Mains Paper 4: Ethics
Prelims level: Not Much
Mains level: Human Values
• Gandhi relinquished his primary membership of the Indian National Congress some 14 years earlier; he would always be consulted on important issues.
• Gandhi was rushing towards the garden, supported by Manu and Abha, the two-grand nieces whom he used to call his “walking sticks”.
• Godse folded his hands and said namaste.
• Gandhi stopped. Suddenly, Manu was pushed to the ground. Nathuram pumped three bullets into Gandhi’s bare chest and stomach.
• “Hey Ra…ma! Hey Ra…” — this is what Manu claimed to have heard in a feeble voice.
• A Sikh gentleman following Gandhi too confirmed that the words of prayer came out from his lips.
Gandhi was dead, his mahatmahood having been established.
• Gandhi’s physical elimination was a result of the pent-up anger and frustration of a few misguided youths over what they perceived as his policy of Muslim appeasement.
• The ultimate provocation for them was his fast that January that had forced the Nehru cabinet to release funds to the newly-formed state of Pakistan.
• Those funds were withheld out of the suspicion that Pakistan would misuse them against India.
Conflicts between opinions with Gandhi
• There were many who had disagreements with Gandhi, Subhash Bose and V D Savarkar among them.
• Even Nehru had serious difference of opinion with Gandhi.
• But to kill him needed not just difference of opinion, but a certain type of hatred borne of extreme frustration.
Strict to Ahimsa
• Gandhi was no doubt formidable and irresistible.
• Nehru once said of him: “The essence of his teaching was fearlessness and truth and action allied to these.
• Behind the language of peace and friendship, there was power and the quivering shadow of action and a determination not to submit to a wrong.”
• Gandhi had a premonition about his impending death.
• Madanlal Pahwa attempted a bomb attack on January 20 at the Birla House.
• Between that day and the fateful day, Gandhi had talked about his death dozens of times.
• But he would steadfastly refuse security.
• For him, that would have been akin to violating ahimsa. People called him “Bapu” a father-figure.
• He had immense trust in the people, unlike today’s leaders: “If my own children want to kill me, how can I stop them.”
• He was betrayed by those who called him Bapu and then eliminated physically, a heinous crime.
• Others too, who also called him Bapu and Mahatma, betrayed his principles.
• On the fateful morning, Gandhi handed over the final draft of his future plan for the Indian National Congress, disband the existing Congress organisation and flower into a Lok Sevak Sangh.
• In fact, Gandhi had called for a meeting at Sewagram in February to discuss the plan.
• Nehru categorically rejected Gandhi’s plan.
“Congress has now to govern. So it will have to function in a new way, staying within politics”, he insisted.
• The lure of power overtook the ideals of service. Thus came the other betrayal.
• Gandhians continue to strive for the goal of attaining “social, moral and economic independence in terms of its seven hundred thousand villages” by remaining below the radar, unlike present-day NGOs that meddle in politics.
• Gandhian ideas continue to influence societies in many parts of the country and the world.
• “Gandhi bequeathed an example of constant striving, a set of social values, and a method of resistance, one not easily applied to an India ruled by Indians”, laments Pulitzer-winning author Joseph Lelyveld in his book Great Soul.
Q.1) The category ‘Right to freedom’ in Fundamental Rights of our Constitution consists of
1. Right to form associations/union
2. Right to reside and settle in any part of India
3. Right to manage religious affairs
4. Right to life and liberty
Choose appropriate code:
a) 1, 3 and 4
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 1, 2 and 4 only
d) 2, 3 and 4 only
Correct Answer: B
Q.1) There were many who had disagreements with Gandhi but to kill him needed not just difference of opinion, but a certain type of hatred borne of extreme frustration. In this regard of this statement what are the lesson we can learn from him. Critically examine.