Friday, October 2, 2009

Gandhi - A great soul

Gandhi created a peaceful nation, we can hardly keep peace in our own family, but he made a country of suffering and downtrodden people, be patient and non-violent. who can do that? He had influenced the lives of so many people in a way no one can. People's actions can be controlled by sheer authority, but to have influence on their mind is a feet in itself. It is one thing to ask people not to be violent and it is another to create a sense of security in them that they themselves act in patience even in dire circumstances. Gandhi was not everywhere at the same time but his presence was felt. His words were in every one's heart urging them to be peaceful in their endeavors, he asked them to urge for freedom but never abuse the little they had by violence. He was never a politician he was a man of action. He never wanted authority to influence people. "Where ever there is injustice it should be fought, but not in a way that would disturb the peace" he said. Most have considered it to be impossible, but he was the one who showed the way of doing it, proving that his were no empty words. The words 'Satyagraham' and 'Nirahardiksha' could only be a political stunt now-a-days but they meant something back then. People were true to there word and died trying that way, because they believed in the cause and the path shown for them by Gandhi. He dressed the way a common man did because he wanted to be one of them, and he wanted the people to feel the same about him, he wanted them to accept him as their own and share their problems as they share them with each other.

When he was asked to leave Bihar, he did not leave because he felt that no one can deny him from going anywhere in his own country. He gained the attention of the poor, the rich, the educated and the illiterate, and people of all religions. A single man moved across the dirty roads of India with nothing but a stick had shook the roots of the British government and challenged their rule in this country. Being an advocate he knew, every legal move that the government could not compel them into doing. He wanted to change the point-of-view of the British, he wanted to see the people of India not as their slaves or servants but as intellectually equals. He proposed the 'Non-Cooperation Movement', suggesting to spend the time fasting and meditating. It was not religious but it was Nationalistic. His imprisonment had created violent behavior among his followers, but Gandhi used the same principles he used against the government, over his own people who took the path of violence for him. It was the respect for him, and nothing else that made a lot of people quit violence. The incident of Jalianwalabagh was the single most horrific incident that shook the entire nation, and held it in a grip of utter hatred for the British. The carnage that took place here would drive even the saints to vow vengeance. Even the British were utter horrified by this incident. Gandhi commanded that the British should leave the nation, which was when the British used the card they always did, divide-and-rule. They have started the war between the Hindus and Muslims which would allow an internal war among our leaders which might gain them some more time in India. But the days of British rule in India were numbered. Gandhi was not going to give in that easily, and he certainly would not allow his country to be divided. He pleaded for religious tolerance, he wanted every Indian to be on the same side and stop differentiating among each other. He preached that violence in not the way to grab attention, but it was our determination that would grab the attention of the British. He then suggested the 'Swadesi Movement' which would decrease the cost of living for the average Indian. "An-eye-for-an-eye is the way the world will end" Gandhi admitted, when violence erupted in Bengal. When British police were killed by an angry mob in Bengal and the violence that followed could not be controlled he took to fasting and refused to eat anything until everyone in Bengal stopped fighting. He stood by his principles that only Love and Truth were the ultimate reality. Whenever we are in doubt as to which path to take they should always stick to truth and love and they will never be wrong. To oppose injustice is every human right and British rule over India is an injustice that he could not tolerate.

Gandhi was not born great, he achieved greatness by walking through India and walking straight into every one's heart. Where ever he went thousands of people followed him. When he walked across the country to make salt, objecting the taxing of something as basic as salt. 'Salt Satyagraha' was started on the anniversary of Jalianwalabagh incident. He kept challenging the British government at every chance. The British government tried to imprison all his followers, the jails ran full but the people kept pouring in. When the British government could not provoke violence among the people, they tried to imprison Gandhi himself. The people of endured every punishment they received for supporting Gandhi without resistance, this forced the world see how shameful were the actions of the British government. Gandhi was the only representative from India to speak in the round table conference in London. When Britain was in the brink of war, he did not see it fit to think of taking advantage of the situation, he considered it backstabbing. After all said and done he always wanted to part with the British as friends. He was always worried about the increasing unrest between the Hindus and Muslims. He always suggested to take pride in one's profession. He always opposed the two slavery that plagued the Indians, slavery of women and slavery of the untouchables. Mohammad Ali Jinnah request for a free nation for the Muslims tore his heart. Jinnah feared the rule of Hindus over Muslims, but India has never been that Nation, not then not now. When Gandhi agreed for the partition of India it was not because he feared that such differentiation would happen, but because he did not want Muslims to feel that they were being ruled. Freedom should mean to be freedom of mind. He even suggested that Hindus would step down from any government positions,but that created quiet unrest from the people, they thought he was bending over backwards to accommodate Jinnah. When the time came for him to choose between two independent nations or an independent nation with constant civil unrest, the choice was obvious. He did not want his brothers to be constantly in conflict with each other. He assured that there will not be any difference among the people of India, but if anyone felt they have to leave, they could. But he could hardly have predicted the bloody exodus of people that followed. Hindus in Pakistan were forced to leave their houses and land, while Muslims in India feared the angry mobs of Hindus. Gandhi once again took to fasting until the unrest was settled. Even though his body was strong enough, he was not ready to see his principles die. This took quiet a toll on his health which was deteriorating every minute. He was shot dead while leaving for his daily prayer. A tragic end to a great life. His life has always been an open book. All he ever wanted was a peaceful nation.
We could only hope that his dreams would one day come true...