Sunday, October 4, 2009

An Idol to Remember

I am inspired by what Sujata wrote on Mahatma Gandhi . I am in agreement that today’s generation seem to know little about our ‘Father of the Nation.’ In the workshops that I conduct , I always draw examples of this great man and here is some of what I tell my participants.
I ask the participants – ‘What did Mahatma Gandhi say when he was thrown out of the train in South Africa?’ The reply that I often get is ‘we don’t know.’ I tell them I also do not know but my guess, looking at what happened between 1942 (Quit India Movement) and 1947(Indian Independence), is he would have said ‘ You threw me out of the train, I will throw you out of my country.’ Indeed he did it.

The Indian freedom started with Mahatma Gandhi declaring ‘ India will be free.’ It saw the light of the day on 15th August, 1947. My learning is that there exists so much power in language, conversation and declaration that it touched , moved and inspired millions of Indians to win freedom for their country. Freedom the world over has been achieved through declaration by some individual.

While concluding the session, I ask a question – ‘Who was Gandhiji’s neighbour?’ Generally I am greeted with stunned silence or some innocent ramblings. I conclude the session saying ‘Gandhiji’s neighbour will never be known. You need to be Gandhiji to be known.’

13 comments:

sujata said...

Thank you Sir for linking me to your post. Its indeed sad that the generations are letting go of the man's principles or are mutating it to further their own ends.

Kavi said...

I guess it is not as much as about being known or otherwise. He represented a way of life and living.

And in that he carried it forward in such a way that none else before ( or after) have been able to do so.

You are bang on, sir, when you state that he did paint the picture of freedom for the first time ! To unify a diverse nation like ours and take us towards freedom is no mean task.

The modern day generations are out of context with what he stood. Perhaps its time to contextualise most of what he did, for the gen next !

Hopeless Romantic said...

i think things have changed a bit after lage raho munnbhai. I know its just a film, but i think it was very decent effort in spreading awareness about him...i have read abt him quite extensively...and though i dont agree with lot of his principles...i still believe we need to respect what he has done for the country...i have very strong respect fr personal space and individuality, and like him i also want to have those qualities and would do anything if someone broach upon it.....

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous post and a lovely tribute to a very great man! I have always been a staunch admirer of his and the many things that he accomplished for India.

Have a great week!

Sylvia

DebraLSchubert said...

Ghandi is one of the greatest human beings who ever lived. And the power of declaration is immeasurable. The Constitution of my country is similar. It is words on a page that created the experiment that is America. True visionaries understand the power of words.

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Sucharita Sarkar said...

Gandhiji was an extraordinary person with an exceptional vision who had a wonderful ability to inspire ordinary and unexceptional people to rise above themselves.

Samyukta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samyukta said...

Lovely post Sir. I remember going to Sabarmati ashram and feeling so desolate. Wish, we as a nation nurtured and treasured our great Bapu like the westerners do.

Haddock said...

Thats a good one.
I had the previlage of watching the shooting of the movie "Gandhi" in F C college and then again on east st. Pune.
What a marvelous movie, which drives in the point.

Crazy Four said...

Nowadays, it less of Gandhi and more of andhi- storms of anger, greed and settling scores. Maybe India has to be pushed to the brink once again to rediscover Gandhi.

Babli said...

Very nice and brilliant post. Thanks for your lovely comment. Awaiting for your new post.

jdcoughlin said...

I just discovered your blog through another, and was happy to see, and enjoy, a post on Ghandi. My, son who is twelve, picked him for his hero in a report this year. We had watched the movie together, and he was so impressed with this man a half world away, as we all are. When it comes to our children, the things we share with them, whether at their parties or at the table, "An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching"