PATNA: A statue of laughing Mahatma Gandhi, unveiled at a museum here today, triggered intense speculation among political leaders of the ruling JD (U), who debated about the reasons behind it.
Paying floral tributes to Gandhi, it was senior JD (U) leader and former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who pointed out that of all the statues at the Gandhi Sangrahalaya, the latest addition was the only one that showed him laughing. All others depicted him in a pensive or serious mood.
"It seems Gandhi is laughing on today's situation. He proved that violence was a weapon of weak persons and got us Independence through his non-violent methods. But today there is much communal poison and frenzy spread in the society and people following it are succeeding," said Kumar at the function.
Continuing in the same vein Kumar said such a religious person like Gandhi was killed in the name of religion. People are not following the values practiced during the Freedom Movement even 67 years after Independence, and the 'Father of Nation' must be laughing at this paradox.
Taking potshots at the opposition parties without taking their names, the former Chief Minister said taking the name of Mahatma Gandhi is easy, but following the path shown by him and making the India of his dreams is difficult.
"If those who follow the path of intolerance include the name of Gandhi in the list of those who are remembered in the morning, is no tribute to the great soul. Following the policy of tolerance shown by him is the real tribute," added Kumar.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said had Gandhi been present among us; there would have been tears in his eyes due to prevalent casteism, communalism, corruption and drug addiction.
"In my opinion Gandhi could be laughing on the way corrupt people who are seen and worshiped as ideal in today's society, despite the fact that in reality they should have been thought of as lowly people.
Gandhi could be laughing at the way people have forgotten that we all are children of the same God and just keep thinking about themselves," said Manjhi.