter or sweet views about me.”
If this is accepted – it has to be accepted by any reasonable person — there is absolutely no reason for the Congress or BJP, Sonia or Modi, Gandhi bhaktas or Naturam bhaktas to take offense at whatever abuses or blessings are showered on them by supporters and critics. Instead they all should take delight in them as so many unpaid for “devil’s advocate services”, as all those critiques are sure to contain at least a small hint to strengthen a weak link in your character. Hence the reason why this scribe regularly request the services of a “Devil’s advocate” from readers, knowing fully well they will not be sweet or even tasty enough to swallow.
So this is democracy, open discussion of things done or to be done in the country, in India, USA, Europe or anywhere else. Tomorrow is the curtain raiser for it in US with the coronation of their new controversial president, who is not without his many positive presidential vews. So is the case in India, the largest democracy with Modi trying to wipe out black money or uplift India’s patrimonial Khadi industry. It is the duty of us all to listen to to all. james kottoor, editor)
Tushar A. Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, unleashed an attack on Prime Minister Narendra on Saturday for replacing his great grandfather in Khadi calendar.
Terming Modi a joker, Gandhi's grandson said he wore a Rs 10 lakh suit, while Gandhi wore Khaddar (Khadi) to Buckingham Palace. “PM models for polyvastra (polyesterene). Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) wore khaddar (khadi) to Buckingham Palace, not a Rs 10 lakh suit,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
Expressing his anger at the Khadi and Village Industries Commission's (KVIC) decision to reject the image of Mahatma from its calendar, Thushar said Modi has charkha in his hand and 'Nathuram' in his heart. “Haath me Charkha, Dil me Nathuram. No sin in calling a spade a spade and a joker a joker on television.”
He also demanded shutting down the KVIC. Gandhi said his great-grandfather met Britain’s King George V and Queen Mary in 1931 in his trademark plain loincloth and a shawl. He compared it to Modi's attire when he hosted American President Barack Obama wearing a controversial suit with his name stitched on it in January 2015.
His series of Tweets was begun by this: “Tera Charkha le gaya Chor, Sun le Bapu ye Paigaam, Meri Chitthi tere naam (Your spinning wheel has been stolen — a message to Bapu)… First, Bapu disappeared from few Rs 2,000 currency notes, now he disappears from KVIC office and calendar. Replaced by Rs 10 lakh-ka suit loving PM.” This was continued by several tweets.
Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam also protested against the KVIC's decision to eject Gandhi. “It is an insult to the Father of Nation. We strongly condemn this… and demand that the calendars be withdrawn immediately,” Nirupam said.
Here are some Tweet reactions to the above story worth reflecting upon
Rajendra Tangwan ,
Works at Self-Employed, Jan 15, 2017
Gandhi's progeny turned out to be pathetic. silently, meekly, allowed Con party to highjack Gandhi legacy including name, fame, ….everything·
Venkateshwar Rao, Osmania University, Jan 16, 2017
Without that famous surname tagged to your name, Tushar, you are what your name means. Just few drops of water or better 'mist'.
Sundar Daniel, Ooty, India, Jan 16, 2017
Indira's husband was Feroze Gandhi. She was smart to take on her husband's name and her father's legacy. Remember the campaign of Rammohan Gandhi…? The Gandhis (of Mahatma Gandhi) did not sell their legacy.
Raghavan Murti, · Jan 16, 2017
If you ask current generation who is Mahatma Gandhi you will get an answer: great grand father of Priyanka Gandhi. This is what Morons of legendary Gandhi family have done to his legacy. They sold it to Indira Gandhi and her successors for a few years of luxury Raj Bahwans etc. Now talking big mouth.
Naineni Hanumanth, Jan 16, 2017
While most of u jokers say modi did nothing for his family and brothers, find fault with Gandhi ji doing nothing for his family, all bhakts are hypocritical jokers, fed with fabricated news .
Veer Narayan. Delhi College of Engineering, 16 hrs
I have seen many posts in which Gandhi's great grandsons slamming Modi. I want to ask what social services these great grandsons are doing? Does being a descendant from a great personality confers them right to speak highly? And why we even give them the publicity as if they are great leader without an iota of social work?
Shammi Sabharwal· JNU New Delhi, 16 hrs
Please understand that we are not living in 1931. What is wrong if a capable and honest prime minister of the world's largest democracy is depicted on the calendar. Let's learn to respect the present and not live in the past.
What follows is a News item in Postcard. News, by Ramachandra Bhat K of Jan.18, 2017 demolishing or rebutting all what is said above
Must Read! PM Narendra Modi haters’ hypocrisy exposed. A terrorist is projected as a leader, he surfaces on the calendar of a reputable firm, the same terrorist is given a martyrs funeral march, nobody rises an eye brow. But an elected representative of the citizens of India, Prime Minister of a nation, a leader whom the world admires, a leader who has a vision for the nation, a leader who has given his everything for the development of the country appears on the cover of calendar and diary of a statutory body which is formed by the Government of India and the opposition goes berserk. Yes, this is sad state which we Indians have to witness. A terrorist of the state is celebrated as a leader and an elected leader is depicted as someone very dangerous for the country.
The so called intellectuals from early 2000’s and especially from 2014 have not let go even a single chance to criticize Modi and their biggest strength of support has been none other than Congress party. The party which was in the opposition benches(still are) when Modi was CM and now when Modi has become PM has went crazy and they cannot just accept the fact that a person like Modi who has no family background has risen to this level. This itself is making the party go berserk against Modi which believes the power to run the nation should be vested with a family.
KVIC – The Khadi and Village Industries commission is a statutory body formed by the Government of India, under the act of Parliament, “Khadi and Village Industries Commission act of 1956” to empower and bring a manifold rise in the use of materials of Khadi industry. Since 1956 KVIC is releasing yearly calendar and diary with Mahatma Gandhi being its Brand Ambassador. But this year they have used the picture of PM Narendra Modi using the charkha on the cover page.
The insider who is close to decision making body says it was done so because after Narendra Modi was elected as the PM of India and also after Modi called out to Indians to buy at least one clothing of their daily use made of khadi the industry as a whole has witnessed a huge rise in their sales. So it was only natural that they depict Narendra Modi as their brand embassador for the year with a view to increase the sales further up. However this has irked several so called intellectuals and also the principal opposition party Congress who have decided that they will go after Modi for anything and everything.
These intellectuals who have all the time in the world to criticize Modi even on his sneeze have surprisingly went silent as they are deaf and dumb. These people who call themselves as opposition leaders have not spoken even a word against making terrorists like Burhan Wani as their cover picture of calendar. What’s more, this calendar is brought out by the same company which has an agreement with the Jammu and Kashmir government. The calendar is brought out by a company named ‘Mohammed Zamal Constructions’ who are suppliers to Jammu and Kashmir government since Farooq Abdullah’s era.