Mahatma Gandhi believed India became “politically free” on August 15, 1947, and wanted Congress to work for attaining social, economic, and moral freedom instead of working as a political party, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said on Sunday.
Speaking at the litfest ‘Sahitya Parab 2022’ in Raipur, he also claimed since Congress leaders had stopped paying heed to Gandhiji, this suggestion was not acceptable to them.
“When India got freedom on August 15, 1947, everyone called it ‘azadi’ and ‘swatantratra’ (Independence). But Mahatma Gandhi was the only person who denied saying this and said India became politically independent,” Madhav said.
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Three days before Mahatma Gandhi’s death (he was assassinated on January 30, 1948), he dictated a proposal that he wanted to get passed in the next convention of the Indian National Congress. However, that convention was not held as Gandhiji was assassinated, Madhav said.
“In that proposal, Gandhiji had written India has attained only political freedom but social, economic and moral freedom are yet to be achieved in the Indian society,” he said.
Madhav said Gandhiji had suggested launching another movement (to attain social, economic and moral freedom) and keep it out of the purview of politics, and therefore, Congress had to quit as a political party.
“Congress leaders had stopped paying heed to Gandhi ji and therefore this suggestion was not accepted by them. (Mahatma) Gandhi ji’s wish to dissolve Congress seems to be fulfilled by another Gandhi,” he said.
Speaking as the chief guest, Madhav hailed the Chhattisgarh government’s ambitious ‘Ram Van Gaman Path’ (the route taken by Lord Ram on his way to the 14-year exile) project.
Without taking names, Madhav said the exile of Lord Ram was an example of political sacrifice but in Chhattisgarh, “he is not ready to quit”.
Madhav said he had seen big hoardings of ‘Ram Van Gaman Path’ renovation work in Raipur which is good as the country’s heritage needs to be protected and rejuvenated.
“However, Lord Ram’s exile was an example of political sacrifice by him but here he is not ready to quit,” he said without naming anyone.
Madhav was apparently referring to a power tussle between Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and his cabinet colleague TS Singh Deo over a purported agreement to share the post of the chief minister.
As per mythology, the ‘Ram Van Gaman Path’ is the route taken by Ram on his way to the 14-year exile. It is believed that lord Ram had spent most of his time during exile in Chhattisgarh.
To keep the memories of contexts related to Lord Ram and Mata Kaushalya alive, the state government has undertaken the ‘Ram Van Gaman Tourism Circuit’ project and has started developing nine places falling on the route as tourist destinations in the first phase.