Skip to main content

Gujarat CM aide 'doubts' authenticity of Gandhi article published in 'Harijan'

Hitesh Pandya with Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani
By Rajiv Shah
A top aide of Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has doubted the authenticity of the article written by Mahatma Gandhi January 27, 1948, three days before his death. Hitesh Pandya, who was assistant public relations officer (PRO) under Narendra Modi’s chief ministership in Gujarat, and is currently serving as PRO of Rupani, has said, there is “reason to doubt”, since the article appeared on February 1, 1948, two days after Gandhi’s assassination.
Hari Desai
Pandya’s reaction has come in the form of a response to a Facebook post, where well-known Gujarati journalist and Sardar Patel expert, Hari Desai, has released the impression of “Harijan”, which published Gandhi’s article “Congress Position” dated January 27, 1948, and published in “Harijan” on February 1, 1948. The article, in English, says the “Indian National Congress ... cannot be allowed to die”, and that it can “only die with the nation”.
Gandhi says, “The Indian National Congress which is the oldest national political organization and which has after many battles fought her non-violent way to freedom cannot be allowed to die. It can only die with the nation. A living organism ever grows or it dies. The Congress has won political freedom, but it has yet to win economic freedom, social and moral freedom.”
Gandhi adds, “These freedoms are harder than the political, if only because they are constructive, less exciting and not spectacular.” Desai, putting the image of “Harijan” on Facebook, has caused flutter across Gujarat’s powerful circles, including the state BJP rulers, known to be close to Prime Minister Modi and his right hand man, Amit Shah, who had been trying to had to say that Gandhi had actually sought the dissolution of the Congress after Independence.
Hitesh Pandya's response
While Desai says that this is the only authentic view available on what Gandhi said about the Congress, Pandya, in his response, says, “Who knows? The article was published in ‘Harijan’ three days (sic!) after the death of Gandhi. What is its authenticity? It is quite possible that that some Nehruvian editor may have written this historical (sic!) article and published it in the name of Gandhi.”
Pandya continues, “Secondly, Gandhi must have in is his mind the dissolution of the Congress, otherwise what was the need for publishing such an article? This apart, ‘India Today’ on October 2, 2017 published an article which should be read by the lovers of history.” Thereafter, he quotes the article, which says that Gandhi “wrote that the Congress ‘has outlived its use’ and advised ‘to disband the existing Congress organization’.”
The ‘India Today’ , however, also said that “this is not the whole picture”, adding, “What Mahatma Gandhi said about the Congress in January 1948 formed the part of a note written by the Father of the Nation on January 27, 1948 – three days before he was assassinated in New Delhi. The note was a draft constitution for the Congress in the post-Independence era.” 
"Harijan" dated February 1, 1948
Pointing out that the note was “meant to be discussed by the All-India Congress Committee and put to vote for passage and adoption”, India Today also says, “But Mahatma Gandhi saw Congress's utility in shaping India's future. He listed out his reasons in the draft constitution for the Congress. He said, ‘India has still to' attain social, moral and economic independence in terms of its seven hundred thousand villages as distinguished from its cities and towns’."
Objecting to what Pandya, Desai asserts, “You should have cared to read the date at the bottom of the article – January 27, 1948. You have been working in a daily and should know pretty well that Sunday Supplement is printed on Thursday with date of Sunday. Gandhi always marked dates when he wrote articles or letters. You can ask the National Archive and the Gandhi Archive to show the manuscript. The tendency to reject such Gandhian literature shows bankruptcy of our generation.”
Meanwhile, Pandya has refused to reply to a query from Counterview, posted on Facebook, on whether what he has said – that Gandhi’s article in “Harijan” may not have been written by Gandhi but some ‘Nehruvian’ editor – is the official position of the Gujarat government.

Comments

Unknown said…
ગાંધીનો વિરોધ કરવામા જ જેમની યુવાની ગઈ હોય તેમને ગાંધી વાંચવાનો સમય ન મળ્યો હોય તે સ્વભાવીક છે, એટલે મુખ્યમંત્રીને ગાંધીમા કે ગાંધીની વાતમા કોઇ સંદેહ હોય તે સ્વભાવિક છે, પરંતુ તેના સમાધન માટે તેમને ગાંધીજીને એક વાર વાંચવા જોઇએ....મને વિશ્વાસ છે કે તેનો સંદેહ નહી રહે,છતાં સંદેહ ઉભો રહે તો ગાંધી - ૧૫૦ ની ઉજવણી ગુજરાતમા ન કરવી જોઇએ

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Vindictive raids? Centre 'retaliates' after Delhi govt child rights body's clean chit to ex-babu

By Our Representative  Over 700 academics, advocates, activists, civil servants, writers, film makers, journalists, musicians and artists have condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the offices and private home of top IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, stating, the aim is nothing but to “harass and intimidate” him.

Protests break out as school going children 'branded Naxalites, taken prisoners'

By Sheshu Babu* Conditions in all spheres of life is going from bad to worse. On September 13, Political Prisoners' Day was observed. On that day, Jatin Das, friend of Bhagat Singh and member of the Hindustan Republican Socialist Association, passed away after 63 days of hunger strike. He demanded 'political prisoners' status to those who have been jailed by the state.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

Catholic women warn: Kerala Bishop turning Church into puppet in political games

Counterview Desk A group of Catholic women under the banner Concerned Catholic Women of India has said that they are deeply concerned over "a bishop’s controversial statement" which may threaten communal harmony in India. As many as 89 Catholic women from across India have urged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to "foster peace and avoid strife."

Politically-motivated: Global NGO network on ED 'harassment' of Harsh Mander

Counterview Desk  CIVICUS , a top global alliance of civil society organisations seeking to strengthen citizen action and civil society around the world with a claimed membership of more than 10,000, objecting to the alleged harassment of IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander by the Government in India, has said that the the the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on his house and office highlights “an ongoing pattern of baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges brought by the authorities against activists across India”.