I have opinions. Like it or not.

Stop Honoring Gandhi?

I got a forwarded email a few days back which urged people to “stop honoring Gandhi”. It had this link in it, that basically has a whole lot of Gandhi-bashing going on. Now, I am a true-blue “youths” belonging to the new generation gang of confused youngsters. I do not know what toΒ  believe, and what not to. However, I know for a fact, that his contribution towards dealing with our freedom struggle was really unparalleled. Maybe he made a few mistakes, some wrong decisions. But then, can we say without flinching, that his successors made the right decisions always? Or that people like Savarkar and Ghodse would have made the right decisions? Is that why our country is rolling in wealth and prosperity today?

I do not know whether the stuff on that website is true or not. However, even if we choose to ignore his actions and his valiant efforts towards getting us complete independence, do not his ideologies make even an iota of sense? Do Satyagraha and Ahinsa seem like the ravings of a madman?

I’m confused, I hope someone can shed some light. (And this isn’t a ruse to get people to comment! πŸ˜› )

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Comments on: "Stop Honoring Gandhi?" (13)

  1. A very difficult question indeed… All it shows is that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a human being… not a Mahatma… While he made mistakes throughout his life like any human being. Anything can be taken out of logic and one would have to understand the circumstances under which he committed some of those mistakes. But no matter the number of mistakes he committed, it doesnt take away the fact that he did a lot for Indian independence and that he is the last leader who unified India the way he did… I dont see any problem in celebrating Nonviolence day on his b’day simply based on the ideals with which he fought for our independence.

  2. India’s biggest problem is that we expect too much from idols – whether Gandhi or Tendulkar. For all the West’s focusing on the foibles of their leaders, in the end, they do respect them.
    We’re moving to a place where we lose respect for the many people who actually saw the problem, and tried to solve it. It took us a 160 (1757 – 1900-ish) years to realise the problem in the first place.

  3. @Born A Libran: Well put. Have you seen the movie ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara’ ? I think the message conveyed in it is very true. P.S: I share my birthday with him. πŸ™‚
    @SEV: πŸ™‚ Only too true. And, I am observing this trend increasingly among the cynical, know-it-all type youngsters, who really have no value for the freedom that they enjoy today. Wonder how they would feel if they were to be transported to an era where they had to pay taxes for salt?

  4. If you read the book “My experiments with truth” by him, you’ll realize that he was as fallible as any one of us: but he was analytic and learned from his mistakes. My respect for the man went up ten-fold when I read that book, but yes I still don’t agree with a lot of decisions he took.

    P.S. – Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours seems interesting too! I’ll keep visiting. πŸ™‚

  5. Well, though Gandhi is apparently single handedly responsible for indepedent India today, there also seems to be a pretty powerful lobby, who holds him single handedly reponsible for the partition. I saw ‘Maine Gandhi ko Nahin Maara’, and I concluded it portrays him as a person who had only three objectives in life.
    1. Independent India
    2. Screwing the last ounce of happiness from his son’s life.
    3. Screwing the last ounce of happiness from his son’s life.

    Yeah SEV, we expect too much from our leaders. But come to think of it. the British ruled over India for 300 years or so, we’re practically ruling over London, within the next 60!
    Southall, Eastham, Hounslow, anyone?

  6. Since everyone (except ubert) is arguing in favour of Gandhi, let me play the devil’s advocate.

    Gandhi was a great man, no doubt, but he was an idealist (though we must bear in mind that being an idealist was in vogue at that time)! What he preached, only he could practice, and it was not for the rest of the nation. He did take non-violence to the extreme. For all that we laud Gandhi, I suspect he is a bit over-hyped. Consider:

    1) India did not gain independence because of Gandhi’s non-violence methods. We gained independence because of WW2 and its consequences, not least the fact that Britain was economically in tatters and governing India was no longer producing the economic benefit that it did.

    2) If Tilak had been allowed his way, we would have obtained independence in 1910s itself. The story, as I remember it, goes that Tilak demanded independence in return for help during WW1, while Gandhi maintained that help should be provided regardless, based on principle.

    3) Gandhi was a strong advocate of the simple life, envisioning an India made of self-sufficient villages. Sounds a lot like socialism in disguise.

    I am not listing his good points since we all know what they are. There is a lot we can learn from Gandhi as individuals, but lessons for the nation are best learned elsewhere. Reply if you need an elaboration on any point.

  7. @Sudipta: πŸ™‚ thanks for stopping by. I agree with what you say. Let’s not judge him one way or the other based on his ideals or his deeds.
    @UberT: Lol!
    @Sailesh: You may be right. But is that sufficient to make a highly polarizing judgement about him?

  8. @Sailesh – Well, I’m not Anti- Gandhi, but then, I’m not pro-Gandhi either. You never know, if anyone ever happens to read this, my life is going to be in danger.

    Wholefully agree with ‘He did take non-violence to the extreme’

    I strongly am against the ‘you slap me on my cheek, I’ll show you the other one’ concept. If I do that, in all likelihood, I’ll get kicked on my cro**h πŸ™‚

    @Galadriel – Sweets, why the hell is that bitch not getting you onto severeanomaly?

  9. @Galadriel – depends on what you mean by “polarizing”. I am not trying to paint Gandhi himself in black and white. I am only trying to point out that he is not completely white. His character may have been impeccable, but it does not mean that everything he said/stood for must be correct. Like I said, I have omitted all the good points, so my comment only presents one aspect.

    @Ubert – I did not mean to imply that you were anti-Gandhi. Like you, I am neither pro- nor anti-Gandhi. I am confused as well! You are wrong on one count though, if you show the other cheek, you will not necessarily get kicked on the crotch! Remember the scene in Lage Raho Munnabhai? πŸ˜€

  10. woah.. this blog is getting more popular than digg/slashdot!
    I should remember to post a “first comment” on the next post πŸ™‚

    About Gandhi, sorry no views πŸ™‚

  11. umm… ok.. read d link, d post & the first few comments only… and agree with SEV; we do expect too much from our idols.
    i don’t agree with all that gandhi did, but that’s my personal opinion… he was human, and am sure he made mistakes. whether he realized/accepted them or not is something i neither know nor can judge.
    but i am a complete fan of gandhi for coming up with the concepts of satyagraha and ahinsa.

  12. Ha… Nice to know fellow libran… πŸ™‚

  13. @Sailesh: This can go on forever. Let’s end it here, shall we? πŸ˜›
    @PS: Where have you been?
    @Rayshma: I am exactly like you. Agree with his ideologies, not his actions. At least, not all of them anyway! πŸ™‚

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