Mr. Gandhi was born in 1869 to Diwan of one of the princely states in Gujarat, from there he went to London, South Africa and then finally India. Where he led a strong people’s movement against the British and commanded respect and loyalty of millions of Indians. There are countless things that Mr. Gandhi gave to India that we must appreciate. But, there is another thing that he gave Indians, with unintended consequences, it was that he told Indians not to respect the law, and broke several of them.
Mass disobedience movements that were led by him or his supporters did immense harm to Indian psyche where respect for law vanished, today nobody even talks about Respecting the Law. The situation is so bad that we do not even teach kids to Respect the Law, I remember my classroom, which had a chart of a whole list whom and what I should respect…. but there was no mention of respecting the law. When Mr. Gandhi started his mass movements often asking people to break the law, he in his wildest imagination would not have thought that he is training people to stop respecting the law. Masses supported his ideas around breaking the law, whether is was Salt Law or Civil Disobedience. I am not sure, but of all the texts I have read, none of them speak about Mr. Gandhi urging his followers to follow the law except the attitude did not die, we kept breaking the laws even after we had made them.
I blame Mr. Gandhi to have motivated Indian public to have no respect for the law, but since law was still the law breaking it still meant that you went to jail, this meant that although the respect was absent, the fear of law was still present, but this would change with Mr. Modi.
Mr. Modi is a lifelong member of Right Wing Hindu Group called RSS that believes only those people could be Indian whose Fatherland and Holyland are in India. Hence, Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc are not Indians because their Holyland is not in India. And, people like Mother Teresa and Adnan Sami are not Indians because Fatherland is not India. The RSS says that such people are allowed to live in India but as second class citizens who have to incorporate Hindu culture in their lives. RSS also have militant wings like Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.
Mr. Gandhi had removed the respect for law from Indian psyche. The Gujarat Pogrom of 2002 removed the fear of law, by actually telling the criminals participating the pogrom that they would be shielded by the law, Babu Bajrangi got into trouble only after boasting about it in front of camera. And after Mr. Modi became Prime Minister, the same message was delivered to Cow Vigilantes around the country…. look at one of them brag how he has government backing in these killings and how he does not fear the law and how he told the Jailor about his crimes.
These two men have done immense damage to Indian psyche, although Gandhi’s aim were noble and he hated violence (remember how Non Cooperation Movement was cancelled after Chaura Chauri). So his objectives were correct, his method was wrong. But Modi has completely changed the equation, where nothing is right, the respect and fear of law are completely absent. If civil society means that it is a society that respects the laws it sets for itself, then we are a long way from being Civil. And these two men from Gujarat are the primary reason for destroying civil society that used to exist in India.