Mahatma Gandhi would have laughed at chatur baniya description but for its “utter tastelessness and the hidden mischief in it, said Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former West Bengal governor and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah has said Mahatma Gandhi was a chatur baniya, a reference to the mercantile caste to which he was born, who had rightly advised dissolution of the Congress after Independence.
Addressing a select audience of “prominent citizens” in Raipur on Friday evening, Shah also said the Congress was not rooted in any ideology or principles and was sort of a “special purpose vehicle” to secure freedom.
Rajmohan Gandhi, another grandson of the Mahatma, too was scathing in his reaction to Shah’s comments. He said that the man who overcame the British lion and snakes of communal poison in India was more than a ‘chatur baniya.’
In remarks that raised the hackles of the Congress, which demanded an apology from Shah as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP president went on term Mahatma Gandhi a “bahut chatur baniya”, a very shrewd baniya.
Shah faced widespread condemnation on social media with users reminding him about his alleged criminal past questioning his qualification to comment on an individual, regarded as the father of the nation in India.
Many social media users also highlighted how the idols of Shah’s party, the BJP, were busy asking for clemency from the British while Gandhi single-handedly spearheaded the freedom struggle.