Sonia as Bapu’s ambassador? No say Indians in US

Sonia as Bapu’s ambassador? No say Indians in US

Published in CNN IBN on September 15, 2007

Anirudh Bhattacharyya / CNN-IBN

New York: On October 2nd Congress President Sonia Gandhi willaddress the United Nations General Assembly on Mahatma Gandhi. But manygroups in the United States are opposing this.

The Forum for Preserving Gandhi”sHeritage comprises of over half a dozen groups in America. Togetherthey plan to protest Sonia Gandhi”s address to the United NationsGeneral Assembly on October 2nd, to mark the International Day ofNon-Violence. They criticize the choice of the Congress Party presidentto deliver the speech.

“Weare not against any party or Mrs Sonia Gandhi. The only reason we areprotesting is that the policies and the actions that Sonia Gandhi haspursued so far are in direct contradiction to what Mahatma Gandhi stoodfor all his life,” says Satya Dosapati, Mahatma Gandhi InternationalFoundation, New Jersey.

“Itis strange that a person like Sonia Gandhi is coming to the UnitedNations on October 2 and it”s even more ridiculous because she”s not adescendant of the Mahatma Gandhi family. People have a wrong idea inthis country that she”s a direct descendant of Mahatma Gandhi,” saidJyotindra Patel, Mahatma Gandhi Center, New Jersey.

But Sonia Gandhi has her supporters too who believe this attack is politically motivated

GeorgeAbraham, General Secretary, Indian National Overseas Congress says, “Itis primarily originated by a fringe group of religious zealots whobelieve in the Hindutva philosophy rather than anything else. So Iwouldn”t believe it”s a distraction from the whole event.”

Theprotestors will gather at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Manhattan onOctober 1st to begin what they stress will be their Gandhian agitation,before moving on to protest outside the UN the next day, if theyreceive permission from the New York police.

Whilecritics of the protest say it is being politically stage-managed byHindutva forces, the protestors strongly deny a link to any organ ofthe Sangh Parivar like the BJP or the VHP in the whole stir.