02 August, 2021

Paternity Of Peace

Gandhi's view finds new takers in South Africa and Bangladesh

Paternity Of Peace

For us, here in India, it might be a moment of oedipal conflict-rejecting the Father's message as nothing more than a lot of old-fashioned humbug. But there are places where people are rediscovering in Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and communal amity a salve for their battered existence. In South Africa, for instance, Gandhi's newspaper, The Opinion (earlier The Indian Opinion) was resuscitated on October 11 by the country's deputy president, Jacob Zuma, 39 years after it stopped publication. Closer home, in Bangladesh, its president, Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed, inaugurated a Gandhi museum at Joyag, an obscure village in southeastern Noakhali, Bangladesh.

Says Mewa Ramgobin, chairperson of the Phoenix Settlement Trust, which is publishing The Opinion biligually in English and Zulu: "Placing the two languages side by side is symbolic of our attempts at unifying a society previously ripped apart by racial and ethnic tensions."

The Opinion has been revived in a semi-symbolic attempt to restore the Phoenix settlement which had been gutted during the...

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