Was it right or wrong is not the issue but the issue is to what extent misinterpretation could lead to. This was much evident from the 'Chiken Festival' held on the most revered Gandhi Jayanti day. It was conducted in Hyderabad at Triveni Hostel on Osmania University campus. The organizers, OBC students of Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University claimed that it was their way of disagreeing with Gandhi's 'ahimsa.' Speakers on the occasion, who were all students, said that Gandhi by upholding 'Manusmrithi' had inflicted a form of violence against certain sections of the society.
At this instance I would like remember the ever quotable quote on Manusmrithi. This was what was said by an eminent academician George Buhler, who translated Manusmriti, ' I must say that every Indian women and men must read Manusmriti to know what great damage it has done to women and Indian society.' So Manusmriti had nothing to degrade or criticize the downtrodden as misquoted by few who attended the 'Chicken Fest.'
The festival was attended by nearly 200 OBC students from Osmania and EFLU (English and Foreign Languages University) across the campus. Some of them claimed, 'Gandhi had hurt the dalits whose staple food is pork and meat.' The festival was meant to reiterate the criticism leveled against Gandhi's 'caste' ideas by Dr B R Ambedkar.
Well taking the incident from this level, it is utterly incorrect to state that both the national leaders had a ravine of differences between them. In fact the two respected each other and had high esteem mutually. They both were fighting the same cause, 'untouchable.' Only their paths were different and neither had any apprehensions in taking the consensus while framing a decision for the betterment of the untouchable communities. While Gandhiji was pitching on reforms as a service to mankind, Dr Ambedkar pitched in, as a crusader for the downtrodden
The comparison drawn between the two great leaders is really not correct and classifying them on communal basis is also equally not good. Because they both belong to the nation and cannot be restricted to a particular section of the people. The underlying truth that many of us do not realize is that even today the entire nation follows the Constitution that was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly. This same was drafted by B R Ambedkar, the first Law Minister of India and Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee.
For the constitution or for the country to claim identity, independence was needed and that was gifted to the nation by the 'father of the nation,' Mahatma Gandhi. Hence one gave us freedom while other showed us the path to adhere to and we still follow the same. This was realized by our early nationals and why this conflict now that too on an auspicious day. It did hurt many but they failed to raise their voice against the incident.
At this juncture I wish to bring to your notice an incident in this regards. This was on November 29, 1948 in the House of the elected representatives, nine months after the death of the Mahatma, the house passed the provision abolishing 'untouchablity.' And you know what the reaction was in the assembly, in which the Chairman of the Drafting Committee and leader of the untouchable brigade, Dr Ambedkar, an untouchable himself was present! The hall resounded with slogans of ‘Mahatma Gandhi-ki-jai,’ that was the greatness of the Mahatma.
Always remembered and ever cherished are the two visionaries who are the two pillars of our nation. Talking less about one is equally similar to insulting the other. The day we realize this, our slogan, 'unity in diversity' will hold true in the utmost sense. Mera Bharath Mahan! (With inputs from internet-AW AarKay)