‘Bapu did not hold a degree in entire law’ — Tushar Gandhi mocks J&K L-G’s remarks on Mahatma’s education

‘Bapu did not hold a degree in entire law’ — Tushar Gandhi mocks J&K L-G’s remarks on Mahatma’s education

In a keynote address Thursday, Manoj Sinha said the Mahatma only had a high school diploma. The comments did not go down well with Tushar, who called them ‘ignorant’.

Representational photo of M.K. Gandhi | Commons

Representational photo of M.K. Gandhi | Commons

New Delhi: Mahatma Gandhi’s educational qualifications have become a hotly contested issue, with Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s remarks that he qualified to practice law without even needing a law degree drawing objections from author Tushar Gandhi, the freedom fighter’s great-grandson.

At a keynote address at the Ram Manohar Lohia Memorial Lecture at ITM University, Gwalior, Thursday, Sinha had labelled Mahatma Gandhi’s law degree as a “misconception”, claiming that the only had a high school diploma but was so “educated” he was able to pursue law. 

“Gandhi did a lot for the nation. But everything that was achieved, the focal point of it was Truth. If you look at all the aspects of his life, there was nothing besides Truth in his life. Whatever the challenges, Mahatma Gandhi never abandoned truth & identified his inner voice. As a result, he became Father of the Nation,” Sinha said.

The remarks on his degrees drew criticism from Tushar Gandhi, who invoked an old controversy involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi and took a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s claims that he had a degree in “entire political science”.

‘I agree,” Tushar said in the first of a series of tweets Friday. “Bapu didn’t hold a degree in entire law.”  

He then went on to clarify that his great-grandfather matriculated from two institutions — Rajkot’s Alfred High School followed by the University of London. After matriculating, Gandhi studied at University College, London, and trained to be a barrister at the Inner Temple.

Moreover, Tushar added, Mahatma Gandhi received two diplomas in Latin and French. 

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‘Ignorant remarks’

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had matriculated from Alfred High School in 1887 and enrolled at Bhavnagar’s Samaldas Arts College. But he dropped out a year later in order to move to London to pursue higher education in law and train to become a barrister. 

He completed his education at Inner Temple in 1891. 

But the rebukes from Tushar Gandhi didn’t end there— he not only announced that he had dispatched a copy of Gandhi’s autobiography to Sinha but also called out the “pathetic standard of journalism” around the issue.

Later Saturday, Tushar connected Sinha’s “ignorant remarks” to the controversy surrounding Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a defamation case against Prime Minister Modi by saying that Mahatma Gandhi would have reacted to the ruling BJP government’s leaders the same way as he did to those who committed racist attacks against him in South Africa. 

Tushar also had a rebuttal to those of his followers who were suggesting that he file a case against Sinha. He said that according to the Constitution, the President or governor is not answerable to any court for the exercise of their powers and duties, and no criminal proceedings can be conducted against them during their tenure. 

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

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