After visiting Sabarmati Ashram and hearing about the state our our polity and economy, Gandhiji felt he needed some positive reinforcement. He couldn’t believe that nothing seemed right and things had only gotten worse.
Standing in front of the bookshelf with his books, he noticed dust gathering on his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth. Confused he asked Vivek, ‘Why is that collecting dust?’ Vivek shrugged his shoulders and said, “Today the meaning of truth is being redefined. Trolls are employed to give their own version of the truth.”
The Mahatma looking sanguine said, “What do you mean, Trolls? How can they be sitting in their caves and give us a version of the truth?” Vivek explained what internet trolls are and how they are employed by political parties to create fake news and post truth. The Mahatma wiped his palm on his smooth pate and became pensive and grave.
“Looks like my return to India is wrongly timed or that it’s taken me too long,” he said and continued, “Seventy years is a short time in a Nation’s life but long for an individual. Indian people are warm and kind by nature. They have accepted all kinds of people into their fold. Even non-Indians walked shoulder to shoulder with us to fight for our independence. We never asked them why they are getting involved in our affairs. After all India is not just a geographical concept, it’s an idea that has been shaped over millennia like waves on a seashore bringing shells and what not to our land.”
‘We people can be misled in the short term but not for long, Vivek. I am certain the youth and the older folks alike will see how beautiful we are and how alien violence and discord is. Can you tell me how we are treating our women, Vivek?”
Vivek, first settled the Mahatma on a comfortable gaddi and sitting cross legged opposite him began speaking slowly and as calmly as possible, choosing every word carefully.
“Women have emerged stronger and bolder in every walk of life. They are in the services, in medical profession, financial services, in politics, practically everywhere. Our laws support them except in Parliament where nobody wants to reserve one third of the seats for them, even though they comprise almost half of the population.’
“Female infanticide, dowry deaths, marital rape, abandonment and sexism have also gotten worse. People just want to beat the messenger and not see the story. Media is always blamed but without the media we won’t know so many things that happen. Social media is captured for propaganda and brainwashing a section of the people, Even educated class is falling prey.’
‘There is now a Mahatma Gandhi 2.0 which spews vitriol on journalists and even the general public. They say they have upgraded the Mahatma! Twitter is a world by itself where it’s hard to identify what is true and what is fake.’
‘Today the Godse worshippers have come out in the open with a bravado, that they did the right thing killing you.”
The Mahatma responded, “All this is making me really confused and a bit sad. I do not expect to be glorified and definitely not deified. No individual big or small needs to be bigger than our collective consciousness.”
Just then Narada ambled in with bright eyes and a twinkle in his eyes.
Pearl · July 18, 2021 at 7:07 pm
I just love this piece! Well put!
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