Dear Friends, Here is me back.. trying to express some things and lot of nothings.... irregularly.. yet regularly!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gandhism - Relevance today

A rich topic for discussion in any forum. There is so much that we have read and heard about this man and his philosphy, its like knowing the empty world... you know it all and still you know none of it!

Coming to the point, we had a debate in our college some days back.. pardon my choice of word.. it was more of an elocution than otherwise stated.. Anyways.. so there we were standing, contesting our views and opinions on the existence of the ideology... Gandhism!

One after another, each one spoke about the man... what good he did, how he harmed the country, what is his value and so on...

Enters me on the stage... nothing revolutionary.. but different from the rest.. So friends it is from here where the real stuff worth reading begins....

Gandhism - Relevance today!
How many of us believe Gandhi is same as Gandhism???... I do not... Where one is a mortal man, the other is an immortal set of ideas which have lived for centuries...

What we educated people often do is mix up the ideals for the man. Agreed the preacher is questionable. But in this case, he was no prophet or some avtar. He was just another man who claimed to not be teaching anything new.

Why malign the dead man for his human limitations. Let him rest in peace!
The point here is that are the ideals he lived for relevant today or not? Period.
I think they are very much necesary for a maturing society. It is like the ground work of morals we all live on.

These ideals are: Satyagraha, Ahimsa, Honesty, Generosity so on and so forth.

Satyagraha: as we all know is about the element of truth! So much so that he strongly said that Truth is God. Is this relevant??? Looking from a humane point of view, certainly it is not an easy thing to accept. But look at it from your every-day angle - don't we get annoyed at people because they lied to us? Don't break-ups take place on the same ground, "(S)he lied to me!"

Another instance, how ever difficult it may be to follow this principle, but dont we like to appreciate someone who follows it. A person who is truthful and honest from the begginning will not have someone ever come up to him and say, "okay dude, you were hidding stuff from us."

We may hate him, but we can't not respect him! He is a scary person.. cause he is not afraid to let out the dangerous truth!

Rightly said truth is often painful. But it is one of the strongest weapon which no cannon or nuclear technology can replace! Imagine, I come up to you and say, "I'l reveal that little truth about you..." Depending on the intensity of that truth, you certainly would either want to shoot me or your self.

That my friends is the power of truth!

But then from what I state, isn't it going against the ahimsa principle???

Ahimsa: Now this is a very interesting one. It talks about non-violence. But it also states at the same time, that self-defence is an accepted form of violence. Also in lines with the satyagraha principle, if you strongly feel from the bottom of your heart that violence is the need.. go ahead.
The trick here is to know your limits and practise the virtues of patience and control.
In our defence forces are people taken merely on the basis of their strength??? Why you need strong people to kill... Correction.. you need strong and sane people to kill. Loose not yourselves to the animal in you. Learn to channel that energy that is what this ahimsa is all about. That is what the soldiers are trained for - CHANNELING YOUR ENERGY!

Another criticism would be the arms race - but my friends, the fact that those deadly weapons have not been used is because all the parties involved are using these very principles of restraint.. what would be the situation should these values not have been in place???

Honesty: Ya Ya.. how honest a person I am. It is more about a virtue which enhances the character of the person who follows it. It is as simple as being honest to the job you do or the task you take up. Did you give your best to that task when in your hand? or did you cheat and take the unpleasant roads, when you had the alternative??

It is something very close to your character.. something what you'd do in the absence of surveillance...

We can lie to others, but the skill is being honest to your ownself. Sure with the passage of time, even if we wish to follow it, we are taught how to conditionally lie. But there are levels to which you will not lie. Let that lie never touch that innermost part of you. Else you'll probably loose out on that clean child in you!

Generosity: Often a famous example to show how irrelevant this point is.. "Will you give your job to someone else in the name of generosity when both of you'll need it that badly?"
Point taken, I will not give up my job, but I could try getting that person another job, or offer a smaller help to aid him in his bad times. I certainly may be unable to do something that big, but I can certainly offer my seat to that co-passenger who is old, tired or weak or probably needs it a little more than me. Can't I be generous there??? Is it soo difficult??

Why make these ideas a super-human tasks where all you need to do is little.. to make your everyday life a better place to live in.

Interestingly, if you note these are the values pre-dominantly taught to us by all of our religious scriptures. If you say it is no longer relevant, are you saying that those scriptures too do not hold any relevance today? Think about it....

Once again my friends, it is not the old man we talk about here when we discuss the relevance.

Quoting examples from history will not be of much help cause we don't have a chauri chaura today.. but we do have a Godhra or a Ramjanmabhoomi or a Jaipur Blast.

Imagine the ordeal.

Like a coin, these too have their own ugly sides, but the point is we need to start moving towards the sun.. not too close enough to burn ourselves in the process.

It is easier to be critical than correct!

Closing thoughts: Can you cheat without any guilt? Can you hurt without a justifiable cause? Do you ask for only yourself without others??
If not...... Welcome to the world of Gandhism!

P.s: Please dont construe my points as for or against the man. I personally wouldn't approve of a lot of things he did. The point is simple, I like the ideals and stand for them, even if they are brought under one umbrella once again by the man called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi!

Jai Hind


Praseem said...

Hey, brilliant post. The way you have interpreted Gandhi's principles and correlated them wid today's scenario is truly eye-opening. As you hav correctly pointed out, if everyone starts thinking this way, then the world will truly be a better place to live in

Yusuf said...

Good one. Yeah Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore Gandhi.
As always, search DFI and find a heated debate about Gandhi there. A lot of em anti Gandhi.