I have always felt patriotic and proud on Gandhi Jayanti days. Not this time. This time I was aware that Gandhi was a fake. As usual, newspapers were full of Gandhi last week. Schools and colleges and associations of all kinds held functions to mark the 150th anniversary of the man they described as Father of the Nation. I too had become used to that concept of the Father of the Nation. Now I know better. The person who opened my eyes to the reality of fatherhoods was none other than American President Donald Duck. In his loud, ranting no-nonsense style, he revealed the truth that his buddy Narendra Modi was the Father of India. Gandhi stood exposed as an imposter.
Let no one underestimate the American president’s ability to see what others cannot. The pedigree explains it all. The original DD was inspired by Australia’s cricket legend Donald Bradman. During a US tour in 1932, Bradman was dismissed for a duck by the New York West Indians. That gave Walt Disney studios the inspiration to name a new character they were introducing. Their good-guy character Mickey Mouse had become a bit jaded and they conceived their new Duck as a character with some negative traits such as short temper. Was it in such a mood that the Father of India was discovered by the modern Donald?
Actually, the circumstances do not matter. The important thing is that Gandhi has been unmasked. Come to think of it, what did he do to deserve India’s fatherhood? He spread a lot of nonsense, that’s what he did. He said all religions teach the same truth. How ridiculous! He said the power of love should surpass the love of power. What rubbish! He said the earth provides enough to meet everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed. Balderdash, poppycock!
It is amazing that this Half-naked Fakir could bamboozle so many people for so long. Einstein and Romain Rolland, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King are the kind of brainy guys who fell for his tricks. The world began honouring him by observing his birthday as the International Day of Non-violence. Our government, being wiser, celebrates the day as the Open Defecation Free day. The prime minister actually declared the country open defecation-free. He unveiled a map as proof.
That’s a genius idea. A map. Who can deny that ultimate reality? India has 1.8 million homeless people, half of them in urban areas. Think of that word ‘homeless’. It means no kitchen, no sleeping place, no toilet. Where will they go when nature calls? Our prime minister pointed to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a mission to provide toilets to all households. But we are talking of people with NO household. Where will they go?
They will go where generations of homeless people have gone—behind bushes, under trees, roadsides, railway lines. But when they go there these days, they will be taking the risk of disobeying a rigid, majoritarian government. Worse, most of them will be poor and illiterate, who won’t even know that they are taking a risk. Like the two little slum boys in Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh. They were seized red-handed by local patriots and battered to death. Just like that. It happened the day our prime minister received Bill Gates’ Goalkeeper Award in New York for providing toilets to toiletless households. Brilliant goalkeeping.
Irony rules the world. In the name of progress, our rulers resort to high-handedness and build up nationalist frenzy to serve their purpose. The ultra patriots have condemned Jawaharlal Nehru as anti-Indian. Gandhi is on their hit list. But the public adoration he commands makes them cautious. Their strategy seems to be to appear pro-Gandhi but confine him to the Swachh Bharat corner with his spectacle frame as its logo. From a corner, it will be easier to push him into oblivion.
Some ultra patriots, too impatient to wait, have already knocked him down. Haryana Minister Anil Vij replaced Gandhi portraits with Modi portraits in calendars and diaries, then said that Gandhi’s picture in currency notes led to the devaluation of the rupee. “Modi is a better brand,” he said. Our prime minister enjoys such open acknowledgement of his grandeur as the Houston mega spectacle showed. And he has helpers who can turn day into night to keep him flattered. Remember how Amit Shah turned Kerala’s Onam into a Brahminical Vamana Jayanti? Being wise, let me get on the survivalist bandwagon early. Down with Father of the Nation. Up with Father of India.