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.


The Lessons to Learn from Einstein



My last post was about Stanley Kubrick and he had something in common with Albert Einstein, whose brain must be celebrating his 132nd birthday. I am saying that because both of them had very little formal education, a University degree, if you will, and went on to become really admired and acclaimed figures in their respective fields. While you could work that way if you are to become a film director, it is always more difficult for a scientist-to-be.

Of course, the scientific world would not really offer weight to the opinions and the crazy ideas of a young man out of a clerical office who suddenly was teaching the world with chalk in hand.

He was teaching the teachers, and it seemed horrifying to a lot of people.

But at a very interesting and turbulent point in history, Albert Einstein changed the way we thought about the Universe forever. Well, the view is still evolving of course, but he started it in a way. Of course, there were others too.

But what are the lessons to learn from Einstein, without boring you talking about Relativity. While he will always remain to be the incarnation of human intelligence and inspiration on an individual level, but he must also inspire scientists to work the same way as he used to do. While of course, it is important to keep into consideration the existing theory as a part of the Scientific and Research Method, it is important not to get too much tied by it and give up on the margin of creative reasoning or “thinking outside the box”.

Researchers in universities at times seem to be too lost in the existing and accepted practices. A kind of bureaucratization of knowledge is prevalent in educational institutes, which could seriously affect the progress towards attaining more knowledge, which is the better understanding of the Universe and the laws that govern it, especially the ones which we have not been discovered yet. It does take a little bit of creativity to carry out the Thought Experiments needed to even have a little idea about something as apparently obnoxious as Relativity.

I hope science would some day learn more from Einstein than just Photoelectric Effect and Relativity.

I don’t really have a license to speak about science or about anything for that matter, but that’s how I feel about it.

And I know, they need a mathematical proof.

Maybe, some day science would be able to explain Albert Einstein.


P. S. I still have not found the answer to what surrounds the Universe, or the matter that makes up the Universe, if the question seems that crazy to you.