*I gave this speech in The Loudspeakers Aug 12 meet up
*This is unedited.
Imagine, a guy in this late 40s. Arrives back to his home country via a ship, he is wearing premium British clothes, holding a suitcase full of legal papers.
His dad worked for British Raj (East India Company) & helped the Britishers to collect tax from innocent peasants.
In his 20s, the guy was nothing more than a spoiled brat, he smoked, he lied,, he drank!
He got to study England when about 10% Indians could read & write! He was lucky, that His family had enough wealth that he could spend his life resting.
But yet, this insane guy, when he returned back to India did something no one in the history the of the world ever did.
There was no one to receive him in 1914s when he arrived.
But within 15 years, the whole nation followed him from villages to villages! Just think about it, millions of people, of various religions, of various ethnicities following a guy who they had no idea if existed 15 years back.
And all this popularity, when there was no means of mass communication, no radio, no tv, nothing ! All the major newspaper tried not to cover his story under force of britishers.
If under such circumstances, that guy can make million followers, just think about his capabilities.
No person in the history of world, had these many followers in such a short time! No one ever! Think about it!
Good evening everyone, since Independence day is few days away, I couldn’t resist myself from talking about the person changed future of this subcontinent for all !
I am going to talk about ‘Gandhi & what he stood for”
. There is no better time to talk about the Mahatma than now when too many half-baked Indians are having misconceptions about the Mahatma.
In the age of social media, it’s a culture to make fun of people, I have no prob with the memes and all, but the fact the British students know more about Gandhi than we indian do, saddens me deeply.
With this speech I will try to answer some general bogus claims which are popular nowadays.
Bogus Claim 1: We(India) could have got independence years early if Gandhi had not chosen non-violence
We need first to understand what Gandhi really stood for, he never stood for freedom ! He stood for something greater
We all know about the so called first war of independence of 1857, it failed, you know why? Because the common indian didn’t participate !
You must be wondering , why didn’t they?
Okay here is a fact, during 200 years of rule of british, Indian could have easily got freedom if every indian had revolted, we had lot population, so much that for every 200 indians there was one british soldier. If every indian had thrown a stone at britisher, we could have got independence within matter of hours
Sounds funny, but it’s true.
But it never happened, the reason being was that common Indians didn’t feel much difference, they were being exploited in the same way just like they were by aurangjeb etc before the britishers! So why will someone protest, when the protest will have no impact on their livelihood.
In 1857, the kings and the queens felt exploited by the britishers, afterall they had to pay taxes to british india company, they all revolted together. But, ! they didn’t fight for independence of india, they fought independence of their princely states.
If they had won in 1857, India won’t have actually existed! Hundreds of small countries would be there in place of India.
Gandhi knew that Indians will easily get freedom, and the world wars 1 & 2 made sure that the britishers would be leaving.
Gandhi wanted to weave a nation ! A nation where all communities can live together where every religion respects other religion, for him actual freedom was unification of india ! All his non-violence tactics, all this hunger strikes was something every indian could relate to, he weaved all the communities into one which otherwise would have fought for separate countries !
Gandhi wanted britishers to declare independence only when all people of india start recognising themselves as Indians!
Without him we would still have had freedom, but not as one country but as several countries.
Bogus Claim 2: Gandhi was british agent, that’s why they never sent him to jail like they did with subhash bose
The thing is britishers were really clever, they made sure that common Indians don’t rise against them together, as it would have made them run for their life ! They did sent Gandhi to jail but for small time, they knew it could have lead to an uprising ! Hence they tried to avoid conflicting with Gandhi.
Bogus Claim 3; Gandhi could have saved Bhagat Singh
Definitely he could have, he could have just said to his followers, ‘attack that jail’ and within few hours bhagat singh would be free. But was it possible without violence? Gandhi fought against violence throughout his life, saving Bhagat singh would have ended the very morals he made the people believe in.
Bogus Claim 4; Gandhi loved Pakistan & that’s why he didn’t join the first session of parliament at midnight.
The creating of Pakistan was biggest blow for Gandhi, he fought for 30 years to unite Indians and yet few politicians created two nations to full fill their ego.
At the midnight of independence, 14aug1947 gandhi was in a hut in a small village of west Bengal, trying to settle peace in riot hit Bengal.
During the end of his life, Gandhi was travelling to places to stop hindu-muslim riots.
It is said that, Gandhi saved millions of lifes in Bengal which otherwise would have died due to riots.
Gandhi would go in riot hit places , people would stop rioting and would sit together to listen to him! As if he casted some magic spell.
Gandhi could have been the first president, the first PM, the first bharat ratna recipient but he denied everything !
Today, if we are here, In a democratic country, free to give our opinions, is because of one man called Gandhi.