Despite the recent controversies surrounding him, BJP’s embattled chief Nitin Gadkari seems to have learnt no lessons from his past mistakes. He continues to invite more trouble. Mr Gadkari’s bizarre comparison of Swami Vivekananda’s IQ with that of India’s most wanted man Dawood Ibrahim has left everybody bemused.
Technically, he may have a point that power - money or intellect - can be used to pursue good or evil objectives, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for him to draw an analogy between one of the greatest thinkers of modern India and a notorious gangster blamed for the Mumbai terror attacks.
Simply put, there can be no comparison between the two. In fact, a magnanimous soul like Swami Vivekananda can’t be compared to anyone. That’s the reason why Congress has taken maximum advantage of the situation and targeted BJP.
On expected lines, Congress not only questioned the logic behind making such comparisons but also took potshots at the main opposition party by asking: “What about equating Gadkari’s IQ with that of Ajmal Kasab.
Congress’ counter-attack has left BJP looking for cover since it reveres philosopher-saint Vivekananda as one of its guiding lights. So, on that ground, a controversial statement from the man at helm of its affairs, though
not intentional, has embarrassed the BJP and offended millions of Vivekananda’s followers worldwide.
It is good that Mr Gadkari, already under scanner for his controversial business dealings, quickly realised the blunder and has apologized while arguing that he was misquoted by media, but the damage has been done.
Mr Gadkari seems to have forgotten simple lessons taught in schools on morality and ethics– look before you leap and weigh before your speak - otherwise he would have refrained from making such remarks that put him in bad light.
Will BJP take out a Dawood Ibrahim yatra similar to the Vivekanand yatra, which it took out in Bihar or name institutions or airports on the underworld don’s name?
Is it not an indication of the utter frustration of a person who was handpicked by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) to head the BJP? With its strong views on Hinduism and the Indian culture, the RSS has been at the forefront of eulogizing Vivekananda and his contribution to the society. But what can the Sangh Parivar do when its own man belittles a great patriot, a great visionary, a great yogi, a great nation builder and an authoritative spokesman of Indian culture.
Can anyone forget Vivekananda’s contribution in the revival of Hinduism in modern India? The great reformer propounded a philosophy which can serve as a basis to every possible religious system in the world.
On September 11, 1893, while addressing the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, the great yogi, said, “In essence all religions are true, and service to mankind is the most effective form of worship of God.”
Swami Vivekananda’s ideas and teachings have long ignited young minds, especially in India. His message to the youth to rise up and fight depression, weakness, fear, selfishness and jealousy, which he termed as their biggest enemies, is still so relevant.
His firm belief in the youth power and its immense potential to change the future of the entire nation still remains the biggest source of inspiration, encouragement and motivation for youths.
The great thinker, who taught his disciples the righteousness of soul, told the youth to believe in the Karmic philosophy and hold on to the chosen path despite repeated failures. “The greatest sin is to think you are weak. The remedy of weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength,” he once said.
In one such message, aimed at preparing the youth of this great nation to set bigger goals in life to be able to accomplish rare feats, Swamiji insisted by saying, “Our country requires heroes; be heroes. Stand firm like a rock. Truth always triumphs. What India wants is a new electric fire to stir up a fresh vigour in the national veins. All power is within you. You can do anything and everything. Believe in that.”
It is ironical when the president of the BJP, which positions itself as the champion of the Hindu cause, makes such foolish comparisons with someone blamed for terror attacks in India.
Gadkari’s own political future is in dark, owing to the alleged financial impropriety related to his firm Purti Power Ltd, and this has certainly cast a shadow on his chances of becoming BJP president for the second time. Both the RSS and the BJP have slowly distanced themselves from the Gadkari controversy leaving the Nagpur leader battling to hold on to his turf.
As famously said by actor Tobey Maguire in the iconic Hollywood movie `Spiderman` “with great power comes great responsibility", those who hold high offices should not get carried away with the power they wield and should always realize the great responsibilities which they carry on their shoulders.
Clearly, it is Gadkari’s Jinnah moment and his innings as the BJP chief appears to be nearing a bitter end and he has none but himself to blame.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)