Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Great Gandhi Debate

There is such a huge overflow of opinions about Gandhi in the intellectual circles ,on social media platforms and discussion groups. I am someone sits on the fence regarding Gandhi, while I may be critical of some of his personal traits I am a huge admirer of his charm and grace  that eventually made him a global figure and the merging point of all ideologies during the freedom struggle.

Manmeet Bali Nag says-
"No matter how much we eulogize integrity, honesty & martyrdom in the books of moral science, it has always been about PR & hype. Shastri, Bhagat Singh & their likes always got overshadowed under the larger than life, created aura of a Gandhi !" 

Sulakshna Bramta Bali says-
"No one wants to take a wrong decision and invite criticism.You take decisions today keeping in mind the best interests of people around , the scenario, resources, opportunities available and after 50 -60 or 70 years the next generations take away all that you did from you, that was best for them as per your wisdom and present situation- how will You feel???
Gandhi must be feeling the same when re...marks of hatred are bestowed upon him.. Having read Gandhi as a normal human being with exemplary traits.. My faith in him and his teachings strengthens more.. I may not be able to practice them because of my convenience, but deep inside I know How practical and powerful these are. Happy Birthday Gandhiji... God Bless You!!!"
 
Some other opinions-
  • Gandhi would be long forgotten if it was not for Munna bhai movie or his picture on the Indian currency.
  • I don't know Gandhi's relevance to India I only know all leaders are the same.
  • Gandhi is okay as a philosophy in the books but that cannot be followed in real life.


I say -
 
 
The clamour on Gandhi is deafening and the easily frustrated and bored but ambitious and aspiring young generation seeks answers to the enigma called Gandhi. Detractors opine that Gandhi became the face of the freedom movement because of his proximity to the British and because they "allowed" him that status initially for their own convenience without realising the dimensions this leadership will eventually take.
On the other hand there is no denying the fact that it was him and only him who could bring women out of their homes and people from all clans, castes and religions under a single banner to give the British a threat that was viable in term of numbers as never before.

Gandhi as a leader and a person may have faltered many times but that cannot be used to undermine what he achieved .I would hope Gandhi lives on as a philosophy, as someone who displayed firmness of will without violence.

But unfortunately the so called legacy of Gandhi has fallen into the very quagmire of politics that he so dreaded and predicted that one day could. His relevance is subjective but no one can ever match his timelessness in terms of him being the scale of what a good leader can achieve in a nation that looks up to its heroes. Gandhi was like a modern day AVATAR  or epic hero because he had his "hamartia" or tragic flaw/s but that doesn't lessen his stature.

His comparison with other leaders some as popular as Bhagat Singh, Bose and some lesser known is again unfair to them , it is like comparing oranges and apples. They did their BEST for their cause and ARE remembered, discussed and despised in their own right.

The Gandhi, The Mandela, The Lincoln will always be remembered, discussed, revered, despised and that in itself is relevance enough for human evolution and world history.

What I take back and carry always with me from Gandhi -

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
 

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COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind
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The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
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