“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. I would have our young men and women with literary tastes to learn as much from English and other world-languages as they like, and then expect them to give the benefits of their learning to India and to the world like a Bose, a Roy or the Poet himself. But I would not have a single Indian to forget, neglect or be ashamed of his mother tongue, or to feel that he or she cannot think or express the best thoughts in his or her own vernacular. Mine is not a religion of the prison-house.”
As evident, that was Gandhi’s message to all those who have come to believe that Hindi is our second language.
More here. Also on Wikipedia, here.
Frankly, I have not read enough about the Mahatama that I may arrive at a conclusion on him. But it saddens me when I see people of his own land attributing him with “majboori” (helplessness) while people in the west find solace in his words, his life and times. It is perfectly okay to have an opinion about someone but that opinion should be backed with fact, truth and rationalism- something which I see missing in all the people who have come to criticise Gandhi.
update: Check out Dinesh’s take here.