Death in anyway is not a pleasant thing. The recent jubilation and joy shown by so many of us at the death of Ajmal Kasab, is understandable. He is the guy who killed innocent people and our brave police men but so much joy and jubilation is something i don’t share with many. I just somehow find celebration uncalled for, the dead are still dead. The truth is there are hundreds of Kasabs there being trained everyday to kill us. Hanging one of them should not really satisfy us or make us happy. What really would make me happy is catching hold of the root cause of the problem. The high command the people who train 18 year old, poor Kasabs who live in filthy and poor conditions. Their poverty and suppression is used to fill them up with all kinds of rubbish and at 18 it’s all very easy to get carried away. You are promised respect and money, and made to feel like heroes for doing such crimes. We should be satisfied only after men who teach are punished not the ones who are taught. Another thing that I do find very contradictory ,is we were mourning BalaSaheb Thackeray death(at least in Maharashtra) just two days ago and suddenly we are also celebrating and bursting crackers and dancing on Kasabs death. I think we are suffering from lack of perspective. How can mourning and celebrating go hand in hand?
Speaking about contradictory behavior recently i was in Jalgaon for a weekend. My 7 th standard cousin was totally excited about this magnificently huge Gandhi museum which she was taken to by her school. I love history and so I’m always excited when it comes to visiting museums. I was pretty excited about the trip. When we reached the actual place I was completely taken aback with the location and how huge the whole place was!.. It was situated on a hill top, greenery all around and the area was almost that of huge palace. There was a huge Gandhi statue, reading a book. We went inside and there was a guide wearing khaki clothes to welcome us. The whole place was made of marble and air conditioned. We were given headphones and the guide a concealed mic. First there was a welcome speech by the man responsible for the museum about how we have forgotten Gandhi and his values and how in reality with the world going all crazy with violence and environmental hazards , we should revert to Gandhi’s teachings, to find solutions.
This museum is filled with LCD televisions and the recent technological revolution of the touch screen. The guide told us that this whole project cost them almost 100 crores, the daily electricity bill was almost 5 to 6 lakhs. There was a wax statue made up of almost lakhs of rupees of Gandhiji working on a charkha. (there are atleast 6 statues already) It took us almost 2 hours to see the museum. When we came out my whole family couldn’t stop raving about how well the whole place was done. I didn’t say much because I wasn’t much impressed with it.
My reasons as I explained to my mother and sister later were these. Firstly other than a very few unseen photos, unseen live footage of 2 mins of Gandhi speeches, very few unseen paper cuttings, there wasn’t much to learn. If one had read MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH, Gandhi’s autobiography you know majority of the things that the museum tends to offer. The only thing the museum did was use air-condition, hi tech technology, kaleidoscopes to tell us most of the things we already know. I have nothing against a museum, it always great to have them. Though what I was baffled about was the amount of unnecessary capital that was being used to make it.
Here you talk about following Gandhi’s footsteps., and right after you go ahead and build a 100 crores plus museum on his name. I find that very contradictory. Gandhi was a very simple man. His teachings were mostly towards simple living and high thinking mantra. He believed that people with the extra money should go ahead and do things that will help the poor. He believed in making villages self-sufficient. My question was just this, why not make a simple museum with a much smaller capital and then spend the surplus money into doing something much constructive in the villages.
I have no doubt in my mind that Gandhiji would be much more happier and at peace if he saw majority of that 100 crores were used exactly where they were most needed. In the welcome speech we are told that this museum is to inspire the coming generation. Though sadly my 7 th standard cousin was more interested in the technology and the LCD and what not. That’s all most of the children would take back rather than Gandhi.
India is a country with multiple problems. All I feel is that all of us should work towards making it a much better nation. We have the resources and the money all we lack is the will. I just hope we wake up before it’s too late. I always dream that if we had men like Gandhi, Nehru, DR. Ambedkar and so many more leaders of the pre-independence period in a economically richer India of today , our country would have been a dream to live in!