When Mahatma Went For A Spin
When Mahatma Went For A Spin4 mins 208 4 mins 208
When Mahatma went for a Spin?
Mahatma was getting restless in the other world. His birth anniversary was around the corner and his trusted secretary Mahadev seemed to be doing nothing about it. So, he called for Mahadev and asked him if he has made arrangements for a trip to Bharat. Mahadev on and off has been getting some news from Bharat. As a dutiful secretary, he has been keeping himself abreast with all the technology and had a quiet social presence. He didn’t like one bit the turn the Bharat has taken in the last 7 years or so. But he didn’t want to tell Mahatma about all this lest he gets upset especially with his birth anniversary around the corner. So, he told Mahatma that he would get back by the end of the day. He himself didn’t want to go. He thought of Nehru first but ruled out. He knew the extent of Nehru's bashing that is going on right from the top to the bottom by the bhakts. Mahatma might be at risk seen in the company of Nehru. Then he remembered it was Lalbahadur Sastry’s birthday too on the 2nd October and he was less of a controversial figure in these times. He then decided to call on Sastry and persuade him to accompany Mahatma. Sastry was delighted. He had his ego rising in anticipation. Who would not want to know if the dear citizens remembered him on his birth anniversary? After all, he was the one who gave the country the slogan “jai jawan jai kisan.” He nodded his head to Mahadev’s proposal and advised him to go ahead making arrangements. Mahatma beamed and gave a toothless smile to Mahadev. He was quite happy to know the diminutive Sastry was his fellow companion.
On the 2nd of October, they landed near a park in Jayanagar in south Bangalore. It needs to be understood that both were in phantom form unseen by the human eyes. The firebrand young MP was on a dharna with his cohorts waving saffron-colored flags with a symbol of lotus on it. They were on a protest against Mahatma. They shouted slogans that it was due to Mahatma that partition happened and Bharat was facing constant threats from Pakistan and Muslims need to be banished from the country. They were both shocked and immediately sprinted from the place.
Their next stop was Bhopal where they were scheduled to witness a function where a saffron-clad Sadvi was to make a speech. Sadvi extolled the virtues of Godse and said he was the martyr who gave freedom to Bharat from the old hag Mahatma. She too accused Mahatma of ongoing soft on Muslims and handing over power to Nehru instead of Sardar.
By this time Mahatma’s blood pressure was up even though he was in a phantom form. They decided to go to Delhi where Sastry thought the atmosphere might be better. They were both surprised that the Birla memorial, Rajghat, and such monuments that reminded of the Mahatma were quite deserted. It was also customary in Bharat for the government to announce some fanciful schemes like ‘rid Bharat of corruption or clean Bharat campaign.’ They heard that the stand-in ‘father of the nation’ had already announced some schemes the previous day. How to mean of him Sastry thought! The only consolation Sastry thought was that Mahatma’s picture was still there in the denomination of Bharat’s currency.
By this time, they were already tired and decided to go to the railway station and take the Sabarmati express to reach Ahmedabad. All said and done Sabarmati Ashram had to be visited, probably the last vestiges of Mahatma’s memory were still there, thought Sastry.
It was early morning when Sastry woke up Mahatma excitedly as he pointed across the railway track. Scores of people were seen squatting and when the train passed, they stood up as if to salute the passing the train. Mahatma mused those old habits die hard. Yet, Sastry remarked that the stand-in ‘father of the nation’ had declared Bharat as free from open defecation. Well! Said Mahatma, “that is the truth. What you saw was an aberration. Better not to see such evil things!”
When they reached Sabarmati Ashram, they saw the trustees had assembled and were seen to be in an agitated mood. They understood some important meeting was about to start and decided to eavesdrop.
The Ashram was going to be redeveloped into a world-class memorial. The trustees felt that proposal would become the second assassination of Mahatma. At the end of the meeting, they had called for a press conference and released a statement to that effect.
Somewhere from the ashram the song ‘vaishnava janato thene kahiye je’ came floating by. Both Mahatma and Sastry were in tears as they bid goodbye. They both were certainly out of their depths.