Which other freedom fighter is more acceptable to Indians?
Nehru? He is controversial and offends many, especially in the right wing.
Patel? He will offend the “secularists”. His party itself worked so hard to bury his legacy and forget his name.
Bose? Will offend a lot of people at the center, who don’t believe his methods.
Rajaji? Even the Tamils have forgotten him and ask most northerners and you will draw a blank.
Tilak? Oh, he was a “Hindutva” guy.
Tagore? Some people still think he wrote the anthem for King George.
Then someone would say why no women representation? We will add a Sarojini Naidu. Then someone would say you have picked only the upper castes. Let’s add an Ambedkar. Why no non-Hindu representation? We will add a Abul Kalam Azad. Why no Sikhs, Jains, Christians? Why nobody from the left? Why no representation from my region? From my state? From my community? Why only freedom fighters and why not singers, kings, religious leaders? How about Kalam? Ok. The person who was opposed by the left and Congress. In any case, if contemporary leaders are added, how about Indira Gandhi, Vajpayee, Kamaraj, Rajiv Gandhi, some might ask. Others might be biting more sensible and ask for Homi Bhaba and Vikram Sarabhai. Then someone would say Sachin has to be there and then another angry group would say it should be Dhyan Chand.
As your head starts spinning, you would see Bapu smiling. For all you might hate him, he is the one most acceptable to India and just look at the comments section below to see how many different options people have. And I end with this Aesop’s fable: