January 30. The day when the father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was assassinated.
I remember this day from the school. At the assembly, on this day, we would be reminded to follow the silent standing ceremony at around 10 or 10.30 am. The bell would ring at an odd time in midst of the class period, and we would all stand for one single minute in silence to commemorate the assassination of Gandhiji. We considered this break a warm welcome to the same routine of the teaching. In those days, I don’t remember having a break in the morning session.
In the high school, we had to study full history and autobiography of Gandhiji, “My Experiments with Truth”, in the form of English-II subject. Though it was the edited or the simplified version, we had to study his whole life. It was interesting at some points, but from the point of view of exams, it was not. I even once wondered, if Gandhiji was not there, we would have escaped this subject etc!
When I was in school, I remember watching the film Gandhi, on either August 15th, January 26th or October 2nd. But I remember the school book rather than the film.
The chapter which preached about saying the truth is one which I never will forget. The description of how Gandhi’s father made him cry, reminisce of my parents. I don’t remember any instance when they have scolded me very badly or beat me for my deeds. The disapproval was visible from their faces and that was enough for me to realize. I have tried my max not to lie to them ever. By the way, does hiding some facts equals lying?
I have wondered sometimes, if at all he was not assassinated, maybe he would have succeeded in reducing the Indo – Pak tensions or done something to reduce the religious conflicts in India. How would he have reacted to the current scenario? Especially the Indian Hindu culture being popularized by our “dear” political parties! There are still Sathyagraha’s being following the path of Gandhi to gain justice. In Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala its a daily routine before the secretariat. The instances have been mocked up even in films. But do you think the effect of the Sathyagraha is prominent and is being listened by the leaders? Will there be any leaders like Gandhiji who can free India from these religious barriers?
I hate politics. And thankfully, Gandhiji also never entered politics. May he rest in peace!