In 30 minutes time, we’ll be passing Mahatma Gandhi’s 140th birth anniversary and will step into just another common day. But before that happens, I wish to do something with this remnant left of a great day that’s celebrated not only in India but also all across the world.
I admire Gandhi like no one else. To me, he defines humanity. His life, as a votary of stark truth, makes me ponder if at all, someone ever in flesh again can ever emulate him, at least on such a global scale. He is an inspiration, not only to legions of legendary greats like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu but even to millions of unnamed hordes we’ll never know.
It’s a bit amusing to see my fellow colleagues talk about Gandhi as he was a villain of sort who partitioned India during independence. Foremost of all, they don’t have their basics cleared. They don’t read, nor wish to read and get a strong part in argument. They just believe the folklore we are so accustomed to where Gandhi represents a guy who gave up a huge part of India on its eastern and western side to some guy in Saville Row suit!! Obviously, I can’t argue with them and get make them see things in a brighter light but it’s all right as long as I don’t lose my cool and I must say, I haven’t yet.
No leader, be it spiritual or political, was able to bring such mass movement. He wasn’t under anyone’s patronage and still managed to bring about such a huge following which hasn’t died even today. Before him, India had northern leader, southern leader, western leader and eastern leader but he was the first to rightly call himself the national leader. He was never the one for photo finish. He hardly got any honorary recognition that contemparory leaders are so used to. He was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for a record five times and each time he was brushed aside due to political reasons. Britain and Sweden had a cordial relationship and didn’t want to ruin it for some “seditious fakir” in dhoti!
At last, after India got her independence in ‘47, the Nobel committee decided to nominate him again but before anything could be done, some guy shot him dead. The Nobel decided not to give the Prize to anyone that year as a sign of recognition to the pacifist soul. He wasn’t the one who unfurled tricolor on that “tryst with destiny” night. He was far too busy in Bengal trying to douse communal fire. A man who could have lived a fox life with a lapel that says, “I’m a lawyer”, decided to change course of his life in truth and eventually lives of millions and billions henceforth.
Today’s generation is a bit loose on fact files and knowledge. They think history is dead but the truth is even present is dead if we don’t get in touch with our past. They will always come up with loopholes and try to upfront their line that Gandhi was flawed. Well, he was flawed like any personality in the whole annals of history but at least he had the courage to accept it and move on rather than stay accustomed to the clichés of greatness and covering of demerits. He didn’t leave behind him a filial political dynasty that other freedom fighters mostly do. It’s irony that Nehru family ruled India under the pseudonym of Gandhi!
Gandhi was, and is, and surely will be the Mahatma, no matter how much our so-called urban GenNext dislike it. Like Einstein said, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”
Its time India wakes up to what Gandhi was up to, he wanted India the way he was; austere, honest, self-reliant, moralistic, persevering and courageous.
By the way, i’m 5 minutes count down to next day, a new start, a new midnight that has its tryst with truth.