As long as Gandhi's assassination is celebrated by the Indian Parliament and the 'Sangh parivar's' supporters and legislators, no one speaking in the name of the Nation (whatever that is), need complain about Sikh 'martyrs' and Kashmiri 'martyrs'. We shall keep going around in circles until we wake up. There's no sign of that happening in the foreseeable future. Here's a fuller argument, based on what happened in 1984 - DS
Delhi gurdwaras to hail Indira Gandhi 's killers? Why complain when Mahatma Gandhi's killers are lionised?
Omar calls Afzal ‘sahib’, draws flak from Congress. This is considered to be an act of 'glorification' by those who are offended. I am not offended, but bemused at the differing standards we exercise in our public life. V.D. Savarkar was a prime accused in Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. Yet he is acclaimed & honoured with a portrait in the Central Hall of Parliament. Those of us who object to this risk being dubbed anti-national elements. Yes, Savarkar was an extreme patriot. So was Charu Mazumdar, founder of the Naxalite movement. Why not place a portrait of him too, in the Lok Sabha? (See The Other side of Maoism)
We need to look into our consciences before we object to (some) Sikhs hailing Indira's assassins, and (some) Kashmiris declaring Afzal to be a martyr. These are matters of emotion and perception, and most often they have to do with a sense of injustice; or of making a gesture of defiance. A 'Hindu unity' portal (now removed, presumably because the RSS does not wish to openly identify its sympathy with Gandhi's assassins) hailed "our beloved Nathuram Godse". The Sangh 'Parivar need not feel ashamed - even the ultra-left writer Hansraj Rahbar, in his 1969 book Gandhi Benakaab, hailed Godse as a true son of India.
Why do people need to make these kinds of gestures? I believe part of the answer is an absolutist, extremist frame of mind, where we fix upon one part of the truth, make it ours, and fail to see that there are other aspects of reality that we may have missed. It has rightly been said that a fanatic is someone who nurses a terrible, secret doubt - a doubt that he or she wishes to quell by means of an Absolute Truth. Linked to this is an attachment to violence (martyrdom is one way of celebrating death) as the only means of securing our place in the world, our view of it as it ought to be. Since we despair of finding justice and fairness in the world, we seek to annihilate it - no matter that we may be annihilating ourselves as well, along with every value of human kindness and decency. Today there are fanatics (or worse, those who pretend to be fanatics) at the highest levels of Indian political life. It is worth considering whether they are worthy of being entrusted with upholding the letter and spirit of the Indian constitution
As long as Gandhi's assassination is celebrated by the Indian Parliament, no one speaking in the name of the Nation (whatever that is), need complain about Sikh 'martyrs' and Kashmiri 'martyrs'. Lets be honest with ourselves for a change -Dilip
The Abolition of truth - (on the 'parivar's celebration of Gandhis murder)
Satya ki hatya
The Savarkarist syntax
Superflous People - review of Rahul Pandita's 'Our Moon has blood clots'
The Broken Middle - my essay on the 30th anniversary of 1984
Shekhar Gupta - National Interest: Secularism is dead!