Everyone has heard about the great man, Mahatma Gandhi ji, at one time or the other. He was the man who led the fight for India’s independence from British colonial rule. Though he is long dead, his memory still rings on. His birthday is always being celebrated in India every 2nd of October in remembrance of Gandhi ji’s great works.
However, something unusual happened during Mahatma Gandhi’s posthumous 150th birthday. According to the police, some thieves have stolen Gandhi’s ashes from where it was kept on his “supposed” 150th birthday.
Gandhi’s ashes had always been kept in a memorial in central India since 1948, the very year Mahatma Gandhi ji was assassinated by a Hindu extremist. However, on the day of the celebration, it was noticed that the ashes had been taken away from the Bapu Bhawan memorial in central India.
The thieves did not only take away the ashes from its place but also believed to have scribbled the word “traitor” in Hindus with green paint across the photograph of the great independence leader. To date, some Hindu hardliners believed Gandhi ji was a traitor for supporting the Hindu-Muslim unity although Mahatma Gandhi was a devout Hindu himself.
It was confirmed by the Police in Rewa, in Madhya Pradesh state, to Shuriah Niazi of BBC Hindi that they were still investigating the stealing on the grounds of actions “prejudicial to national integration” and potential breach of national peace.
Mangaldeep Tiwari, who was the caretaker of the Bapu Bhawan memorial, where Gandhi’s ashes had been kept said the theft was very “shameful.” According to Mangaldeep to the Indian website “The Wire”: “I opened the entrance of the Bapu Bhawan memorial early in the morning because it was Gandhi’s birthday, but when I returned at about 23:00hours (17:30 GMT), I realised that Gandhi’s ashes are missing and his photograph has been defaced.”
Immediately after this, the leader of the local Congress political party, Gurmeet Singh, filed a complaint to the police, who had taken action since then. As reported by “The Wire,” Mr Gurmeet said:
“This madness has to stop, I, therefore, urge the Police in Rewa to check the footage recorded by the CCTV cameras installed inside the Bapu Bhawan memorial.”
Concerning the word “traitor” supposedly scrawled by the thieves across Gandhi’s photograph. People claimed that Gandhi was never a violent man but led a non-violent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India, an action that inspired people all over the world. Many Indians still respect Mahatma Gandhi today as the “father of the nation [India].”
Nevertheless, most Hindu conservatives in India accused Mahatma Gandhi of betraying the Hindus by being too pro-Muslim and advocating the Hindu-Muslim unity. He was even accused of the division of India and the bloodshed that occurred after independence from the British colonial rule in 1947.
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in January 1948 by a Hindu extremist. After his death, his remain was cremated, but his ashes were kept and not scattered in a river according to the Hindu belief.
Because of his fame, his ashes were divided and sent to various memorials around India – including the Bapu Bhawan memorial.