Friday, May 11, 2007

Mahatma, Bapu, Gandhi

It is really hard to talk of Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in India without being in extreme. Awe, Disbelief, Reverence, Negligence are few of the emotions in which you have to delve or others would make you delve on topics related to him.

This post is less on Mr. Gandhi and more on 'on Gandhi'. Recent past has shown Gandhi revisited, re-analyzed. The best part is analyzed because he has been hailed as a messiah, prophet, avatar, the perfect soul, the Christ who took others pain, the man who never did anything wrong. We have started giving flesh to his soul, making him human, fallible. Accepting that heros are fallible, spiderman can fail, there is sweat under his arms.

We have started accepting his limitation and power e.g. Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Puritans and fundamentalists have codified Mr. Gandhi in dhoti, khaadi and charkha. But this new Gandhigiri is less on Gandhi and more on our perception of Gandhi, how should his principles be interpreted in new age (or should they be reinterpreted) . What he said and did was best for his times and situations. Applying them rampantly in space and time is a blatant insult and probably not all of his teachings can be used. (Imagine government some special occasion giving goats to poor people because Gandhiji used to drink goats milk, Doode! those poor fellows would feed the goat or their children?!?).

We have also started coming to terms with his personal life and his affair with Mira (I am yet to read Mira and Mahatma and other related text to comment in detail), his tumultuous and destructive relation with eldest son and never talked of family life.

The worst that we can do with great men is to create there statues, put them in pedestal, codify there teachings and sayings and elevate them to a prophetic status of idealism from where they are a mute spectators of there own insult.

From 15th Aug/26th Jan based Attenborough's 'Mahatma' we have moved to Lage Raho Munna Bhai. From 'prerak prasangs' (inspirational anecdotes) we have moved to deeper and more professional studies on his life.

1 comment:

Ninru Kolladi said...

On a lighter vain .. all heroes should be volatile variables ... aint it mate .... and they should not be header files ... eh mate