If he were alive now, young and strong, what would Gandhi do? Would he seek public office in his home country? Would be be an activist again and organize a mass movement? If so, what would such a movement want and who would it be directed against? Would he try to save the world by inventing some new technology (nanotech, bio-engineering, whatever). Perhaps most importantly: if he found that he already had the support of thousands of admirers through a new human connection structure called the "internet" - how would he organize those supporters and to what ends?
It is indeed, really a thoughtful question!
I do not think that there would be any change in his satyagrahic methods and experimental ways to find the truth in resolving any issue that rockups the world except for the newest of the changes in the goals he wanted to attain in the today's world!
If he was born again in India, he would've fought poverty and corruption.
If he was born in America, he would've launched his crusade against guns, porn and recession!
If he was born in England, he would've made reforms in education, jobs etc.
If he was born in Pakistan, he would've taught the people lessons on how to follow democracy, peace, and non-violence!
If he was born in China, he would've fought against the government to restore democracy!
If he was born in any oil-rich Gulf-Asian countries, he would've fought for restoring peace
and democracy through democratic means. Besides, he would have suggested the benefits of selling the crude oil for lesser price!
If he was born in Israel, he would have stopped the war-hunger attitude!
If he was born in Palestine, he would have preached the people on how to maintain freedom!
If he was born in Japan, he would have invented techniques for stopping the earthquakes!
These are just a few! He would have courageously taken up any downside of the nation or burning issue of the people and have surely won over them in his own style.
I guess, GANDHIIJI would still have his loin cloth, goat and satsang. He would still work from Sabramati with more followers living the simple life of work and prayer... He will also use the internet with www.GANDHIGiRI.com having accounts on FaceBook and Twitter. He would chat with erring and corrupt politicians and Civil servants appealing to them to mend their ways and SERVE the "aam admi". He would also lead the DALIT agitation for LIBERATION... and make sure that he speaks up for WOMEN and children deprived of their dignity and equal opportunity. He would willingly accept the gift of a CALL CENTRE gifted by some Birla or Tata or Ambani, by which the common man and woman and child could be helped 24/7. Some satellite channel would beam the Ashram life and Gandhi's discourses/teaching, live to the entire world. With all these means, he would lead a new SATYAGRAHA MOVEMENT / for real SELF RULE (personal SWARAJ) not independece from but freedom FOR. He will also speak out on love between Hindus and Muslims and Christians. he will plead for TOLERANCE... And again, I am sure he will be killed, this time not only by RSS, but also by the powers that be among Hindus, Muslims and Christians!
All three above posts are with much merit.
I only wish to speak to Mr Balaji's comment, and only part of it.
If Bapu had been born into America, he would address issues like those suggested, but he would also oppose American empire. He would also continue to hold fast to the truth by asking the hard questions about 9/11. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans who see themselves as admirers of Gandhi stand strongly against asking such hard questions and have fallen into intellectual cowardice.
If Gandhi was to born in America, he would have to fight against the social injustices I have mentioned as above. But, politically, he might have to work with the American "Government" not with the American "Empire". What I mean to imply is that through his method of Passive Resistance and Non-cooperation, he still would have worked in alliance with his own government, as he did with the British Raj in India and this would eventually would have averted the 9/11 crisis.
Not only the issue of 9/11, had the American Government came in line with his principles, the other evils meted out by American "Empire" would also would have been averted. Today's America and her government seems to work with every other politician but not with Gandhi, even if he were to alive today.
Here, we must recall how the emergence of India as a free nation in the last century and Mahatma Gandhi had effected the whole world and how many Asian countries and leaders around the world could see a change in their perception of freedom, peace and non-violence with just that.
Thanks so much for taking the time to address my post. I am honored to be engaged by the intellectual followers of Gandhi from his home country.
Let me comment on various of your points. I understood the Gandhiji disliked the term passive resistance. His form of resistance was both nonviolent and daring. That's more of a quibble on my part.
I agree he would have been on speaking terms with all relevant people, including government officials. Saying he would have worked with the government against American empire implies to me that the American government is not the primary perpetrator of American empire, which I consider a misunderstanding. Have I misinterpreted your point?
Your comment on averting 9/11 could be consonant with the truth, but it doesn't address my assertion that vast numbers of well intentioned Americans refuse to address the hard questions about 9/11. I have found it difficult to find Indian members of this forum to address these hard questions.
The reality is that buildings do not fall through the path of most resistance. The explosives which brought down the THREE skyscrapers in New York could not have been placed by Arab Muslims.
Thank you for getting me back to the thread.Mr.David.S.
Some more clarifications:
Gandhiji's methods and forms of protest are purely non-violent and daring as you said, but what I understood is that it resulted in the passive resistance with the British Government. He had read a lot about Passive Resistance in Thoreau's books and implemented it in a large scale with the large population of India successfully.
Here are the few lines in His own words:
PASSIVE RESISTANCE is an all-sided sword; it can be used anyhow; it blesses him who uses it and mortifies him against whom it is used. Without drawing a drop of blood it produces far-reaching results. It never rusts and cannot be stolen. (Hs, p. 82)
I am quite sure that even the stoniest heart will be melted by passive resistance...This is a sovereign and most effective remedy...It is a weapon of the purest type. It is not the weapon of the weak. It needs far greater courage to be a passive resister than a physical resister.
Indeed, one PERFECT resister is enough to win the battle of Right against Wrong. (YI, 10-11-1921, p.362)
As far as 9/11 is concerned, what I meant to say is that if it was for the American Government to adopt Gandhian principles and joined hands with the non-violent efforts, such massive attack would have been averted. It was a big blow to America from the Arab world or within as you suspect. "A peace move in one direction would have an equal effect in another direction, not so quite sure if it is opposite or same" - this I learned as I observe the world politics nowadays. Many such acts of terrorism are happening in this fashion.
More said and wrote about 9/11 by many in the world including India and the case is unfolding lightly nowadays though not to the satisfaction of NewYorkers. But, most of my replies are out of my observations on what is happening in the world, even though I am ailing from a corner in India.
It is partly true as you noted that America alone is not responsible for being dubbed as 'Empire'. The world sees it as it is.
I stand corrected on Gandhi's use of the term "passive resistance". Thanks.
It still seems as if you consider that Arab Muslims were the attackers on 9/11. This is a lie perpetrated by those European Americans in power in the US. I hold that you and many others of good will are being deceived on this point. I am part of what is called the 911Truth movement. I work with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Our website is AE911Truth.org. Our petition calling for a real investigation has over 1400 architect and engineer petition signers. Many people do not realize that a third New York skyscraper standing 47 stories (WTC7) tall fell at free fall acceleration into its own footprint that day without being hit by a plane. A peer reviewed scientific paper published nearly 2 years ago showed the high tech explosives were in all 4 different samples of dust retrieved from lower Manhattan on 9/11/01.
I must also note that India is the largest country where we seem to have no supporters. Our founder Richard Gage AIA has traveled to Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and has been on Russian TV and Chinese radio. The architect son of the architect who designed the Sydney Opera House even has spoken publicly for us.
I agree that if the US government were to adopt nonviolence, it's adversaries would have less cause to attack it. However, since the US government is the primary perpetrator of violence in the world, this likelihood appears impossible.
There is an American joke and idiom that shows this problem,"If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his (behind) on the ground."
In addition, since all governments claim the legal right to be violent through institutions of the military, police and prisons, it would seem a contradiction in terms to suggest any government could be nonviolent. Even superficially peaceful government actions are backed by that right to be violent.
When I speak on nonviolence I often note that I don't consider lobbying one's legislator or suing someone in court to be nonviolent. That is because the legal right to be violent stands behind any government action. It is too easy for those of my countrymen committed to ignorance about nonviolence (most of them) to see the polite exchanges involved in lobbying and court decorum as lacking violent tone and therefore meriting the label nonviolent.
Governments claiming the legal right to be violent is funny as the same rule has been exercised by the pseudo-agents, pseudo-government-agencies who get patronised from governments. As far as 9/11 is concerned, I guess this is what has happened. Even though the Arab muslims are involved in the incident, the roots of that terror act was found to be with the Americans and there is no doubt that American Government had a hand in it.
India found that David Headley of America as the prime accused for the massive attack on Mumbai Hotels on 26/11 even though the perpetrators are from Pakistan.
While many of us talking and working on globalization and liberalisation, so as the terrorists. They too expand their operations, and America has not done enough to contain it. People like me are expecting this would end one day and it never seems to stop. India is struggling hard to find the truth about these terror networks and I still would insist the governments to adopt the policy of non-violence rather than citing police and military brutal interrogations as the excuses.
Right to be violent and crude might be right for a military man or police man, but surely it need not be prophesized by men who wants to work for the nation or people and the peacemakers. Unless people like us constantly propagate this message, governments may not change its track.
I would also like to add here that the perception of America as a superpower does not lie in its hidden roots of violence. There are other positive reasons for that.
I am very glad to know that you are part of a great cause, AE911 Truth movement and hope that you would have more information on 9/11 than me. Your website has a lot of information, opinions and sad stories of 9/11.
While the people of America want the truth behind 9/11, people of India want justice in the case of 26/11. Anyways, both India and America must come up with a strong notion that truth, justice, non-violence are all not a solace for being vitimised by terror, but to become a way of life. Life is precious and this must be the final message to be told to the government.
Sorry I didn't respond earlier.
I am honored to correspond with you. I still have some issues to pick over, but it is so refreshing to dialog with someone I know is above personal attacks.
I did not know, and am not surprised an American was behind the Mumbai attacks. Could you send me a link I can post in the US?
You do appear open to our evidence, but your reference to " the roots of that terror act was found to be with the Americans" is generally the language of the blowback theory held by US peace activist leaders. It is not even provable any Arab Muslims were on the planes that day. They were in the country is all that can be proved.Mohammed Atta received $100,000 by wire from the head of the ISI. Scholars who want to examine thousands of citations from mainstream international media should check the complete 911 timeline linked here
I do think it is good to call for a country ( mine especially) to consider and practice nonviolence. I don't consider that the same as calling for that country's government to do so.
Dear Mr. D.S.
I too am glad and honoured to discuss with you in this regard. I could not reply to you immediately as I intend to have a detailed discussion with you. Hope you have your time in doing so.
What happened with 26/11 mumbai attack was 'some 12 youngsters sailed across the sea from pakistan and entered the city of mumbai. Some of them shot at the people on the roads, railway station while the rest of them entered in to the Hotel Taj and Oberoi and a guest house, and attacked the inmates.' Upon investigation, India found that the plan and prior ideas of attacking Indian cities were drawn in the U.S which I called the 'roots'.
My language might be little harder in saying this since the underlying truth about 9/11 is horrifying and incredible as India and the U.S have always maintained better relations over the last decades.The 9/11 investigation in the U.S. has theories telling the cause and downfall of twin towers but have no clues to resort into find the reality. Perhaps, America too would have gone into the list of helpless countries which can't do much for the public justice and truth as no one was caught in that tragedy.
You may be correct about the who-is-who inside the planes on 9/11. But, it is that 90% of the terror acts across the world are paid acts, I am opining here. Even though the sum of $100K is too little to justify the effects of 9/11, the world of terror has even little monetary expectations and a bunch of hand-held weapons to perform any violent act. Again, I would say that the governments should take up the call for non-violence to curb this besides the efforts from private and individual bodies. As I am watching the world news, I could make out these things vividly. Many governments indulging in or indirectly supporting violent economies and illegal trades. Even though India and the U.S. have not into these kind of nuances, still we Gandhians insisting governments come out openly with their non-violent approaches so that the others could learn in a transparent manner.
When it comes to democracy, the government is for the people and by the people. If the government does not formulate policies and plans in support of non-violent causes, there is not much left to the people to go for practising non-violence except for their individual freedom and peace. And, I cannot say or mean two diffrent things to people and government.
And one more I would like to add...this 9/11 and 26/11 issues are purely terror related and I usually forego these topics as I would love to write and speak about love, peace, non-violence, justice. Right now, I am in the middle of production of Gandhi Story in multiple languages.
I would like you too to reply more on the peace and pacifying efforts in your 9/11 project. Hope you've got some more to share with me.