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Politics surrounding a Gandhi Memorial - from the pages of History

Gandhi Mantabam and Democracy

Gandhi Mantabam, Adyar, Chennai  is a memorial building housing Gandhi library and museum, an open-air auditorium besides many memorial for leaders and freedom fighters of the state of Tamilnadu.

At the entrance of this memorial buildings, there exists two foundation stones that spell the politics around the opening of this popular monument.

One stone says that it was opened on October 18th, 1953 by Sri Prakasa, the Governor of Madras state from 12th March 1952 to 10th December 1956, an Indian politician, freedom-fighter and administrator.

The other stone says that it was opened on January 27th, 1956 by C. Rajagopalachar, an avid follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian lawyer, independence activist, politician, writer and statesman. 

Sri Prakasa, as a Governor, took the highly criticized decision to invite politician C. Rajagopalachari to form a Congress government in the state despite the fact that the Indian National Congress did not have a majority and Rajagopalachari was not an elected member of the assembly as he had not participated in the elections. Rajagopalachari requested Prakasa to nominate him to the assembly thereby foregoing the usual process of election by the members of the assembly.

After losing support for his government,  Rajaji resigned as Chief Minister on April 13, 1954, attributing the decision to poor health. He tendered his official resignation from the Indian National Congress and floated a new party on June 4, 1959, shortly after the Nagpur session of the Indian National Congress.

Ironically, in his essay titled, "Our Democracy", Rajaji explained the necessity for a right-wing alternative to the Congress while many observers viewed the behavior of the Governor and the Chief Minister of Madras in 1952 as one of the most serious breaches of the democratic process.


Democracy and its implications had been at its infancy during the years of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajaji while both were trying to build the nation, playing a role of statesman rather than leaving the people leading their ideologies. It was their ideologies that shaped the Indian nation and its states which predominated today's democratic system. While Rajaji paved the way for the ploy of Dravidian movement in Tamilnadu in his later years, Gandhiji's style of freedom battle and statesmanship was beyond the powers of the Indian National Congress.


Today, many monuments and memorials are in the verge of being misused or neglected 'cause of the politics surrounding it.

Source: wikipedia

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