What a lot of fuss about the few possessions of the Mahatma which went on sale in New York. His ideals are evoked but seldom followed. His memory is recalled only two days every year-October 2 and January 30. The suggestion from the owner of the artefacts that India devote more money to health was obviously embarrassing. Now at least Vijaya Mallya has rescued them for the nation though I doubt if the old man would have approved either of the air travel or the alcohol companies Mallya owns or even the calendar he brings out. But good for him. Everything the Mahatma disapproved of by way of Westernisation and modernisation has generated Mallya enough money to let him buy the stuff. I like irony.
Yet, the real question is how would the Mahatma have responded to the attack on the Sri Lanka cricketers in Lahore. Or rather how should India respond to it. I can appreciate that many in India feel a sense of schadenfreude. Here at last is a vindication of what Indians were saying about 26/11 which many in Pakistan were disputing. Now it has happened to them in broad daylight, repetition of the same story. People are saying this is the end of international cricket in Pakistan and some may even gloat in that possibility.
But Gandhigiri points another way. Recall that when 26/11 happened Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari did say that Pakistan was as much a victim of terrorism as India was and that the two countries should fight terrorism together. Many in India believe that parts of the Pakistan State, especially the ISI and perhaps rogue elements in the Pakistan Army, are also implicated in such acts. But there is no denying that in the Islamabad Marriott Hotel attack as in events in FATA and now in Lahore itself , Islamist terrorism is devastating Pakistan. What would the Mahatma's response have been?
After he came back from Noakhali, Gandhiji wanted to go to Lahore since the Pakistani half of Punjab was aflame. He refused to acknowledge that Pakistan was now...