Anti-Gandhi poem stokes row draws flak in Gujarat

Recitation of an anti-Gandhi poem in Gandhiji’s Gujarat during the celebration of ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ has created a major controversy.

Published: 12th August 2022 09:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2022 09:58 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purposes only. (Photo | A Sanesh)

Image for representational purposes only. (Photo | A Sanesh)

Express News Service

AHMEDABAD:  Recitation of an anti-Gandhi poem in Gandhiji’s Gujarat during the celebration of ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ has created a major controversy. A line from the poem of Devakrishna Vyas, who belongs to Madhya Pradesh, reads: ‘Azadi ke nayak the tum kaise khalnayak’ (you were the hero of the freedom movement, but then a villain’) has created a stir among the Gandhians. Congress leaders have demanded the registration of an FIR against the organiser and the poet.

The recitation was a part of a joint initiative of the Akhil Bharatiya Shaikshik Sangh and Gujarat Sahitya Akademi by Gulabdas Broker Chair in Gujarati Bhasha Sahitya Bhavan. It recently organized an ‘Akhand Kavya Sammelan’ — a continuous poetry recitation — at Saurashtra University.

The programme included round-the-clock recitation by 75 poets. Vyas, who comes from Dewas, recited his poem titled ‘Hame adhuri di azaadi, bina khadag aur dhal ki’ (we got only half of our freedom, without a sword and the armour). Vyas’ poem questions the “obduracy” of Jinnah, and rues how the Congress “humiliated” Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and bowed to Nehru.

Economics professor and Gandhian philosopher Hemant Kumar Shah says the poem is a part of the saffron fashion of demeaning Gandhi. “Not only is the poet ignorant of real history but he is also making himself a fool by blindly following the RSS lies. The poet does not know what Gandhi stood for and what he represents today for mankind,” said Shah.

Nidit Barot, the leader of the Gujarat Professionals’ Congress, said the poem insults Gandhi’s philosophy. “Manoj Joshi, the coordinator of Gulabdas Broker Chair, also appreciated the poem. We demand Joshi’s resignation and an FIR against the poet,” he said. Dr Girish Bhimani, Chancellor in charge of Saurashtra University, said a probe would be conducted about the program. “Appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

This is not the first time an attempt has been made to defame Gandhi in Gujarat. Sometime back, a school in Valsad organised a declamation contest for students of classes 5-8 with the title ‘Nathuram Godse: My ideal or hero.’ A student who spoke in a derogatory manner about Gandhi was declared the winner. In another incident last year on Independence Day, the Hindu Sena had installed Nathuram Godse’s statue in Jamnagar. Later a Congress leader vandalised the statue.


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