Mahatma Gandhi: Father Of The Nation
Mahatma Gandhiji is revered in India as the
Father of the Nation. Much before the Constitution of Free India
conferred the title of the Father of the Nation upon the Mahatma, it was Netaji
Subhash Chandra Bose who first addressed him as such in his condolence message
to the Mahatma on the demise of Kasturba.
Ba and Bapu had been interned at Aga Khan
Palace, Pune in the wake of the Quit India Movement. It was while serving the
prison term Kasturba passed away on 22 February, 1944.
Concerned about Gandhiji, Netaji sent the
following message to the Mahatma on Azad Hind Radio, Rangoon on 4th June, 1944.
"...........Nobody would be more happy than
ourselves if by any chance our countrymen at home should succeed in liberating
themselves through their own efforts or by any chance, the British Government
accepts your `Quit India' resolution and gives effect to it. We are, however
proceeding on the assumption that neither of the above is possible and that a
struggle is inevitable.
Father of our Nation in this holy war for
India's liberation, we ask for your blessings and good wishes".
The above message also proves beyond any
doubt Netaji's 'reverence and warm feelings towards Gandhiji whom he had
addressed as The Father of the Nation'
There have been many queries as to how could
Gandhi be called the Father of an ancient civilization like ours. No one is
questioning the antiquity of this ancient land.
But India, that is Bharat as we know today
that has emerged out of an old civilization is a recent phenomenon. This
multicultural multi-ethnic country became a Nation-State owing allegiance to one
Constitution, one flag and one Government only on 15 August, 1947. Mahatma
Gandhi crystallized about him the living forces of the soil.
So it seemed to a vast millions of Indians, and who saw a
Father figure in him and whose 'Bapu' he was.
- Dr. Savsita Singh