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Gandhi and contemporaries. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Gandhi has been my philosophical preoccupation almost for the past
2 months. It started when I borrowed the book “My experiments with truth” from Aurko during my holidays. And it reached a high when I visited the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati on 30th June. I also had a chance to watch a video of the play ‘Mi Nathuraam Godse Boltoye’ based on the assassination of Gandhi while I was in the first few pages of the book. The sharp contrast to Gandhi’s personality and their philosophy was very interesting to observe.
Even Nathuram Godse was a freedom fighter but he was against partition of the nation – and considered Gandhi responsible for it. His philosophy was that if creation of Pakistan is not opposed, many new factions might emerge in the nation later. A dialogue of the play goes like this- “Today Muslim’s have asked for a new state, tomorrow Sikhs might ask for one, and imagine if each of the Hindu factions ask for a state; this nation will be fragmented to every inch.” What comes out is the fact that Nathuram was not a Hindu fanatic but a person who recognized the malice of partition. One of Gandhi’s post partition remarks (which I copied from a plaque at the Gandhi Ashram) might be relevant here – “The partition has come in spite of me. It has hurt me. But it is the way in which the partition has come has hurt me even more. I have pledged myself to do or die in an attempt to put down the present conflagration. I love all mankind as I love my own countrymen, because God dwells in the heart of every human being, and I aspire to realize the highest in life through service of humanity. It is true that non-violence that we practiced was the non-violence of the weak, i.e. no non-violence at all. But I maintain that this was not what I presented to my countrymen. Nor did I present to them the weapon of non-violence because they were weak or disarmed or without military training, but because my study of history has taught me that hatred and violence used however noble a cause only breed their kind and instead of bringing peace only jeopardize it.”
 Some of you might think that I am trying to ridicule Gandhi; no way! Though I have been a antagonist of Gandhian principles at a point of time, I do consider Gandhi as one of the greatest leaders of India.
In fact while reading the book – “My experiments with truth” we realize that Gandhi unlike other leaders of that time was not born with a great ideology. He was a moderate lawyer and an ordinary human being till he transformed himself; a feat that few people can manage. At the same time one also realizes that ‘self-proclaimed-guilt’ is the very root of Gandhian philosophy. Few of his ideas have emerged from the sense of pride in oneself and his country. There are repeated mentions about how unclean and uncivilized life Indians live. Some chapters of the book are named as “….my double shame”. There are 2 conclusions that I have drawn from the above:
It was his self-imposed-guilt which made Gandhi a great man. In the words of Louis Fischer –“Gandhi’s idea of a democracy was that he took the misdeeds and faults of others as a reproach to himself; he had not done enough to improve them.”
Though Gandhian principles were most apt and suited to lead a nation under an oppressive rule and mired in poverty; they cannot be suitable for a modern India. The new Indians ought to take pride in their existence; their culture and heritage.

Anyway, these are just my personal views and even I am pondering over my actual standpoint on them - I might change them in future.....but all said and done .... Gandhi was great leader..and a man of a great character.... He deserves the respect of the whole world and so be it ....

I was planning to post this entry since a long time. In fact it has stayed on my desktop in an unformed state for about 15 days now. Finally, today when I picked up the book to continue reading it after a long break, I felt lost. So I have decided to pause ‘my’ experiments with truth for the time being and pick it up at a later date. Thus this posts marks the end of a sopaan.

2 Comments to " Gandhi and contemporaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . "

  1. Great Post Bosss...
    U really have a penchant for writings....

    Manish

  2. Thanx for sharing this
    this is a great post

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