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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

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DEATH ANNIVERSARY TODAY:

Mahatma Gandhi the non-violent victor

While every century passing by every generation produces both triumphs and tragedies which have lasting effects on the constantly unfolding drama of the human race, there arises on such occasions individuals whose essential contribution to that drama are so fundamental that they assume within their own lifetime a historical dimension and significance.

In fact, to a world lost in error and beset by illusions of time, dominated by false doctrine of totalitarian anthropocentrism, over-specializations in material science, compartmentalization of knowledge and weighed down by conflicts and contradictions, trials and tribulations, Mahatma Gandhi's technique of spirituality in actions and his teachings will undoubtedly redeem millions of people from violence, hatred, fear and tension.

Mahatma Gandhi is seen with Sarojini Naidu (poetess)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi appeared on the political scene in 1915 adoringly and reverentially hailed as the 'Father of the Nation'.

He played a very important and crucial role in India attaining Independence. The briefless lawyer as he was once called at the time of his journey to South Africa, he had a special role to play in the country. He returned to India at a time when the country in general and the Indian National Congress in particular needed very much his valued guidance, wise counsel, and astute leadership. He did not fail the party nor the country.

The weapon adopted by Gandhi was Satyagraha and trough civil obedience and peaceful non-co-operation he completely unsettled the mighty British Empire which was ruling the country for more than a century. The peaceful non-violence methods adopted by Gandhi disarmed the British rulers.

Buckingham Palace

They were unnerved, baffled and stultified and all the might of the British which once boasted that the sun will never set on its Empire could do anything against this one man who by his magic touch and mystic appeal roused the dormant nation to an upsurge of patriotism and feverish pitch of nationalism unheard in history.

Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi was fundamentally incomprehensible to the supercilious highroad western intellectuals who were blatantly boastful of their superior civilization which precariously and perilously plunged the whole nation into the vortex of nuclear disaster.

Mahatma Gandhi had the nobility to handsomely acknowledge the virtues of those who differed. He never forgot that his detractors were made of the same flesh and blood and endowed with the same instincts and passions, hopes and aspirations. He knew the art of differing without bitterness.

Talks between Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the viceroy took place in New Delhi in 1931. Winston Churchill did not like it at all. He was revolted by the nauseating and humiliating spectacle of this are time Inner Temple Lawyer, now a Seditious Fakir striding half naked up the steps of the viceroy's palace to negotiate and partly on equal terms and with the representative of the King Emperor.

When Mahatma Gandhi heard about this, he wrote a delightful rejoinder “You are reported to have expressed the desire to crush the Naked Fakir as you are said to have described me.

In fact, I have been long trying to be a Fakir and that too naked, a more difficult task. I therefore regard this expression as a compliment though unintentioned.

On another occasion he went to the Buckingham Palace as a representative of the poor peasants of India to meet the Viceroy.

When he went there, the Viceroy was not at all pleased with his attire and did not allow him to attend the conference.

To this Mahatma Gandhi said that “he was representing the poor peasants of India and as such, I had come in their uniform. If you were not prepared to allow me to attend this conference, I would take the first flight and get back to India.

“Louise Fisher” one of the veteran journalists and author of several books on Mahatma Gandhi wrote that “Gandhi who could be crushed between the two fingers of a burly Englishman, had shaken the Foundation of the British Empire.” Though Gandhi was a little man of poor physique had the moral courage and he was always guided by the Footsteps of God and was not bothered about the Prime Minister or Viceroy.

Sad news

In fact, there was a debate between the world renowned Poet Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi on the meaning of culture. Tagore expressed the great joy and satisfaction he derived from the beauty of Nature and Art, the glories of dawn, dusk, procession of season, the freshness of trees and flowers. In reply, Gandhi said that “it is good enough to talk of God, the beauties of nature and art while we are sitting here after a nice breakfast and looking forward for a nicer lunch. But, how am I too talk of God to millions who have to go without one meal a day.

On February 1947, an independent plan for India was declared by the Atlee Government. Lord Wavell relinquished charge as viceroy and he was succeeded by Lord Mountbatten. The latter came with his own plan of action in 1947 under which there was to be partitioning of the country into India and Pakistan. On June 15, 1947 the 'All India Congress' party gave Mountbatten its plan and its approval.

The communal virus took, such deep roots that Gandhi was considered more a hindrance to one section of the people. A fanatic took an unusual course.

A plot was hatched and it was carried out at the last prayer meeting to be addressed by Mahatma Gandhi on Friday January 30, 1948. Nathu Ram Vinayak Godse came very close to Gandhi, greeted him with folded hands and then pulled out a revolver and shot at him from close and point blank range. The smile faded from Gandhi's face and he uttered in a feeble and sinking voice 'Hey Ram'.

The sad news was conveyed to the nation by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

He was shaken, shocked and cramped with sorrow. Yet, he went to the National Radio shortly after the bullets struck and speaking extemporaneously with tears and emotions he said: “The Light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere and I do not quite know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu, as we called him, the Father of our Nation is no more.”

Nehru further said: “The light that Shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light has illuminated this country for many more. Years and a thousand years later that light will still be seen in this country and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts.”

Eminent scientist 'Albert Einstein' remarked “in this period of moral and spiritual decadence Gandhi was the only statesman to stand for a brighter human relationship in the political sphere. Gandhi forcibly and convincingly demonstrated the power of spirit over material things. Even Bernard Show said that “it is always dangerous to be too good.”

In fact, Mahatma Gandhi fought passionately and unremittingly against British rule and kept his hand clean in the midst of battle. He fought without malice, falsehood or hate. Indeed, he was the spokesman for the conscience of all mankind.

 

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