AMI BERA JOINS RSS CHIEF MOHAN BHAGWAT IN PRAISING GANDHI AS THE BIGGEST HINDU PATRIOT OF INDIA
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which has quietly adored Mohandas Gandhi as its ideologue father and a model Hindu, is now going to declare him as the biggest Hindu patriot. A book titled “Making of the Hindu Patriot” by authors J.K. Bajaj and M.D. Srinivas, sanctioned by the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will be released on the first day of the new year to cement Gandhi as a staunch Hindu. Similarly, in the US, Congressmen such as Ami Bera, co-sponsored to have the Gandhi-King Exchange bill passed to implement the philosophies of Martin Luther King and Gandhi in conflict resolution between India and the US. It is apparent that while the legacy of Gandhi is being attacked from both ends of the world, the RSS and the Bharata Janata Party (BJP) are reinforcing Gandhi’s presence all over the world.
RSS Supremo Mohan Bhagwat releases book praising Gandhi as the biggest Hindu Patriot
2020 was a momentous year for Mohandas Gandhi’s legacy as worldwide protests against the murder of George Floyd ensued. As the protesters targeted celebrated historical figures for their racism, a surge in the attacks against the statues of Gandhi in the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Canada ensued. Petitions all over the world were created to lobby for the removal of the statue of Gandhi in various cities and institutions of the world. It is obvious that Gandhi’s legacy is currently in tatters and that the pro-Gandhian individuals and institutions all over the world, are reinforcing Gandhi’s cult status to ensure that he remains to be celebrated as a global humanitarian.
Arvin Valmuci, a director at the Organization for Minorities in India reflected on the recent events as Gandhi’s legacy continues to take a battering:
“It is evident that the war against Gandhi has reached a tipping point and that the Indian government is desperate to maintain Gandhi’s position in the world. In Africa, we have seen countries such as Malawi and Ghana remove the statues of Gandhi citing his racism against black Africans. This year, various statues of Gandhi in the West were desecrated citing his racism and sexual crimes against young girls in his ashrams. The Indian government which has used Gandhi as a foreign policy tool is now desperate to defend his honour and if you notice, they are trying to get Gandhi’s name intertwined with Martin Luther King’s name as a defense mechanism.”
The BJP and RSS uses politicians like Ami Bera to influence the reach of Gandhi in American politics and to legitimize his legacy as a global humanitarian. The bill which Ami Bera co-sponsored has now passed becoming the Gandhi-King Exchange Act which ties Gandhi’s legacy to Martin Luther’s legacy as the world continues to rally against Gandhi’s legacy of racism. The Act authorizes $1 million a year through fiscal 2025 for the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative. The law also authorizes $2 million for just FY 2021 for the Gandhi-King Global Academy and $30 million for 2021 for the US-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation.
This collaboration of Gandhi and King was perfectly synchronized to deflect from the real issues surrounding Gandhi’s legacy. The resolution of the Gandhi-King Exchange was introduced to the House of representatives at a time when statues of Gandhi were attacked in London and Washington in early June of 2020. The month of June saw a resurgence in petitions and calls to have the statue of Gandhi removed from various places around the world. Calls to have the statue of Gandhi removed from the Martin Luther Center increased and institutions like the University of Toledo removed the bust of Gandhi quietly amidst a global uproar.
Perhaps the most threatening dimension to Gandhi’s legitimacy as a global humanitarian is premised on Martin Luther’s endorsement of Gandhi as a civil rights activist. If the statue of Gandhi was to be removed from the MLK Center, Gandhi’s legacy as a bigot would be instantly legitimized. Indeed, barely a month after the attacks on Gandhi in June, on 29 July, the Gandhi-King bill written by the late John Lewis and co-sponsored by Ami Bera passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This bill was rushed just after the global outcry and attacks against Gandhi’s legacy and the only way to protect Gandhi’s history of racism, was to tie him with Martin Luther the activist who fought against prejudice. To have the US endorse Gandhi with legislation is cementing Gandhi’s legacy to be protected by the most powerful country of the world.
Members of the SIC protest Ami Bera’s ties with Modi
Bera, a member of the American Sikh Caucus is pro- BJP and whatever policies that the Narendra Modi government institute, they depend on politicians like him to influence outcomes in US domestic politics. What is surprising is that as a member of the Sikh Caucus, he has never addressed broad issues pertaining to the Sikhs through the Congress nor has he ever been vigilant in sponsoring resolutions for the benefit of the American Sikhs. To analyse the beneficiaries of the Gandhi-King legislation, no matter which way one looks, it is specifically beneficial to the BJP and the RSS who revere Gandhi as a Hindu patriot to advance their goal of achieving a true Hindu state.