Search This Blog

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Let them look afresh at the Mahatma

On the occasion of Indian independence day, Star Pix yesterday aired the 1982 movie "Gandhi" by Sir Richard Attenborough. I had an opportunity, after a long time, to see it end-to-end peacefully, at a friend's house, with their whole family.

It pains me greatly to see people enthusiastic to criticize and sensationalize Gandhiji, to rub their negative opinions on their children. I think the least we can do, for Bapu and for the Next Generation, is to let our kids learn all about Gandhiji objectively and make their own conclusions. We will be doing a disservice to both if we don't give the next generation this opportunity.

I believe that to truly understand the Mahatma, his words and actions takes a life time for most of us, because his focus was so internal. There are many intellectuals among us that specialize in parts of the external. But very few of us realize that all battles are truly fought within the mind and soul. To be able to recognize that, to fight those battles relentlessly and successfully, and then to apply lifelong the fruits of such battles for the betterment of other's lives, is a human achievement of the highest order. I feel proud to be born on the land that has produced the Mahatma.

To me, it is really not that important whether the political decisions Gandhiji arrived at were the optimal ones. That is a question pertinent of mere politicians and statesmen. Gandhiji's timeless contribution to the world is his amazing interiority - the values he stood, fought and died for, his deepest love for his people and country, and the strength of his soul.

Let us please give our children a chance to experience the Mahatma for themselves.

1 comment:

  1. Before Attenborough's movie Gandhi was (1)ignored/forgotten (2)hated by many people. I do remember people, especially the RSS types, vehemently critising Gandhi for everything wrong in India. At most, people kept quite about Gandhi.

    In my personal experience - all that only changed after the movie came out. Movie did just what you are talking about - gave me a chance to see, read about, and learn about Gandhi from scratch. After I saw the movie I went to Delhi to see the museams there and the Gandhi Samadhi.

    Narendra Pulipaka