On the 151th birth anniversary of MAHATMA GANDHI, the FATHER OF NATION, where on one side the whole world is paying tributes to the face of non-violence, on the other side the hashtag #नाथूराम_गोडस_जिंदाबाद was trending in twitter, with nearly 1 lakh tweets employing it by Friday evening. However, it is as likely to have been a spontaneous trend, as a carefully planned campaign. But the participation of the Indian youth for making this subject trending nationwide and that too on the birth anniversary of Gandhi, is a matter of concern.
On January 30, 1948, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, a religious extremist and political activist, shot Gandhi three times in the chest at point-blank range.
THE TRENDING HASHTAG
PEOPLE BEHIND IT?
If there is a political hashtag trending on Twitter, it is being trended by a party. The IT cell of a party would send the required hashtag and content to its influencers for trending. However, BJP and the Congress, the two biggest national parties sought to distance themselves from the Godse hashtag.
Sagar Vishnoi, a political consultant said, a trend like the one linked to Nathuram Godse may not be trended by a political party, but could be linked to third-party Right-wing Twitter users.
HAD TRENDS LIKE THESE OCCURED IN THE PAST?
This is not the first time that Godse’s name has been used to attack the legacy of Gandhi in recent times. Earlier in May, a man from Sidhi district, claiming to be a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – student outfit of the BJP – cloned a Rs 10 currency note replacing Mahatma Gandhi’s image with that of Godse. Before that on November 15, 2019, the death anniversary of Godse, the Hindu Mahasabha in Gwalior observed the 70th “SACRIFICE DAY” where the chief guest hailed Godse for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi. Mahasabha members reportedly gathered at its office and performed ‘aarti’ of Godse and Narayan Apte, the co-conspirator who too was hanged for Gandhi’s assassination.
The trends like these highlights the gullibility of todays youth.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it-always,” – MAHATMA GANDHI
THE MATTER OF CONCERN
Trending of topics like this is a sign of massive disrespect for someone who was one of the many BIG FACES behind INDIA’s freedom movement. Today’s youth who has no near experience of what freedom struggle is like just take their smartphones, come up on social media and write whatever they perceive. Such activites results only in spreading manipulated information and conflicts between the supporters and the haters.
Due to the death of MAHATMA GANDHI, a wave of grief and sorrow struck throughout the country, people shaved their heads and rushed to have last sight of Gandhi’s body. Nathuram Godse was also a part of freedom movement and his contribution for India’s freedom movement should be acknowledged just like every other freedom fighter but the attempt to paint Godse as a hero as he killed a weak old man, who considered the whole nation as his home and walked anywhere without any security, who was one of the biggest and influential faces of the 20th century, is not justifiable in any way. It only seems that people today are taking freedom for granted by framing their own views without having knowledge of the facts.
Hating MAHATMA GANDHI these days has become trend. It is not that Gandhi was perfect, some of his decisions were not good at all, but he accepted his faults too. Some considered the non-violent method of Gandhi as a futile method for achieving independence, some blame him for not fully pressurizing the Britishers to cancel the death sentence of Bhagat Singh and even blame him as the reason of his death (which is baseless). No one of us will actually ever know the circumstances that occurred during that time. But something that is definite is that his contribution and dedication for India’s freedom struggle cannot be belittled. He may not be perfect, nobody is perfect but the people today should consider the positive aspect of his life. There is no coolness in being a contrarian, there is no coolness in hating GANDHI. There might certainly be some reasons to criticize his way of politics but their are certainly more reasons to respect him. In one word we can say that if Gandhi would not have been we could not have been able to live in a democratic and secular India. He revived old Indian tradition of truth and non-violence.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE DONE?
The youth of today instead of criticizing the “well known freedom fighters” should focus on considering the contribution of those freedom fighters whose efforts are not much considered or has been forgotten. SOCIAL media trends should be about informing the people of the life and struggle the people of pre-independent India faced and not about disrespecting the martyrs. People should acknowledge what everyone had gone through in the past for the peaceful and independent present we are currently living in.