Former Karnataka Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy’s remark on Gandhi is highly condemnable. He is reported to have said that Gandhi would have turned corrupt in present-day politics or run away. The remark reveals a shocking ignorance of the character and vision of the father of the nation.
Gandhi was not perfect. “I am of the earth, earthy… I am prone to as many weaknesses as you are,” admitted Gandhi. Like all human beings Gandhi had limitations and he was aware of them too. He tried relentlessly to overcome those limitations or to keep them under check. The limitations notwithstanding, Gandhi would not have become corrupt, nor would he have run away. He was a fighter through and through. He would fight the weaknesses within himself as well as the evils in the society.
Kumaraswamy’s explanation is worse. He thinks that the entire political system has become so corrupt now that it is difficult to build any political party without being corrupt. That’s exactly what he told the presspersons in Hubli.
What made Gandhi great was his vision. It was a vision that rose above the situation. It was a vision that transformed the situation. The tragedy in India today is that there is no single leader with a vision that comes anywhere near Gandhi’s. Instead of trying to rise above the corrupt system, today’s political leaders defend it and, worse, try to draw Gandhi down into the quagmire.
While Kumaraswamy assassinated the spirit of Gandhi once again, many other leaders like Kapil Sibal admitted their lack of vision and consequent helplessness in dealing with the issue of corruption.
Kumaraswamy’s argument that it is difficult to build any political party without being corrupt is absolutely fallacious. And Gandhi would have proved it with his life. He and his party would have won every election were he alive today and contesting elections. Without being corrupt.
Can an individual win elections without all the strident propaganda we witness today? Of course, if any leader really serves his constituency and its people while he is in power he will continue to win the elections even if he spends nothing for the campaign. People appreciate the goodness in any person. People are just waiting to see such goodness. An Anna Hazare does not attract the kind of public support he received recently because of any propaganda. It is the goodness that he embodies which wins the support. Any political leader can get such public support without spending a single rupee.
But how many politicians are or want to be good at heart? How many of them are in politics for the purpose that politics envisages: service to citizens?
The answer is obvious. So, Gandhi will continue to be assassinated in our country again and again.