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Day 2: To Gandhi or not to Gandhi…

October 2, 2011

I have been sitting on my laptop for an hour now… occasionally drumming my fingers on the keyboard and occasionally procrastinating.. I have to write about Gandhi. If I was 12 years old, I could have just written an essay on – Mahatma Gandhi, his life, his ideologies and his movements. But today its different. I am not sure if my textbook knowledge of Gandhi, is something I completely believe in. So here goes.. my 2 cents on  “Gandhi“.

If I think Mahatma Gandhi, the first thing that comes to my mind is Anna Hazare and his recent adulteration of Gandhian ideology. Before I say anything further, let me give a small disclaimer: I am not against Anna. I am not against the “Thought”. What I am not OK with is the route taken towards achieving that thought.

To me, Gandhi is a philosophy, it is a way of life. It is an ideology that people live by.  So I ask, in today’s age, what does Gandhi mean to you? Is it Ahimsa or is it Khadi or is it the live-by-truth philosophy. 

Does the current generation truly understand what is it that Mahatma Gandhi envisioned for the future of India? Does this GenXYZ know the real ideologies or is it a mixed up version, primarily attained from Munnabhai’s Gandhigiri, Anna’s fight against corruption and idealistic textbooks?

I see a very confused generation. They read all about Gandhi in school. They know what Gandhi did for the Freedom Movement. And then came along Munnabhai who picked up the prime ideologies of Gandhism and converted them to light-hearted anecdotes. Who wouldn’t want to send ‘Get Well Soon‘ flowers to the local corporators to fight injustice with nonviolence?? It was cute, aye? It was funny. There were a lot of us who wanted to go down that path to change the world around us. But then Munnabhai came and went. And we continued with our lives.

Most recently, Anna Hazare led the crusade against the injustices in the society with his version of  “Gandhism“. He roused the entire nation to fight against corruption, the Gandhi way! And then I had a problem. As mentioned earlier, the ‘thought‘ was ideal. It was what happened along the route, that made it all wishy-washy. PR companies suggested profit-induced plans to companies so that they could ride the “Anna, the Modern Gandhi Wave” and be a part of the movement. They were selling Anna caps, Anna t-shirts, Anna stickers… tell me! Who did not make money?

I read a tweet sometime back about how someone approached an Autowallah with a “I Am Anna” sticker on his auto. He asked for Rs.100 for a 2 kms ride. Now tell me, was the autowallah part of the movement because he truly believed in it? Or was he just a “Me Too“.

Thus my question, once again.

What is Gandhi in the current age? Is he a distant idol, a forgotten Mahatma or an adaptable philosophy?

Can Gandhi be modified and accommodated into the current age? Do we need to wear Khadi and fast to be called a true Gandhi? Can we continue to live our lives but adopt parts of Gandhian principles into our daily routine to keep his philosophy alive?

Or can we just not believe in his ideals and just have our own way of dealing with life and its many injustices?

OR was there more to Gandhi than his philosophies that we either fail to see or hide under the covers purposefully?

The stage is all yours…………..

Also.. Happy Gandhi Jayanti.. It is a public Holiday.. unfortunately on a Sunday… 

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7 Comments
  1. October 2, 2011 5:08 PM

    I guess, Gandhi in this era would have worked as well because only the times have changed and not the mentality of individuals.

    • tanuanand permalink*
      October 2, 2011 5:20 PM

      I agree…somewhat! As i said, i am confused. 🙂

  2. October 2, 2011 5:25 PM

    Truly, we cannot follow gandhi by wearing khadi and wearing topis. Those were the symbols of those times and represented the swadeshi movement. Its about having the spirit to fight for our rights but at the same time having the courage to follow our duties.

    My attempt to understand non-violence:
    http://thefaltu.blogspot.com/2011/10/violence-behind-non-violence.html

  3. October 2, 2011 7:14 PM

    Yes even i agree.. Gandhigiri would work.. probably he would have bought in new methods and ideas if he were to live in Present India. Paths shown by him are definitely here to stay.. Happy Birthday Gandhiji 🙂

  4. October 2, 2011 10:57 PM

    Open your arms and breath this air of “Freedom” ! Thats what Gandhi should be ! If every Gen can feel that… his values will remain.

  5. October 2, 2011 11:35 PM

    I was gonna write a similar post..
    he was here< he would set the electoral system in order, and get the goons out of politics..

  6. October 4, 2011 11:33 PM

    I dont know I am totally confused on gandhi too, I guess we need to modify and adapt what he said to our sitiations

    good post

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