Perhaps this day, most of us , specially in India are a wee bit sceptical about the ‘Mahatma-hood’ of the father of our nation.(A lilliput of a man who could hold The Empire at standstill and the world in awe notwithstanding).
Gandhi as we have read and heard was a man self pledged to honesty, upliftment of the downtrodden, non violence and peace.
Honesty as far as it goes, what was practised perhaps is more like ‘not lying’ and ‘gulping whole truths and baking half truths. Any kind of tempering or flavouring the truth is tantamount to tampering with it…being human , perfectly understandable.
Upliftment of the downtrodden , many would argue was the need of the day then. But calling someone downtrodden itself was ‘sympathy not empathy’. We as a nation till date haven’t gone and raised ‘their’ level but have persevered fruitlessly to ‘lift them up’.
Non-violence, arguably was the single most powerful thought he inculcated and propagated. No resorting to a lathi or a gun or a bomb . Alright ! Had he shown some tolerance to the ones who believed the other way, like Bhagat Singh or Subas Bose, history would have told a different story !
Peace… yes, the single most important measure of his ‘net effect’ was priceless. Peace in the world and fire in the house… many a Mahatma and Buddha have attained it time and again.
In the days of ‘no social media’, it would have been difficult to bring all in line . Or was it easier perhaps because one didn’t think or dissect or discuss… one either followed or didn’t.
The very fact that he dared to take on The Empire and carry it till the end, albeit at the cost of a limb and a limb (read Pakistan and part of J&K) speaks volumes about his sheer persistence and tenacity. Only God and the creators of independent India know what happened behind the closed corridors of power then.
And we cannot ‘ignore’ his ‘gift’ to the nation in the form of Nehru as its first prime minister.
All said and done, my salutations to this man. He led from the front always, by example.He went hungry, he stayed silently angry.He asked none to follow in his footsteps . And he didn’t waste a day in protesting when one didn’t stick to the letter to the ‘T’.
We can go on dissecting and discussing all the ifs and buts. But in a world, where it is at times difficult for our own brain to listen to our heart, the sheer ability of this persona to be able to lead an entire nation is unrepeatable.
Rest in peace Mr Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi… you did your best, to the best of your ability, when you could have chosen to look the other way.