Rebuttal to Mr. Arun Gandhi letter in Rediff.com
Forum for Preserving Gandhi Heritage considers it unfortunate that Mr. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi characterized the protest against Ms. Sonia Gandhi representation of Mahatma Gandhi at UN as “unwarranted and senseless attack against Sonia Gandhi. His remarks lacked substance and of low taste. It is surprising that such remarks could come from someone who claims to be a direct descendant of Mahatma Gandhi. However, Forum would like to note that other extended members of Mahatma Gandhi family have provided extensive support for the protest.
In response to Mr. Arun Gandhi challenge to the organizers that “Who among us is so straightforward as to be able to speak on or about Sonia?, Mr. Arun Gandhi needs to understand that Ms. Sonia Gandhi is not another next door neighbor who came to talk at UN. She is representing Mahatma Gandhi values on behalf of one billion Indians in front of international forum. Any representation on such an occasion may not be a Mahatma Gandhi, but it should be at least someone who has a value for what he stood for. The contrast is so marked that INOC needs to answer what criteria were used to make selection. As an example, can Hitler or Mussolini represent Jesus or his teachings?
The charges against Ms. Sonia Gandhi are not new, they were reported numerous times in Indian media, books were written on it, cases were filed in the court and the commissions appointed (by Congress itself) pointed to her and her party culpability. The advertisement picked only a few of the many charges. Other than the hyperboles of blanket characterization as unwarranted and senseless attack, Mr. Arun Gandhi has not offered any reasons.
Mahatma Gandhi sent his son packing to South Africa just because he made small willful miscalculation of the expenses. Would Mahatma Gandhi approve any one of serious charges against Sonia Gandhi? Mr. Arun Gandhi pushes all the charges under the rug and talks as if he is like Mahatma Gandhi such as we should stop throwing stones. Mahatma Gandhi never accepted timidity in the face of evil. He said he would any day prefer the violence of a courageous person than the non-violence of cowardly person.
Mr. Arun Gandhi is living in America and he should have known better. Will any American support if their President had even small percentage of the record Sonia Gandhi has? He should know how America handled matters such as the Watergate scandal of Mr. Nixon, sexual adventure and lies of Mr. Clinton. Will American media remain passive to such developments saying that position of President is sacred and we should look other way? And now compare the severity of the charges against Nixon and Clinton with the charges against Ms. Sonia Gandhi and see how (Indian) media performed in questioning her eligibility to stand for Mahatma Gandhis values in front of International Forum.
Where was Mr. Arun Gandhi when Rama the dearest lord of Mahatma Gandhi was declared as mythological and therefore justifies blowing up of Rama Sethu? Where was he when Ms. Sonia Gandhi and her family members are using enormous taxpayers money for their own security while at the same time removing any protective laws to protect against terrorism in the name of vote banks and causing the number of lives lost during the last three years next to Iraq?
Will Mahatma support the religious conversions which he called the deadliest poison that ever sapped the fountain of truth? Will he support the division of the country by caste, by religion and marginalizing large sections of population through reservations for the sake of power, wealth and dynasty? Where was he when Ms. Sonia Gandhi and her family jeopardizing the security of the country and looting through Bofors and other dynasty trusts?
Just take a recent example. Mahatma Gandhi considered his children same as any children of India. What does Mr. Arun Gandhi have to say when Rahul Gandhi with no political experience and who was caught by FBI with large unaccounted money being appointed as General Secretary of Congress?
We also have difficulty to understand what Mr. Arun Gandhi could have meant when he says All the charges made against Sonia can be leveled against any one of us. It is insulting to drag every person to that level.
Instead, of speaking up for truth, Mr. Arun Gandhi is joining the bandwagon of pro-Sonia groups who are labeling the messenger while ignoring the message. Truth, fairness and justice are not a matter for convenience. It is also extremely unfortunate that an investigative report that should be investigated and reported by Indian media has to appear as an advertisement in American media.
In the end, Mr. Arun Gandhi letter shows that just because someone is a descendant of Mahatma Gandhi, it does not necessarily mean he is a Gandhian.
As the Forum had reiterated several times, this protest is neither against Ms. Sonia Gandhi as a person nor against any party. If Ms. Sonia Gandhi has come to address UN on a different occasion or topic, the Forum would organize this protest. Ms. Sonia Gandhi and her party has used Mahatma Gandhis name in India but no one raised any voice because it is internal domestic matter. Her celebration of Mahatma Gandhi birthday last year and the Dandi March in India are basically party based activities. However, attempting to use Mahatma Gandhis name in an international forum as a representative of Mahatma Gandhi values, it behooves us to speak up and stand for truth.
As Albert Einstein said The World is a Dangerous Place to Live, Not Because of the People who are Evil, But Because of the People Who Do not Do Anything About it”.
Mahatma Gandhi does not belong to a party or to a nation, but he belongs to all humanity. It is important that such sacred symbols be left sacred. In the current environment of religious intolerance, terrorism and corruption, his message and his symbol are more important now than ever.
Forum for Gandhi Heritage