Mahatma Gandhi was a man who overcame “British lion” and “snakes of communal poison” in the country making him more than a “chatur baniya”, his grandson Rajmohan Gandhi said on Saturday. Gandhi, who is currently in the United States, said Mahatma’s aim on Saturday would have been different than that of BJP President Amit Shah, who had yesterday referred to him as a “chatur baniya” (a clever Baniya – the trading caste) while addressing a gathering in Raipur.
“The man who overcame the British lion and snakes of communal poison in India was more than a chatur bania. Today — unlike men like Amit Shah — he would aim to defeat the forces that hunt the innocent and the vulnerable,” Gandhi, a biographer and a research professor at University of Illinois, US, told PTI in an email response.
Condemning Shah’s “chatur baniya” comment, opposition parties on Saturday demanded that he should apologise to the nation and insisted that the “denigrating” remark is withdrawn. Mahatma’s another grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, also said that he would have laughed at ‘chatur baniya’ description but for its “utter tastelessness and the hidden mischief in it”.
Historian Ramachandra Guha said the remark made by Amit Shah was “crude” and “unworthy” of the president of the BJP, the country’s ruling party.