Celebrating Gandhi’s Day of Non-Violence

Source: featurepics.com

I am often ridiculed, actively or passively, by sane people from all walks and dimensions of life, the realistic, the materialistic, the god-fearing ones, the godless ones, the believers, the skeptics, the patriots, the traitors, the scientists, the witch-doctors, the zealots, the nihilists, the politicos, the sophisticos, the councils of war and the councils of peace, for admiring Gandhi. Almost all of them either consider Gandhi evil or an idiot. I would still admire him if he were one or both of the two.

These two things have been pretty fashionable ever since the man had lived and died on the planet, that is, admiring Gandhi and hating Gandhi. The greatest thing about this phenomenon is that it is not confined to any particular nation, religion or race. If you think otherwise, you have probably missed a lot of things.

Don’t be impressed by the fact that the Republic of India admires and follows Gandhi just because she has his portrait on her banknotes. They are anything but his followers. I don’t blame them. No one is. At least not a state. Besides, they would not be able to run the kind of state that they want if they ever were to follow him. Maybe there are Gandhi’s followers in India, I cannot say for sure of course, but what I know of is that they do not matter. They surely don’t matter elsewhere.

I do not want to indulge myself into admiring Gandhi blindly. As Gandhi himself despised blind faith in anything. You must question your faith, he said. Doubting him and his apparently insane beliefs, probably he was responsible for many deaths, probably he was not at all. But then again, you can say that about most of the notable personalities in history responsible for creating and starting new religions, new political or apolitical movements, new ideas, philosophies and revolutions. But what I know about it is that I cannot do what he did. I can never do what he did, neither I think anyone else can.  It was superhuman to show what he showed.

It is one thing talking about it and another actually doing it. I am talking about actively practicing non-violence and leading by example. Try doing that, and it is not just that you should claim to be a Satyagraha guru by not killing even a fly, but establishing a coherence of your beliefs and your opinions about the world with the concept. Try doing that. It is not easy, believe me. We all know that Gandhi did not do that overnight. He never could have attained it effortlessly. He was not a Prophet from the Bible. He was a Prophet from the ruthless world that we know of. This is why it is so difficult to follow Gandhi. I have said it before and I will say it again, in some other way.

Now why would someone hate Gandhi, you would ask. People like violence. People actually love violence. Not everyone, but a lot of people. They have to. If they hate violence, they love it being used on those who resort to it. It is not really a pathetic generalization, though it could be taken to be one, but it tells you of an unavoidable fact. Perhaps that is how the fittest survive. This is exactly why people think twice before becoming Gandhi’s followers, which they never become in the end. Of course, Gandhi would have had a lot of temptation on the cross himself. He himself would have wanted to smack the people to death who wanted to smack him to death, but he didn’t. It does not matter if he was planning to do it. He didn’t do it and that is all what history cares about.

So while I cannot possibly be Gandhi’s follower no matter how peaceful and non-violent I may pretend to be, I can always be his admirer. Actually most people are his admirers. However,  even his admirers are horrified by the man. This is why I consider it necessary to at least acknowledge what the man did. This much he deserves. He could not have possibly driven the British out of his native land. But he surely showed the world, what others could not. Practicing non-violence. That is greater than creating any number of countries. There have been many others, but none with an impact as he had on the world.

However, it was a little impact. Nobody, not even history, remembers someone who had nothing to do with wars, who disapproved of them and who would want to keep a good distance from them. Greater impact than him was of the Manhattan Project, his admirer Albert Einstein’s letter about it to President Roosevelt, and of all people, of Fuehrer of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler. The greatest than all of them combined perhaps, the impact of the Bomb. Some admirers would say that if Gandhi were the Christ of the age, Hitler was the Anti-Christ. But that is not really correct.

The Anti-Christ has always been here. It is you and I.

It is violence.

We celebrate the International Day of Non-Violence today, as declared by the United Nations in honor of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on his birthday.

But we really don’t.

Celebrating this day is as hard as following him.

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2 Responses

  1. Very well written!

  2. made my way to your site from bing and and am glad i found it, hope you keep up the good work

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