Authors: Hassan Imam
The present article examines the cultural aspects of Indian National Movement whereas, the local press, both in the North and South India, projected the divine image of Mahatma Gandhi. This article argues how Mahatma Gandhi helped the ryots, against British Indigo Planters, in the course of Champaran Satyagraha and finally he became “Mashiha” of the subaltern class. But during his visit to Gorakhpur, (Chauri Chaura), the local papers predicted about Gandhi’s pratap or magical powers of Gandhi. Inspired with the power and glory of Gandhi, people in large numbers visited almost all the stations for Gandhi Darshan, when he was on his way to Gorakhpur, and the Station Masters supported them in their endeavour. In Gorakhpur, a new dimension of Gandhi came into light where he became popular as “Mahatma” argued by Shahid Amin. But in the 1930s Gandhi, from a position of “Mahatma”, secured the status of God. The proscribed literature of South India argues that Mahatma Gandhi was one of the incarnations of God. It also argues that Gandhi, before his birth as M.K Gandhi, had appeared on this earth on many occasions, as avatar (incarnation) of God, to save people from the atrocities of demons. Most of the literatures under study depict Gandhi as incarnation of God (Lord Krishna) and Government as demon Kamsa who wished to kill Lord Sri Krishna but in return Kamsa was killed by Sri Krishna. In the same way Gandhi had come to this earth to eliminate the British, the demon from this country. In these proscribed literatures, all the incarnations of the God, such as Matsyavataram, Varahavataram, Narsimh-avtaram, Vamanavtaram, Parasuramavtaram Siriramavtaram have been depicted in Gandhi.
Since, Mahatma Gandhi was considered as visible representative of God on this earth, so the people in large numbers had mentally and psychologically prepared themselves to follow the command of Mahatma Gandhi to the extent of sacrificing their lives for the cause of nation. The article also examines the socio-religious aspects of Indian National Movement.
The present article is based on banned literatures which were published at the various places in south India. It was proscribed by the Government of Madras under section 19 of the Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act, 1931(Act No. XXIII of 1931) and its circulation was banned by the government for, the obvious reasons, that it was continuously creating hatred against the British and at the same time it was preparing the people for a great sacrifice. The British Government also found a psychological change in nationalist’s behavior, especially among the subaltern class.
Keywords: Mahatma Gandhi, Mashiha, Spiritualism, culture, incarnation of God, sacrifice