New Delhi: On the day that data released by the government showed how industrial growth shrunk by 0.3% in December 2019, the government’s principal economic adviser Sanjeev Sanyal claimed that Mahatma Gandhi did not make any efforts to rescue Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries from the gallows, according to a report in the Indian Express.
“It is difficult to say whether Mahatma Gandhi would have been successful to save Bhagat Singh or any other revolutionary from the gallows because the facts do not exist… he did not make much of an effort,” he said. Sanyal was delivering a lecture titled ‘The Revolutionaries: A Retelling of India’s History’ at the Gujarat University.
He also said that Gandhi was “happy enough to condone violence”, arguing that he had recruited Indian soldiers for the British army. “Gandhiji tried to downplay the violence of Malabar Rebellion following the Khilafat movement, which in a way, is another movement that Gandhiji himself led. Given that background, revolutionaries did hold against Gandhiji that he did not put in enough of efforts and tried to rescue Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries,” Sanyal said.
He argued that this ‘narrative’ should be brought into curriculums and books. “It is important that this narrative is re-introduced to our curriculum… The good news is that the popular culture is moving ahead so you have seen very recently the story of INA brought in its own way in Amazon prime series, Forgotten Army,” he said.
Sanyal’s day job involves advising the government on matters relating to the economic health of the country. Ironically, data released on the day he made the statements showed that the economy is facing a severe crisis.
On the one hand, retail inflation has hit a six year high in January, industrial growth contracted in December. Output of 16 of 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector contracted. Gross domestic product growth has slumped to 5% and is at a 11-year low. Investment in the economy is at a 17-year low.