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Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

I think I am one. However, analysing my thoughts, I find some unGandhian responses.for example'
Recently a CEO of a company was killed in India. The company had retrenched some workers and the negotiations were going on. As CEO entered the premises of the meeting a group from outside rushed and killed him. The Labour Minister indirectly blamed workers by commenting that if companies do not bother about employment such things cannot be stopped. I diagreed and said workers may not be involved in the murder since they wanted jobs there. Maybe, some other elements had intruded among workers. But I did criticise violence saying that there is no 'good violence or 'bad' violence and just because it happened to aCEO it cannot be condoned in the name of workers ( I happen to an activist on emplyees front).
I think I was right. But, in a later incident elsewhere, I met the high official who, I thought, was not only wrong but arrogant too. At that time I felt a tight slap on his face would set him right!
There is contraciction in what my intellect says and what my instinct says!
What do you think? I would like to know your views.

In the same way, my thoughts about capital punishment too are not clear. Will it really help if the death penulty is abolished? I do not know. I need your help to crystalise my views on the issue.

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I really do not know what makes anyone truly Gandhian. I think Gandhi is too big....a Mahatama. Not everyone can be truly Gandhian. However everyone of us has the potential to become truly Gandhian provided we give up our unnecessary attachments for material things. We are ready to give up all kind of fear and greed. Our heart beat for the welfare of all humanity & whole Globe.....and not confined to just ourselves, our family, community or the nation.

Moreover Gandhi was a creation of Time & Divine. Krishna says ...when there is a loss of Dharma then I come to earth in the human form. This may be the reason why Mohan Das born and evolved into Mahatama Gandhi. Perfect human beings like Gandhi are like the incarnation of God only to my senses. Christians may attach some unbelievable stories to Jesus Christ but I only feel before Gandhi, at least two humans have attained almost 100% perfection, which is attributed to incarnations only. One was Buddha & the other was Jesus Christ.

As far as Gandhian Philosophy is concerned ...it is subjected to individual interpreations & misinterpretations. Gandhi proably knew this also therefore he kept a proper record of everything said or preached by him. Gandhi had no successor and anyone can be a successor of Gandhi. I never read anything written by Gandhi from page 1 to last page. I do not intend to read everything but when I am need to seek guidance from Gandhi then I just glance thru the books of Gandhi available with me. For further clarifications, CWMG are now available on internet. I found most of the people who make commentaries on Gandhian principle of Non-violence are generally at great variance with what Gandhi preached. As you have rightly said Gandhi preached fearlessness thru the concept of Non-violence and not the cowardice. Gandhi said on a number of occassions violence is better than cowardice. But what can be done if so many self proclaimed Gandhians preach cowardice & escapism in the name of Non-violence. I just ignore them even if some of them may be Grandson of Mahatama Gandhi.

You must have heard that story also when five blindmen ecountered with an elephant and came to different -different conclusions. Same is the case with Gandhian Philosphy. Everyone has a different notion & interpretation of Gandhi & Gandhian phil becoz Gandhi was truly very big....a Mahatama.

I am also a Gandian but do not wear Gandhian Tag generally. Gandhi was not just a philospher but a warrior also. He may not have used the option of violence in his life but I can't imagine a warrior without the option of Violence. Gandhi had full faith in Rama & Krishna, both of whom have made the use of option of violence at last, when all other non-violent options have failed. I am grateful to Gandhi becoz he has provided me the option of Violence also besides providing the valuable philosphy & weaponary of Non-Violence.
I myself use the story of five blind men to describe Gandhi. And, I agree with you that he was a warrier, par excellence. He is a milestone and, therefore, I want to explore myself and express it openly to all friends who come to visit this site.
I find that I lack determination. Gandhiji read 'Unto this Last' while travelling in a train in South Africa. As he reached his destination he had already made up his mind to live according to the book and founded his Tolstoy Ashram.
I have read that book. BUT, I did not do what Gandhi did.
That, I think, is the difference between Gandhi and us (me, in this case). Courage of conviction.
Anyone who considers the idea of non-violence must have occasions in which our 'human' instincts to 'lash out' are likely to lead to negative and violent action.
Gandhi and others who practise non-violence spend a lot of time learning and studying, perhaps with others, appropriate actions not involving violence. After 55 years I can only look back to a few occasions in which I have resorted to a modicum of violence.
I spread out my arms to stop a criminal being pursued on foot by a policeman - possibly very unwise- but he stopped!
I intervened, with strong words, to stop a man, straddling another and beating him up. He stopped.
In a disco, one of the security men was being attacked by a drunk. I held his arms down in a bear hug.
No other instances come to mind. I have usually prevented confrontation by turning away, walking away or, if desperate, running away!
I have not yet been faced by someone armed with a knife or gun.
It is amazing that you could stop a criminal. Really speaking, I too have not encountered direct violence on my person. Last it was in January 27 1974. I was young man. One of my clleague was told that I had written some nasty things about him. He believed and attacked me. I too resisted him. The quarrel reached our Director. He called a meeting on 30 January but I was adamant that he should be punished. Later, I realised it was Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary and I had to read a commentary to broadcast.I did. But the issue remained in my mind.
In the evening, a common friend met both of us. The person who had attacked me entered the room and said 'hello' to everyone nodding at me too. I responded! Or something in me responded positively. At that time I realised that I could forgive him, IF I DECIDED SO. And the meeting ended amicably.
It is the journey that is important,as we can never achieve perfection all at once. The Mahatma himself was at odds within as instinct battled over intellect, the body ove spirit, and truth over falsehood. As the prayer goes lead me from darkenss to light.

How can we even know what the light is, if we also do not know what the darkness is?

I say to you as it is for all of us, we are human constantly growing, and that we can only hope to experiment with the truth. So my brother you do well to examine these matters as they are part and parcel of the effort to live satyagraha.

Namaste.
Really heart warming comments. Reassuring. Yes, without knowing darkness we cannot know whay light is. I am trying to look at dafker regions of my mind, my existance. And come out openly with announcement. I do no believe in the concept of 'perfection'. We co-exist because we are all imperfect beings.And we arte reality. (though, we behave as if we were perfect beings).
I always marvel at Gandhi's capacity to combine his inner journey and external journey. And I think I must begin somewhere. Confession helps Though, I am not sure if this is the right path. But I like Gandhi because he quotes a British thinker (forgetting his name - Jacks? Jackus? ) who said to the effect that religion is not mathematics - it does not give you clear answers. It is not as straight forwaed as 'one plus is equal to two.It is not a storehouse of ''YES'es and 'NO's. This is cathartic. Makes me acutely aware of many shades of opinions - other than my own - deserving equal respect.
'My Life is my Message' said the Mahatma when asked for one. I studied his life, so openly laid out in his autobiography and in the intimate accounts of his close associates. To be a Gandhian it's enough if you follow his dictums that can be derived from his Story of Experminents with Truth. I derived ten such dictums. Three of them are enough to measure your status as a Gandhian
1. Be Truthful: Truth begets trust. Trust begets respect, recognition and reward. You may not always follow truth , but if you find Truth stand by it. And make it your business to find Truth. Don't do anything in secret that you cannot divulge in public.
2. Be Fearless: Face threat and danger stoically
3. Bear No Grudge: Nonviolence in thought, word and deed will transform your relationship with others. for the better. Malice toward none is the best atttiude.
For the rest of the Dictums and elaboration log on to
"http://www.swachid.com/gandhianthoughts"
Very welcome comments. The difference between Mahatma Gandhi and people like me is, no doubt great but basically, it is in courage of conviction - .to stand by our own convictions. He did what he thought was right but I can't. I surrender to excuses that " all others were singing the same tune; I. therefore. could not speak out".
Gandhi preferred violence to cowardice. He never said that people must not touch weapons. He said if we cannot remain non-violent in self-defence, we may take up arms but must not surrender meekly to the monster. There is a great saying of Prophet Mohmmed. He said resist injustice with all your might. If you cannot do that just speak out against it. If that too, you cannot do, DO NOT NOD IN APPRECIATION OF THE OPPRESSORS. Please note, here the words are mine, since I remember the essence of the story;not the words.
Dear Dipak ~ I think that you are not a Gandhian. I think that you are a Dholakian. That is just as good. Namaste. ~ Chris
Chris, Namaste. Well said. yes, we should learn from all but must not try to become the 'other'.
As I would see and believe, one may not be perfect to be termed simply as Gandhian. It goes along with the suffix term too like Gandhian friend, Gandhian Artist, Gandhian Painter, Gandhian Author, Gandhian Journalist etc...

A man who does Teaching as a profession and yet Gandhian in principle. is Gandhian Teacher. People who receives the service of him as teacher call him Gandhian and people who receives the service of him as Gandhi call him a Teacher.

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