Indispensable Gandhi for Glorious India?

Gandhi's personality was multifaceted. His greatness cannot be measured by commonplace mortal yardsticks though he himself claimed him to be a human being like any other who engages and experiments with truth.

Indispensable Gandhi for Glorious India?

India has recently celebrated her 76th Independence day. The jubilation and merriment during the celebration itself is a testimony to the fact that the Indians hold their hard-earned independence very dearly. On this very day, i. e, 15th August 1947 India declared its independence. When the world was sleeping, at the stroke of midnight, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the national flag and delivered his famous speech, i.e, the tryst with destiny. That speech, which was given extempore, is still regarded as one of the most remarkable speeches given by a leader at any juncture of national history.

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However, amidst such merriment, one statesman was missing the scene. He was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Clad in his signature style dhoti and loins cloth, Gandhi was traveling towards Noakhali of West Bengal to quell the communal outbreak there; although it consisted risks of to his own life. The man who worked for his country’s independence for many years of his life, was missing on the occasion of the celebration. His heart was heavy because of the partition and communal outbreak of large proportion.

Gandhi’s personality was multifaceted. His greatness cannot be measured by commonplace mortal yardsticks though he himself claimed him to be a human being like any other who engages and experiments with truth. Because of the complexity and loftiness of the character, many people tend to misunderstand or half-understand Gandhiji. Elbert Einstein once famously said regarding Gandhi,” Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

Exactly, this is happening in contemporary times. A section of people, often guided by some ideological interest, tend to discredit Gandhi’s contribution. Some others do without fully understanding Gandhi or Gandhiism. It is said that little learning is dangerous. People with such half-baked information or knowledge lack the capability to understand a person of his stature. A small pot will overflow if more water is poured upon. Similarly, it is a travesty when less competent judges the more competent.

Gandhi was a man who knew the spirit of the age. In his times, the most rampant form of corruption on land was Colonialism in which the colonial residents were stripped of their humaneness. Fighting against the Adharm is the essence of heroism in every age. In the Treta Yuga, Lord Ram fought against the injustice of Ravana. In dwarpa yuga, Lord Krishna defeated the injustice carried out by Duryodhan and his allies.

Similarly, in modern times Gandhi fought against the evil of colonialism. It was rampant across the globe. Although so many people were fighting the same, what makes Gandhi different was his approach of non-violence and satyagraha. In Mahabharata, Lord Krishna himself tries to stop the war through negotiations. In fact, he once goes to the court of Hastinapur as an emissary of peace. However, he was insulted by Duryadhan. The message was that violence was the last resort.

Gandhi practiced that in real life. He did not use the same method as the oppressor did,i.e, violence. Although violence for a just cause can be justified, it reduces the gap between the oppressor and the oppressed. The dream of the oppressed is often to become the oppressor when the education is not liberating. However, Gandhi was an enlightened man. He knew that for a better future, exploitation had to be abolished.

It is in this light and road map, that Indian democracy had started its journey. Many of her neighboring countries had started the journey of independence around the same time but faltered time and again and deviated towards dictatorship. Because they had chosen the path of violence from the very beginning. Pakistan and Bangladesh took their independence by declaring direct action day and killing many innocent Hindus. As a result, violence marks the troubled history throughout the decades of independence in these countries.

They failed because they deviated from the teachings of Gandhi. They belittled his thoughts and embraced Violence. This violence is now killing themselves. When the means of establishing a society is violence, whatever noble the goal might be, the end is not going to be good. It was Gandhi’s conviction that a huge, diverse society like India has to be established with non-violence and co-operation.

The sole problem with violence means is that once one justifies it for whatever noble cause, others seem to justify the same for their cause, may be a petty cause. For that they will assume the same as a great cause. Gandhi knew the long term consequences of violence means. As a result of his efforts, India has become a cradle for peaceful protest, democratic deliberations and meaningful negotiations. On the surface, it may appear that Gandhiism has lost its credence, but still there are Gandhians at heart in India. Indian democracy still works because her citizenry agree to disagree on matters that concern them.

Had India achieved her independence through violence means, the case might have been different. The people who achieve independence through has always a tendency of possessing power. It is a matter of who govern when rather than how they are governed. Maybe the first generation leaders would have been good but it cannot be said same about all and succeeding generations. Once violence finds space in the corridoors of power, it does not tend to leave the place. There is every chance of India going Pakistan way had she not followed the Gandhian way. If I were to ask If Gandhi is indispensable for a non-violent, peaceful, just, and democratic India; I would have said yes.

By, Mokhjumi Ahmed

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Indispensable Gandhi for Glorious India?
Gandhi's personality was multifaceted. His greatness cannot be measured by commonplace mortal yardsticks though he himself claimed him to be a human being like any other who engages and experiments with truth.
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