27 January, 2021

Why I am A Gandhian

Gandhian idealism, which consumes the practitioner, could also cleanse souls. His best followers were those who cleaned toilets to become ideal scavengers.

Why I am A Gandhian

Idealism never really counted in our epics. Karna the noble, the idealist, the truthful always gets let down by his mother, brothers and finally the Lord who asks Arjuna to take aim at the great warrior, who gets down unarmed from the chariot, trying to be civil to his charioteer. Bhishma, the patriarch, can’t stop the disrobing of his grand daughter-in-law in the midst of a full court. If our epics are our collective consciousness, we are a terribly practical people seeking what we want, however ephemeral they be and whatever the cost be.

But there was an interlude of idealism. It was so bright that it shone the path of redemption to the rest of the world. Gandhi and his peaceful protest against naked, brutal, racist power became chosen methods of self-liberation for Rev Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Gandhian nationalism was different because his nation did not have enemies and armies. His boundaries were moral and his incessant hostilities were internal. He chose justice over independence and death over bigotry.

Gandhian idealism, which consumes the...



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