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

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

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.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

'Bird, take me flying with you too!' Being Devangana Kalita

By Ashley Tellis*  I first met Devangana Kalita in a first year English Honours classroom in which I entered to teach Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in Miranda House, Delhi University, in 2008. She was one of the smartest students in the class – Devangana smiled the most and had the brightest twinkle in her eyes of the girls in the class. A middle class girl – Kalita comes from a family in upper Assam, the Kalitas along with the Brahmins dominate Assam (the Bamon-Kolita nexus as it is called) – in an elite all women’s institution known for a feminist, rebellious history. Like all institutions, it was repressive; like all all-women institutions, particularly so. But Miranda House had met its match in Devangana. She organised, protested, all within the democratic tradition resisted. The seeds of Pinjra Tod, the group Devangana was to eventually co-found, and which now finds her jailed for as absurd a reason as inciting a ‘riot’ were already sown in that first year. By the third year, they

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.