MGF”s response to Mr.Malhotra”s letter to NYTimes
Mahatma Gandhi International Foundation fully endorses Gandhi Heritage Organizations response to Dr. Malhotra”s Letter which was in response to advertisement appeared in New York Times on Oct 6, 2007 (page 11) . There are major issues that have been raised by this protest and INOC should answer them. So far no one including office bearers of INOC have explained to us the following concerns,
1) Based upon what selection criteria, UPA leader was chosen to represent Gandhiji?
2) Were other parties in Indian Parliament were consulted on choosing the representative?
3) Were other candidates such as Ex President Abdul Kalam or the Gandhians in India consulted?
4) Gandhiji had ensured that his son was reprimanded for minor fund in appropriation whereas Sonia Gandhi”s son had an arrest record for holding large amount of unexplained sum in Boston in 2001? Would therefore a politician such as this be a fitting candidate for such a representation? Should the chosen candidate not measure up to some of the values and standards practiced by Gandhiji?
5) How did more than 100 senior citizens who never had participated in any protest or who do not have any political affiliation be called religious fanatics? They came on their on their volition, some fasted also. Some were more than 80 years old and all of them had seen and many had worked with Gandhiji in India”s struggle for freedom.
6) Many participants were professionals such as Physicians, technicians, Engineers who unlike Dr. Malhotra did not in the past or do not hold any post in any political party.
Please recognize this. Mahatma Gandhiji”s name is dear to many Indians especially Indians born during British Raj in India. They did not feel that it was appropriate for a political leader of a party to represent him. A humanitarian figure, a true Gandhian follower should have been chosen. The opinion poll in the gandhiheritage.org website indicates that 80% of voters agree with the protestors. Are they all fanatics and religious zealots as you brand them?
Finally UPA leaders as well Sonia Gandhi”s party had openly submitted an affidavit in Indian Supreme Court questioning the existence of Lord Ram who is dear to 1 billion Hindus and the ruling party is actively engaged in planning destruction of Rama Sethu, the bridge built by Lord Ram”s army to invade Sri Lanka and rescue his kidnapped wife. The very same people who call us religious fanatics are showing no respect for our religion and the symbols of our religion. They are so biased that instead calling the bridge Rama Sethu, they call them Adam”s Bridge. How did it become Adam”s bridge? Adam was never there and has nothing to do it. By calling it Adam”s bridge, they have indirectly admitted that is not a man made bridge but they are intolerant of the fact that it was built by Ram. This very same people call themselves SECULAR.
In contrast, we the protestors have never called you fanatics, radicals and we have never questioned your faith in the religion of your choice and have never even once questioned the existence of Jesus or Adam. So Dr. Malhotra, who do you think are real secular people? UPA government”s activities have hurt the sentiments of even the most tolerant people and they came out and protested and exercised their right.
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi”s arrival in our New York was timed with the above issues regarding Lord Ram”s existence and in fact showed her contempt for feelings of Hindus. By involving Lord Ram and Ram Sethu issues, she and UPA ruling coalition globalized this issue and took it beyond the shores of India. So are you really surprised that people protested?
Why do you think will happen if you question the existence of symbol of GOD for any religion? Try and do that to Islam and Christianity and you will really find out what religious fanaticism is. Finally, Gandhiji died with the name of Lord Ram on his lips and your party leader who represented Gandhiji in UNO does not even believe in the existence of Lord Ram. Who do you think is the real religious fanatic and hypocrite here?
Dr. Naresh Sharma,M.D.;F.R.C.S.;F.A.C.A.
Mahatma Gandhi International Foundation