The video has been downloaded and shared over a million times on social media. And the schoolboy has become a familiar face across the country. The Telegraph carried a report today and the headline said it all : BOY WHO SAID WHAT MANY MEN WON’T.
What is even more extraordinary is that the speech in Hindi was delivered extempore. The boy explained to Nachiketa Desai of National Herald over the phone that he had been asked to speak on the poetry of Kaka Hathrasi, a prominent ‘ Hasya Kavi’ in Hindi. But at the last moment, he was asked to change the subject and speak on Mahatma Gandhi.
He had already started speaking and had begun with the opening lines by poet Imran Pratapgarhi , when one of his teachers began recording the video, which is why the video clip missed the lines which are resonating across the country today.
Ayush Chaturvedi’s a class XI student of Central Hindu Boys School from Varanasi is now a familiar face to many social media users, thanks to Ayush’s speech delivered at his school on September 9 on Mahatma Gandhi.
Among the lines from the speech that have gone viral: “I want to say that there was no bigger Hindu than Gandhi. But the people of other religions didn’t fear his ‘Hey Ram’ because Gandhi was a symbol of secularism in India.”
“Ye kisne kahaa aapse aandhi ke saath hun, Main Godse ke daur me Gandhi ke saath hun.”
(Who told you that I am swept up in the storm, I stand by Gandhi in the time of Godse).”
Ayush’s home happens to be in Varanasi, represented in the Lok Sabha by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to a report in The Telegraph, Ayush explained why he chose the couplet penned by Imran Pratapgarhi, an Urdu poet: “Kyonki kuchh takatwar log aaj kal Godse ki pooja kar rahe hain (It is because these days some powerful people are worshiping Godse).”
On being told that some powerful people are also being compared with Mahatma Gandhi these days, Ayush said: “I know what exactly you mean. They know that rejecting Gandhi wouldn’t be so easy and so they try to compare themselves with the Father of the Nation. Muh me Ram, bagal me chhoori (Ram on the lips, a dagger in the sleeve).”
While delivering the speech at school founded by Annie Besant in 1898, Ayush knew he was speaking against the tide. “Dekh lenge jo hoga,” Ayush said. On being asked whether he did not fear criticism. “If you have to speak about Gandhi, you have to do so in a manner that leaves an impact,” he said as quoted by Telegraph.