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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Apu Theory

The Times of India reports that the SC has rejected a plea to to make it "mandatory for people to show respect to Mahatma Gandhi.”

The decision came in response to a PIL against UP chief minister Mayawati’s alleged description of Gandhiji as a ‘natakbaaz’ (a hypocrite or gimmicky).

The petitioners — advocate Ravi Kant and Sukumar — had cited Gandhiji’s contributions to argue that he deserved respect from every citizen. A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan and Justice B S Chauhan patiently heard the petitioners, but declined to lay down a code enjoining upon citizens to show respect to Gandhiji.

“We totally agree with you on what you said on Gandhiji. But, we are not here to frame or issue guidelines to citizens for showing respect to Mahatma Gandhi. We cannot entertain such PILs,” the Bench said.


Firstly, criticism of the Mahatma based on his stand on caste is not new. Much has been said about how Gandhi did not attack the institution of caste directly, although, ironically Gandhi did face a fair amount of flak from orthodox sections of society even for the limited stand he did take.

Secondly, this sort off goes someway in proving the Apu Theory which states that, basically, we don’t know the difference between respect and servitude. Sure, we should be so grateful that the Mahatma got us freedom that we should have a law (Big Brother anyone) to enforce respect for him. And, we better not let ordinary Indians handle the national flag in any way they like. In fact, let’s penalise them with three years in jail if they do. Also, it really doesn’t matter whether you have farmers committing suicide in Vidharbha; spending Rs 200 Crore to revere Shivaji tho chaltha hai.

7 comments:

indianhomemaker said...

I am sure even Gandhiji would not have approved of such PILs :) Reminds me of the You Tube video which was so much in News earlier...

And is the National Flag some extraordinary citizen's personal property that ordinary citizens cannot handle it?

Brilliant post as usual :)

The Illuminator said...

Respect not given by will is no respect at all. I totally agree. Such litigations cannot be allowed to come through. What if someone doesn't admire Gandhi's ways but doesn't disrespect him either because he did contribute? There always has to remain a choice.

Anonymous said...

Nicely written...

Vikram said...

Man it would suck to be a Supreme Court judge in India. You work hard and live by the Consti (I hope) and then end up delivering verdicts on cases filed by nincompoops (which are abundant in India), who have the time and money to spend on filing ridiculous cases while not thinking twice before jumping a red light.

Hades said...

Vikram,

But then maybe, the judges do get, er...well compensated for their troubles.:P

Indophile said...

They should treat all these silly PIL's as civil cases which will appear for hearing in say 2050 !!!

Zee Bee said...

Yep ,we make multi crore statues when children are dying like flies and basic healthcare system is not in place in India. Mayawati has made six for herself using tax payer's money. Nobody seems to be protesting that loudly enough.