With the recent controversial decisions of repealing the special status from Jammu and Kashmir or the introductions of the Framers Bill. Even the frauds before and emergencies of the past. It provokes a very interesting question. What if legendary freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Bose, Vallabhbhai Patel, etc. were alive today? How would they have reacted to all the wars, emergencies, scams of today? How would the country have looked with their wisdom to enlighten it? These questions become more and more relevant in today’s era given the history that follows these figures. In this, let’s try to find some answers to what would have happened if legendary freedom fighters were alive today.
Legacy Of Mahatma
First, let us talk about our currency notes. Our current currency notes have the image of Mahatma Gandhi. This series of notes is also known as the Mahatma Gandhi series which replaced the Lion Capital Series in 1996. So If Mahatma Gandhi had been alive would such honor still be bestowed upon him? Well, it could have been as noticed by the image of Queen Elizabeth II still being printed on many banknotes. However, it can be said that Gandhi Ji would not have accepted this honor given his simple lifestyle and his altruistic nature.
Now let us talk about a country through the eyes of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi at an ideal level did not believe in the concept of a formal state. That is because he believed that the state has the coercion power to make people oblige to its laws. He believed that people should voluntarily carry out social responsibility and they should become self-disciplined. At a political level, he regarded limited grounds of political obligation (political obligation is the moral duty of citizens to obey the laws of the country).
In layman’s term what he believed was that a system like democracy cannot be ideal. These institutions are based on political power, therefore, they can only be the means of improving the conditions of people at different levels of life. But they cannot ultimately lead to human welfare. Gandhi firmly believed in the concept of swaraj that generally means self-governance. He believed that people should be politically and economically independent. Gandhiji also laid stress upon the rule by not any government but self-governance through individuals and community building. He also believed that real India lived in the village. Thus, we find that Gandhiji believed in the idea of liberalism, non-violence, and most of all swaraj. He wanted to uplift the weaker sections of the country to create a strong root for future generations to follow.
War and Changes
Nevertheless, as modern times evolved, would this have been the best brick to build upon? Even though in theory it seems good but in execution, it falters in parts. Many of these theories were practically impossible to implement with the growing tensions and population. In these scenarios, Gandhiji would also have to come to a bargain and think out some solutions for its implementation. Had Gandhiji been there, he would have made it a point to bring these changes to the implementation. In addition, given the massive following, he garnered he would have made an impact with these ideas.
As for the wars, no one could know if Gandhiji could have influenced a better solution than the current one. He would opine heavily on the non-violence part. But in all honesty, given the no. of wars, we have fought, if he would have been there to advise not for the result but there could have been a subtraction in the no. of wars. Nevertheless, given the controversial decisions that have taken place since independence, there could have been a strong possibility of him leaving the congress party and following the same route as Anna Hazare who considers Mahatma Gandhi as an idol and also follows his ideology.
Bose and Savarkar
Now for the two most controversial figures in terms of their ideologies as well as their actions. Bose and Savarkar although both great freedom fighters stood at the opposite end of spectrums. Subhas Chandra Bose, on one hand, was a supporter of communist ideology. One can argue today that he could have part of left-leaning parties like the Indian National Congress of the Communist Party of India. He also created a party known as ‘Forward Block’, which is still active in West Bengal. Bose though would have played a monumental role in the wars that followed the independence. Bose had first-hand experience in wars with his formation of the ‘Azad Hind Fauj’. He also would have played a huge role in gathering and maintaining international political allies. Bose would have been the perfect Defense Minister with the ability and courage he had.
On the other hand, Vinayak Savarkar was a Hindu extremist. In this modern age, one could easily see Savarkar fit the ideologies of the right-leaning Bhartiya Janata Party. He would have been very outspoken about the Ram Mandir situation. He would have also played a huge role in the protests given his charisma, his courage, his orating skills, his scholar, and his philosopher mind.
India’s Iron Man: Vallabhbhai Patel
Vallabhbhai Patel had his loyalties towards the Indian National Congress. Therefore, he would have stuck to his ideals and still would have followed congress even in these desperate times. However, if he had been alive, congress would not have been in this miserable position. He had great courage and a mind sharp as a blade. He also had an understanding of politics and used his political cards carefully. His achievements are hidden to none. His role in uniting the nation was instrumental. Although he served as the deputy prime minister, he would have been the perfect prime ministerial candidate in today’s day and age.
Vallabbhai Patel was an incredible orator, amassed great respect and his commitment to national integration in the newly independent country was total and uncompromising, earning him the sobriquet “Iron Man of India”. He would also have been vocal in the current farmer’s protest. He believed in the upliftment of farmers. This can be witnessed from his instrumental role in the Bardoli Satyagraha of 1928. One could also hope that given his commitment to national integration maybe he would have been successful in uniting Jammu and Kashmir and India and return it to its natural glory.
These were some of my guesses of what would have happened if some Freedom fighters were alive. This was written based on the ideologies they used to follow. Their ideologies and wisdom are some of the things we can learn. If these are used in our country today, maybe one could hope to see a nation that used to be called the ‘Golden Bird’ once again.
One could hope that all the mascaras, some protests, and an exodus could have been avoided. As we approach our 75th year of independence, one could only remember their contributions and learn from them. The question ‘What if Freedom Fighters were Alive today’ can be the solution to many problems of the country. A question like this can change a country. An answer to this can change the world. We will for sure never know what will be the answer to this question. But sometimes Questions are more important than Answers. Moreover, ‘To Question’ is one of the most important things we can learn from them.