Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Little Giant of Porbandar

Today is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a towering Indian, a world citizen and a relentless voice for humanity. On this day in 1869, our civilization welcomed an individual who went on to inspire the world with ahimsa (non-violence) and satyagraha (truth-force). When we were children, we learned about his life and his great stature as a leader of the people. But it's only when you are an adult and you've dealt with the various vicissitudes of your lives, that you realize the forces that he was up against, the difficult decisions that he had to make and the strength of his will, against all odds. I am sure that he made some grave mistakes that he regretted and there were moments of self-doubt and hesitation, but what he accomplished in the 77 years of his life is simply astounding...

Bapu (father of the nation), as he was known to those who loved and revered him as beacon of a secular India, was partly inspired by Henry Thoreau and in turn, inspired other proponents of non-violence and peaceful civil disobedience, such as, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

On the fifth year of the unilateral and illegal occupation of a sovereign nation, Iraq, by the Bush regime, these words by Gandhi ring true, once again:

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"

And here's a pic from BBC Day in Pictures from Amristsar, India...Little Gandhi's in a march!

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