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

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

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.