Peaceful protests for over 6 weeks saved our honour: Rajmohan Gandhi

Rajmohan Gandhi Lecture speaking at Loyola College in Chennai.

Rajmohan Gandhi Lecture speaking at Loyola College in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

Rajmohan Gandhi lauds non-violent agitations in country

The non-violent protests in the last six to seven weeks in different parts of the country have saved the honour of India, said historian Rajmohan Gandhi.

Delivering a public lecture on “Building a non-violent society today: Gandhian paradigms,” Mr. Gandhi said, “We do not know what result these protests will have. Students, young women, old women fought week after week after week. In the bitter cold of Delhi, very difficult cold weather, sometimes for the whole night, with song, with unity, with discipline, with non-violence, with affirmation of the values of the Indian Constitution, they have held on to the protests.”

“I do not say they have saved Indian democracy. I do not say they have brought justice to the poorest, the most marginalised people of India. But now as a result of these non-violent protests, all sections of society are taking part,” he said.

“Supposing despite these non-violent protests, after some time, India becomes a kind of Hindu state. Supposing it does happen, nobody will be able to say that Indians accepted it without protests,” said Mr. Gandhi.

‘Belongs to all’

Pointing to the contribution of the leaders of the Indian national movement to promoting inclusiveness in the country, he said, “From the very beginning, Gandhi was absolutely clear that India belonged to everyone. In his first writing in Hind Swaraj, he said India does not belong only to the Hindus. The Muslims, the Christians, the Sikhs, the Buddhists, the Parsis, the Jews, all those who live in India have an equal right to be in India. As far as he was concerned, there was absolutely no reason for the Hindus to feel that they controlled India.”

"Gandhi did not believe that India was going to be world's guru. But Gandhi wanted India to be like a brother, a sister, or a friend, a compassionate friend of humanity. So for the sake of the world as well as for the sake of the people of India, Gandhi wanted an India of equality, where no one group would dominate any other group," he said.

"A majority vote often settles many issues. But on Fundamental Rights, on Equality, on the fundamental nature of the Indian nation, majority cannot decide, the Constitution decides. That is why we have Courts of Law. Everything is not decided by counting who is in favour and who is against. Major questions are decided by examining if this law is in accordance with the constitutional principles," said Mr. Gandhi.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 4:47:03 PM |

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