Days after Tamil Nadu governor RN Ravi found himself in the midst of yet another row, this time by claiming that India won Independence because of Subhash Chandra Bose and not MK Gandhi, he has issued a statement of clarification. Saying that he held Gandhi in “the highest regard”, the governor added in his statement issued on January 27 that, “I did not mean any disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi whose teachings have been the guiding light of my life.” He also claimed that the media had “cherry-picked” from his speech and given it a “twist.”
The Governor in a statement said, “Some media reports in the last 3-4 days have sought to create an erroneous impression that I have been disrespectful to Mahatma Gandhi - the Father of the Nation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I hold Mahatma Gandhi in the highest regard and his teachings have been the ideals of my life. Following my speech at the 127th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on 23rd January 2024, some media did cherry-picking from my speech and gave it a twist,” he claimed.
“I did not mean any disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi whose teachings have been the guiding light of my life,” he said.
Claiming that his intent was to highlight the contribution of Netaji, who according to him has not been adequately appreciated, he said. “I tried to make a point that what accelerated the pace and process of Independence in 1947 were the Revolts of the Royal Indian Navy and Air Force in February, 1946- both inspired by Netaji. Due to these revolts the British panicked because they could no longer trust the Indians in uniform for their own safety and security in India. The Revolts happened in February 1946 and the very next month, in March, 1946, the British publicly declared that they would leave India and constituted the Constituent Assembly to demonstrate their sincerity, assuage the feelings of
the agitated Indians and pre-empt potential revolts which could have had existential consequences for the British officers and their families in India.”
Earlier, on January 23, Ravi who spoke at a memorial for Bose at Chennai’s Anna University, had claimed that the Quit India Movement led by Gandhi had become a “non-event” and that it was because of Bose’s Indian National Army (INA) that India had got Independence. At the event, he had said: “If Netaji was not there, India would not have become free in 1947. Because the Second World War began, the Non-Cooperation Movement by the Indian National Congress (INC) had fizzled out. If you look at the history of the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi after 1942, it was a non-event. We were all busy fighting ourselves.” Ravi’s comments were met with widespread criticism.