‘Those who get their worldview in shakhas…’: Congress attacks Modi over remarks on Gandhi

PTI, May 30, 2024, 12:19 PM IST

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the ‘world did not know of Mahatma Gandhi till the film ‘Gandhi’ was made’ and said those whose ‘ideological ancestors’ were involved in Gandhi’s assassination can never follow the path of truth shown by him.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, ‘I don’t know in which world the outgoing prime minister lives where Mahatma Gandhi was not recognised across the world before 1982. If anyone has destroyed the legacy of the Mahatma, it is the outgoing prime minister himself.

‘His own government has destroyed Gandhian institutions in Varanasi, Delhi and Ahmedabad,’ the Congress leader alleged.

Former party president Rahul Gandhi said that those who follow Nathuram Godse’s path of violence cannot understand Gandhi.

‘Those whose ideological ancestors along with Nathuram Godse were involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, can never follow the path of truth given by Bapu.

‘Now the lie is about to pack its bags and go,’ Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said in a post in Hindi on X.

In a video message, Rahul Gandhi said, ‘Those who get their world view in ‘Shakhas’ cannot understand Gandhi ji, they understand Godse and follow Godse’s path.’

‘Gandhi ji was an inspiration to the entire world. Martin Luther King Junior, Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein were all inspired by Gandhi. Crores of people in India follow Gandhi’s path of truth and non-violence. This is the fight between truth and untruth, between violence and non-violence.

‘Those who are violent and untrue neither understand non-violence nor truth,’ he said in the video before Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Delhi.

In a post on X, he also said, ‘Mahatma Gandhi is the sun which gave strength to the entire world to fight against darkness.’

‘In the form of truth and non-violence, Bapu showed the world a path that gives courage to even the weakest person to stand up against injustice. He does not need any ‘shakha educated’ certificate,’ the former Congress chief said in his post in Hindi.

He also took a swipe at the prime minister, saying, ‘Only a student of ‘Entire Political Science’ would need to watch the film to know about Mahatma Gandhi.’

‘This is the identity of the RSS workers that they do not know the nationalism of Mahatma Gandhi. It is due to the environment created by their ideology that Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi, Ramesh said in his post on X.

‘The 2024 election has taken place between Mahatma bhakts and Godse bhakts. The defeat of the outgoing prime minister and his Godse bhakt companions is obvious,’ Ramesh said.

Congress general secretary, organisation, K C Venugopal said Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest icon of modern history in the world and even before Independence, he was a phenomenon that every colonised country admired and looked to for inspiration.

‘Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, who Modi referred to in his ludicrous statement, were inspired by Gandhi himself.

‘To think that a movie was required to popularise India’s greatest thought leader since the Buddha is not only ignorant but also an insult to Bapu,’ Venugopal said in a post on X.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that she heard from PM Modi that no one knew Mahatma Gandhiji until an Englishman made a film on him.

‘Not only did the whole world know him, the freedom movements of many countries were also inspired by him.

‘It is surprising to know that the prime minister knows so little about the history of his country and the heroes of the freedom movement. Perhaps for them, Gandhiji is also just a PR stunt,’ she said in a post in Hindi on X.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said he was appalled by the prime minister’s comment.

‘Has Mr Modi heard of the name Albert Einstein? Does Mr Modi know what Albert Einstein said of Mahatma Gandhi? Did Albert Einstein (died 1955) know about Mahatma Gandhi only after the film ‘Gandhi’ was released (1982),’ he asked.

Prime Minister Modi in a TV interview to a TV channel said, ‘…Across the world, Mahatma Gandhi was a great person. Was it not our responsibility in these 75 years to ensure that the entire world knows Mahatma Gandhi. I am sorry to say that no one knows about him.

‘The first time when the film ‘Gandhi’ was made, it was then that there was curiosity across the world as to who this person was. We have not done so… .’

‘It was the task of this country to ensure that if the world knows about Martin Luther King, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela ji, then Gandhi was no less. One has to agree and I am saying this after travelling across the world that India should have got that importance due to Mahatma Gandhi.

‘The solution to a lot of problems of the world lies in Gandhi. We have lost a lot…,’ PM Modi said in his interview.

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