As India celebrates 67 years of its freedom in a few days, it is amusing to know that Pakistan is not the only country that has not reconciled to the existence of a sovereign and independent India.
The opposition to the installation of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliamentary Square in London in January 2015 is growing every day if reports from London are to be believed.
The announcement to install the statue had been made by Chancellor Osborne and former foreign secretary William Hague when they visited India in July. This statue is scheduled to be inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits UK.
Political opposition to anything concerning Gandhi in Britain is not surprising. The country which had its empire all over the world must be gritting its teeth as to how a simple unarmed man like Mahatma Gandhi could organize the entire country to force the Britishers to hand over the regime to India on August 15,1947.
The surprise is the naïve arguments being given out by their politicians led by John Prescott, former Deputy Prime Minister who argue that Britain could not honour an apostle of peace like Gandhi because British ministers go to India with arms dealers to sell their wares, even though the deal failed to materialize because India used its options to shop elsewhere.
The former Deputy Prime Minister has been quoted as saying, “To trade off an arms deal with the statue of a man who typified peaceful protest goes against all he believed in.“
He has also condemned the visit of Cameron to India because he was unable to strike an arms deal. Maybe if the deal had been successful John Prescott would not have opposed the installation of the Gandhi statue. Who knows?
Or since he is so opposed to the methods of peaceful protest initiated by Gandhi we suggest he could build up pressure on his Government to install the statue of the most successful arms dealers of the country. We should have no problem with that!
By: Amitabh Srivastava