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Indians have drifted away from Bapu: Tushar Gandhi
Kolkata, Feb 4 - Indians have "inherited" the divide and rule policy of the British, Mahatma Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi said here Tuesday, ruing that society has drifted away from the belief of peace and non-violence and from the Mahatma himself.
Drawing a comparison between anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, the author of "Let's Kill Gandhi" said the South African leader used the Gandhian way of healing in his country after the apartheid.
"Today, we have inherited the divide and rule policy and so we keep dividing ourselves. Every time there is an election, we find new division in our society. Instead of healing the society, it is fragmentising the society more and more," he said.
"That is where we have gone away from Bapu and that is where we have gone away from the belief of peace and non violence," he said at the D. Mehra memorial lecture on "Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi: The Long Road to Freedom" at the 38th International Kolkata Book Fair here.
"He (Mandela) did not impersonate Bapu, he did not try to copy Bapu, he actually studied the Gandhian methods and distilled what he felt was good enough for his people and his nation that he was trying to build out of the ravages of apartheid.
"He did a unique Gandhian experiment of truth and reconciliation, where on one side the perpetrators of the atrocities were invited to come and make a confession of repentance for their deeds and the victims or the victims' families were requested to come and purge themselves of their grief and anger and forgive their oppressor," Tushar Gandhi said.
"This was the magic that Mandela discovered in the teachings of Gandhi," he said.
However, he lamented that Gandhi's assassination in 1948, a year after Independence, was the reason that India is yet to "move on" from the events.
"Unfortunately, because Bapu was removed very soon from our midst after we got Independence, the process of healing the scars inflicted by Partition was never completed.
"Even 66 years later, Partition is a memory that evokes such passionate responses... we should have healed, we should have moved on.
"Unfortunately we do not have Bapu to hasten the process of healing, to hasten the process of devenomising us. The elements that thrive on that hatred continue to poison the society," he added.
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