Updated 8:27 am, Jul 29, 2020

Mahatma Gandhi’s last battle was against majoritarianism: Prof Apoorvanand || SNE

By  tribune india .
Jan 26, 2018

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25

“Gandhi’s last battle was with his own people. It was against Hindus and Sikhs in India and Muslims in Pakistan. His battle was to enunciate a principle which was then bedrock of democracy-protection and respect for minority rights,” said Delhi University’s Prof Apoorvanand.He was at Panjab University (PU) today for a talk on ‘The Last Battle of Gandhi’. Critique, a group of teachers and students on the campus, had invited Prof Apoorvanand for the lecture.Prof Apoorvanand said, “Democracy cannot survive if minorities don’t feel safe, respected and essence of entitlement in the land they live in.”“Gandhi was fighting against majoritarianism. It is raising its head again. That is why we have to remember his last days,” he said.‘Bhagat Singh didn’t seek apology like Savarkar’Speaking on the controversy whether Gandhi tried to save Bhagat Singh from the gallows, Prof Apoorvanand said, “Gandhi raised the issue of hanging of Bhagat Singh with the then Viceroy of India. But he was told that it couldn’t be reversed. As Karachi session of the Congress was approaching, the Viceroy offered him that the hanging could be delayed. Gandhi would have been saved from embarrassment, had he agreed. But he told him that if hanging couldn’t be reversed, don’t save him from embarrassment too.”“People who attack Gandhi for Bhagat Singh’s hanging also deceive him. Bhagat Singh had told his father not to file appeal. He didn’t seek apology from the British like Savarkar. He threw bomb but didn’t flee,” he said.He added that “Gandhi and Bhagat Singh are similar as they didn’t flee, didn’t apologise and didn’t hide. Gandhi always used to fight for the vulnerable. He used to inform his adversaries about his movements before launching them.”

ABVP disrupts lecture

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), student’s wing of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), disrupted Delhi University’s Prof Apoorvanand’s lecture on “The Last Battle of Gandhi” at the PU over his support to Umar Khalid.Khalid along with fellow student Kanhaiya Kumar of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been facing allegations of raising anti-India slogans during a students’ meet in February 2016.Dinesh Chauhan, former ABVP North Zone University in-charge, questioned Prof Apoorvanand over his support to Khalid and his write up in the Indian Express newspaper, “Umar Khalid, my son”, published on February 23, 2016.Sourabh Kapoor, state secretary of the ABVP, Punjab-Chandigarh Chapter, asked, “Is Umar Khalid your illegitimate son?” On accusations against Khalid raising anti-India slogans, Prof Apoorvanand replied, “Evidence against Khalid is provided by Zee TV which is under doubt…It is not there even in raw footage. I have seen all the videos.” But as he was frequently disrupted, he offered ABVP leaders that they could beat him. ABVP leader Kushal Koundal said, “We have brought evidence against your illegitimate son.” He further asked, “You said at Savarkar’s house, assassination of Gandhi was planned. Then tell us who planned the hanging of Bhagat Singh.” As ABVP supporters further moved towards the speaker, members of leftist parties sat down on the way to block them.The police intervened but ABVP leaders continued to raise slogans “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram”.

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