I can no more preach nonviolence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Non-violence is the summit of bravery.

MK Gandhi, The Bully and The Coward

BJP rose to power riding the wave of Hindutva. The initial days of it being in power saw the various shades of “coalition-dharma” in place. The coalition dharma, saw BJP perusing many socialist & extra-liberal stands which should ideally have been avoided. But survival & making presence in the subcontinent as a political party when the giant wagon of Indian National Congress existed was not supposed to be a cake walk. India is a land of diversity with multiple ideologies hung together on the great canvas of “Bharat.” It is not necessary that each idea will go down as being the loved one by others. But despite all differences, one needs to collect a fact that people of India let BJP rise with a ray of hope for Hindus, who were subjugated to betrayal by most of the political parties including the grand-old party. Congress had shaped into an anti-Hindu organisation grounded to the western Nehruvian vision reinforced by Marxist-Leninist Socialism.

People still see BJP as only hope for Hindus and for the voices that unconditionally support India. Perhaps one reason for same is that BJP draws its ideologies principally from Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Savarkar was one of the tallest leader of India’s Freedom Struggle. All stalwart revolutionaries including Bhagat Singh, Rash Behari Bose, Subhash Bose saw Savarar as the ignitron of the freedom struggle. Even Pacifist like Gandhi could never stop from hailing this man as the true patriot.

BJP did stand to the words and commitment to ideologies. It’s realizations of issues like Ram Mandir, abrogation of Article 370, introduction of CAA, neutralizing the terrorist state of Pakistan etc reflects of commitment to the ideologies very strongly. Interestingly, closure to all these issues were taunted as mere “jumla” by the opposition till the eve of realizations.

The party’s performance in the just-gone West Bengal Assembly Elections too is stellar. It rose by almost 2500 %. I do not recall any political party pulling in such a show in recent times. But the registered fact is that BJP lost the election which it’s supporters expected it to win at any cost for multiple reasons. Despite the great work put across by the Karyakartas, the time post-results have been way more horrific than any days of the past. The heroes began to see crisis of life. The goons of TMC went on burning properties, raping, killing the Karyakartas & supporters. It appeared as if that it was a planned pogrom like the Direct Action Day on August 16, 1946. The leaders of TMC like Derek O’Brien, Mahua Moitra even in time of such crisis only tried to prove the BJP’s claims as fake or justify the act of marauding in some way or other.

The emotion of people of India shrank to come in with the BJP supporters and the Karyakartas who were being butchered & persecuted in the systematic way since the evening of May 2, 2021. Somehow emotions have been highly charged up while till now response from the BJP appeared quite cold. They took pacifist stands as leaders were seen pleading Mamata Banerjee & TMC for restoring peace. The party’s call of nationwide Dharna on May 5, 2021 came out as an act of criticism among the supporters. People saw it as pacifist Gandhi’s approach. An approach that actually did not give us freedom from British too, although the Congress narrative finds it to be one.

Though one needs to understand that MK Gandhi, is a character that no National Leader can chose to ignore with the given popular narrative. Something that disheartens many BJP supporters too. But It is not about whether MK Gandhi was a saint or villain rather it is more about the way in which narrative is picked. In context of the Bengal riots of 1946-47, Gandhi’s actions were highly pacifist by then and his expectations from Hindus had gone way too ugly. He was aspiring the peace in the turbulent winds at the cost of all Hindu Sacrifices. Of course, it can’t be denied that one way to decode his approach around the riots of 40’s was to regulate Muslims setting Hindu Sacrifice as example. He saw no hope from Muslims as “they” for him were bullies, someone who were up for violence anytime. This experiment of Gandhi ji to make Hindu romantic poets in front of marauders only saw exponential losses to Hindus.

The current steps of BJP seems to be choosing this very Gandhi, whom Congress popularized in the wake of pseudo-secularism.

In my opinion, we have two Gandhis:

  • Gandhian Gandhi
  • Congressi Gandhi

BJP seems to be choosing the second one while neglecting the other image which can be termed as “Gandhian Gandhi.” The steps which MK Gandhi took around the Great Calcutta Killing of 1946 was contradictory to his own opinions expressed in early 1920s in wake of Saharanpur Riots. BJP need to pick those opinions very strongly instead of picking opinion of 40s which only brought loss to Hindus.

An important essay in this context written by MK Gandhi is “Psychology of Fear“. Gandhi Ji writes, “There is no doubt in my mind that in the majority of quarrels the Hindus come out second best. My own experience but confirms the opinion that the Musalman as a rule is a bully, and the Hindu as rule is a coward. I have notices this in railways trains, on public roads, and in the quarrels which I have had the privilege of setting. Need the Hindu blame the Musalman for his cowardice?

Just to put things back in perspective, if we replace Musalman by TMC and Hindu by BJP, the current scenario becomes very apt.

Further Gandhi Ji writes, “Quarrels must break out so long as the Hindus continue to be seized with fear. Bullies are always to be found where there are cowards. The Hindus must understand no one can afford them protection if they go on hugging fear. Running away for fear of death, leaving one’s dear ones, temples or music to take care of themselves, is irreligion; it is cowardice. It is not manly, it is unmanly. Non-violence is the virtue of the manly. The coward is innocent of it.

If this statement of Gandhi Ji is taken in perspective, BJPs stand of acting coward since the age old battle with TMC is indeed the reason for whatever is happening in West Bengal today.

Here I quote Gandhi Ji, from his essay “The Coward and the Bully.”

They say that in Saharanpur the Mussalmans looted houses, broke open safes and, in one case, a Hindu woman’s modesty was outraged. Whose fault was this? Mussalmans can offer no defence for the execrable conduct, it is true. But I as a Hindu am more ashamed of Hindu cowardice than I am angry at the Mussalman bullying. Why did not the owners of the houses looted die in the attempt to defend their possessions? Where were the relatives of the outraged sister at the time of the outrage? Have they no account to render of themselves?

My non-violence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice. I can no more preach nonviolence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Non-violence is the summit of bravery.

MK Gandhi, The Bully and The Coward

So careful reading of some of the writings of Gandhi Ji makes the case very clear that the passive approach is not going to help against the marauders. Not to forget, though people in Nehruvian version of history want to declare Gandhi as epitome of peace and ahmisa, he had given unconditional support to the British in the world war.

Most of the times all politicians and political activists dye hard in wool to find which side you belong to even in terms of choosing historical figures. The world has been framed into black and white, as a consequence of which political incorrectness like BJP calling for nationwide Dharna on May 5 seems to be appearing. Perhaps most of the people would call it Gandhian cowardliness, but careful reading of Gandhi in early 1920s would call it utter foolishness.

I’m sure that center will take necessary actions with utmost affects but BJP leaders & Social Media experts should avoid making such statements which would only add to the anguish of people.

In my opinion, the current attacks are merely for the BJP’s call of applying CAA-NRC in the state in full affect after victory. This if becomes reality would certainly change the demographics of state to a great extent with exit of large number of illegal immigrants who today enjoy even the voting rights in the reign of Mamata Banerjee.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.