Gandhi – The Father who never was

Gandhi – The Father who never was

A question, the answer to which was learnt by heart during my primary school days, I could recite it even if I would be woken up from my sleep and asked.  As my daughters grew up, this was one of the most pertinent questions that I had taught them too.

No General Knowledge book published in India would be complete without this question, “Who is the Father of the Nation”. The answers may slightly vary from book to book, some mentioning it as “Gandhiji”, some as “Mahatma Gandhi” and some even as “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”. But the fact remained that each of  these answers referred to and pointed to only one person.

 Any child would be ridiculed for her low intelligence quotient if this question could not be answered. But now it seems that Government records prove that all of us who learnt it the way we have are dumb asses.

May come as a surprise to the intellect of most of us, but surprisingly, the Government of India does not consider Gandhiji as the Father of the Nation!

 The Government documents state that Gandhiji was never conferred with this title ever, constitutionally. It further states that Mahatma Gandhi cannot be accorded the “Father of the Nation” title ever by the Government, since Article 18 (1) of our Constitution does not permit it to accord any titles to any citizen of the country or otherwise, except the educational and military titles that it does.

What is appalling is that the Government also is passing on the buck from one department to another. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) does not have a plausible answer as to why, when and by whom was this title conferred upon the Mahatma. Neither does the National Archives of India (NAI) have a conceivable reply nor does the Central Information Commission (CIC) has.

 A four liner clarification by the CIC seems to have sealed the fate on this subject. It just states, “There is no order/document on record by which Gandhiji was given the title of “Rashtrapita”. Gandhiji is reverently called the “Father of the Nation/Rashtrapita” by the entire country. The title is not dependent on the presumed presence or absence of official records”.

Maybe as a saving grace, the clarification adds, “His supreme role in the freedom struggle of our Nation is an incontrovertible part of our loud legacy. Needless controversies in such matters are hurtful and should be avoided by all. We say no more”.

De Di Hame Aazadi Bina Khadag Bina Dhal,..

 Sabarmati Ke Sant Tune Kar Diya Kamaal!

When we can never dispute the fact that Mahatma Gandhi was the driving force behind the establishment of this independent country, is it not time that we decide to accord this honorific title, an official sanction and seal.

 Aandhi Me Bbhi Jalti Rahe Gandhi Teri Mashaal,..

Sabarmati Ke Sant Tune Kar Diya Kamaal!

 

 

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