Why only Mahatma Gandhi on Indian Currency Notes?

Ever wondered Why only Mahatma Gandhi on Indian Currency Notes?

Here is what I read about this long back on Quora. Most of valid points are mentioned here.

Because Mahatma Gandhi is the only neutral leader we have had, all other leaders have had links with some or the other kind of Party/Ideology/Caste/Religion, if they are used there would be political turmoil, each and every party would be on road to arm twist the Reserve Bank Of India to print currency with the photo of their party/ideology/caste/religion.

The Mahatma Gandhi series began only in 1996 (Source: RBI). RBI has been acting as Currency Comptroller in India since 1935. Prior to 1996, the Ashoka Stambh (Pillar) graced the currency notes prominently. We also used to have some pictorial scenes in some currencies. An RTI filed to assess what actually led to complete omission of anything but the Mahatma on the currency met with no satisfactory response.

Currency notes with pictures of King George VI remained in circulation till 1950, three years after independence.

Lets stop at Gandhi now, for better or worse! Otherwise given the Indian circus we will have –

– All Freedom fighters from the past
– All the Prime Ministers and Presidents
– All the Bharat and Padma awardees
– All our mythical heroes (or villains) depending on whose role one reveres
– All our ‘greats’ in every conceivable field you can imagine.
– All our Bollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood and all other ‘Wood’ stars
– All the great people and heroes in other parts of the world too! As tributes.
– All our famous and infamous – depending on whose side you are on ..everyone in Parliament past and present.

State assemblies may even lobby for their own currency circulation with jingoistic symbols. Each lobby will put up their own candidate – religious groups, political parties, Fan clubs, linguistic groups, regional groups. Reserved groups will demand percentage of currency with their candidates faces on it. Bills on currency face allotments will be put forth, debated on, and fought over and voted upon in the Parliament.Vote bank politics will play out in this issue too.

Yes, our constitution does not permit any such title but since there is a lot of respect for him and due to Gandhi’s philosophy and his ideologies of satya (truth) and ahimsa (non-violence) attracted a large mass towards him and gave him a unique stature all over the world. His fight for India’s independence in a unique style is also appreciated and all these factors make him more credible for this kind of tribute.

Because Mahatma Gandhi is the only neutral leader we have had, all other leaders have had links with some or the other kind of Party/Ideology/Caste/Religion, if they are used there would be political turmoil, each and every party would be on road to arm twist the Reserve Bank Of India to print currency with the photo of their party/ideology/caste/religion legends.

Two reasons according to me

  • He is the father of our nation (even though not officially declared)
  • He is the only leader on whom we all can mutually agree on,  anyone other then him will create controversy and we have enough problem in our nation

Now why Mahatma Gandhi is the father of our nation is a different question.
Also, your suggestions on using different leaders on different notes will create havoc in our country because  1000 > 500,  now can you say Gandhi is greater than Bose or vice versa..Obviously No

Here is what RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan commented about the proposal.

“There are so many great Indians, but of course he (Gandhi) stands above head and shoulders above every one. There are many great Indians that we could get on the notes. But I sense that almost anybody else would be controversial”

Pravin Hanchinal

Pravin Hanchinal is a Professional Speaker, Educator, Edupreneur, Entrepreneur,Big Data,IoT and Cloud Evangelist.Trained around 7500+ people which include teachers, students, industry on recent technologies.

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