Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Assignment on Rhetoric - Dayananth,J, II BA English

Dayananth, J, writes..:
Rhetorical and Historical Importance of Mahatma Gandhi’s Speech on Indo – Pak Conflict

This is one of the famous speeches of Mahatma Gandhiji on Kashmir Issue, which he addressed in the Prayer meeting on January 4, 1948 where he justified Indian government for having taken the Issue (Kashmir Issue) to U.N.O and also stressed the importance of Peace talks between India and Pakistan. He started the speech with these very lines “Today there is a talk of war everywhere. Everyone fears a war breaking out between the two countries.” This is how he started the historically important speech.

He also insisted in that speech that if a war breaks between India and Pakistan it would be a calamity for both Nations and added however trivial the issue may appear to be, it could lead to a war between the Nations.

He also suggested that the denial of Pakistan will bot settle the matter and requested to get out of the Kashmir Issue which has been creating a war hysteria and to arrive at settlement through bilateral negotiations. He also warned if such settlements cannot be made through Peace talks it would definitely lead to war. Thereby he justified the decision taken by the Union Government to take up the issue to U.N.O. He also didn’t mind whatever the attitude of Pakistan may be as he clearly said, “If I had my way I would have invited Pakistan’s representatives to India and we could have met, discussed the matter and worked out some settlement. He also quoted the Pakistan’s statement that they want an amicable settlement but they do nothing to such settlement.

Even on that stand he humbly told the responsible leaders of Pakistan “though we are now two countries – which is a thing I never wanted – we should at least try to arrive at an agreement so that we could live as peaceful neighbours. He also acknowledged that “the mistakes were made on both sides, of this no one have no doubt. But this does not mean that we should persist in those mistakes, for then in the end we shall only destroy ourselves. Bringing the subject to an end he suggested that India and Pakistan should come together if God as witness and find amicable settlement. Thereby he made a call for peace.

Besides the Kashmire issue, he addressed a domestic issue which happened in Delhi over which he was really concerned by that time. He was very upset because many of the children and women were exploited. By that time he made the speech he was quite worried about the internal conflict that were happening in the capital, where there were world representatives looking into. Having compassion in his mind he was very conscious in keeping up the Government norms by advising the people not to go against the law. He also termed the people as Barbarians who indulged in making women and children as a shield for their protection. And in the concluding part of his speech he insisted reconciliation which would prevent the third person’s interference and comments.

This speech is both rhetorically and historically important. Rhetorically it is important because Gandhiji takes on the stand of common man’s perspective. The main objective of his speech is to avoid a war between India and Pakistan. He however manages to express his powerful thoughts in a moderate way. This is also rhetorically important because of his humble approach without compromise and also his positive attitude towards peace, which clearly reflects his ahimsa ideology and his tendency to admit the mistakes in both ends and go for peace proves him as a peace maker. Throughout the speech he was very conscious of not letting other country to intervene and laugh at us.

Historically Mahatma Gandhiji’s Speech on Kashmir issue is important because it happened immediately after few months of India’s freedom and also the event took place in the same month of Gandhiji’s assassination. Since the event which Gandhiji quoted in his speech happened in Delhi capital of India, it becomes historical fact. Since it was the first war hysteria between India and Pakistan it was of historical importance. It was also the first interference of the U.N.O between India and Pakistan.

Gandhi’s thought is full of rich values that to be adopted. His way of approach and firm stand is exemplary. His heart for keeping peace and mind for keeping law is genuine. His patriotism and love for neighboring country is also revealed in his speech. His effort in bringing in peace between Hindus and Muslims causes his death which is the saddest part of all. As we face the same turmoil at present, we will have to follow the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhiji the “Father of Our Nation.”

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