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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.