Rededicate to reclaim Gandhian values: CM

Assembly session on 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma

Society should rededicate itself to reclaim the secular anti-imperialistic Gandhian values at a time when those in power are giving a call for the awarding of Bharat Ratna to those involved in his assassination plot, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

He was speaking at a special meeting of the Legislative Assembly to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi here on Friday.

“We are living in such a state as to witness people connected to those in power symbollically shoot bullets at Gandhi’s image. Let us also not forget that Savarkar’s photograph has been placed in the Parliament’s Central Hall. If there is anyone deserving such an honour, it is fighters like M.P. Narayana Menon, who despite all the torture in custody and promise of a release by the British authorities, refused to write an apology,” said the Chief Minister.

Role in renaissance

He said that Gandhi had played a key role in the social reform and renaissance movements, by lending his support to the Vaikom Satyagraha and in the demands for temple entry. The Chief Minister announced a 90-day intensive anti-drug awareness campaign as part of the government’s ‘Vimukthi’ project.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said that we were living through a dark time in which the same ideology which murdered Gandhi was gaining ascendancy.

Killed by an ideology

“The greatest contribution of Gandhi was that he transformed the Independence struggle into a popular movement in which Indians belonging to all castes and creed became a part of. His attempts to take along people of all religions together made him an enemy in the eyes of the communal forces, who made five attempts on his life, starting in 1934. We should realise that Gandhi’s life was not ended by an assassin, but by an ideology, which has at least for the time being gained a stronghold on our society. The greatest resistance against these forces is to remember Gandhi, again and again. Gandhi is not past, he is the present and the future,” said Mr. Chennithala.

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan said that Gandhi was someone whose standpoints, especially regarding the relationship between religion and the State, evolved over a period of time.

‘For secular govt.’

“Gandhi has made it clear that a nation need not have a religion, even if all its citizens belong to a religion. For him, the government should be secular, beyond doubt. In realising this, his attempt was to recognise the biggest dangers waiting to engulf us and to mount a resistance against it,” he said.

Model of Indianness

BJP leader O. Rajagopal said that Gandhi was a statesman who became a true model of Indianness. However, his comment that one of Gandhi’s wishes was regarding the dissolution of Congress led to a minor uproar, with some Congress MLAs opposing it, before the Speaker defused the situation.

The leaders of the various constituent parties of the LDF and UDF also spoke on the occasion.

Kerala Congress (M) Working Chairman P.J. Joseph asked the government to follow Gandhian values, in protecting Western Ghats and controlling quarrying.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 10:11:04 AM |

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