Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: I Know a Way Out of Hell

Alpesh Patel Wednesday 01st February 2023 05:51 EST

Nahari : I'm going to Hell! I killed a child! I smashed his head against a wall.
Gandhi : Why?
Nahari : Because they killed my son! The Muslims killed my son!
Gandhi : I know a way out of Hell. Find a child, a child whose mother and father have been killed and raise him as your own.
Gandhi : Only be sure that he is a Muslim and that you raise him as one.

On the anniversary of his death, a reminder of his legacy. No nation is ideal. There will always be those who drag it backwards, and the critic on the sidelines will be the first to point that out, and do little else. But with this foundation and heritage, greatness is inevitable. Think of it. Inevitable.

1. Nonviolence as a political tool: Gandhi is widely recognized as the father of the Indian independence movement and his philosophy of nonviolent resistance has inspired countless political activists and leaders around the world, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. A study by the Journal of Peace Research found that nonviolent resistance is a more effective means of achieving political change than violent resistance. Yet, the world still does not learn.

2. Concept of Satyagraha: Gandhi's concept of Satyagraha, meaning "insistence on truth," emphasizes the power of moral and ethical principles in bringing about social and political change. This philosophy has influenced movements for justice and equality in many countries.

3. Ahimsa (Nonviolence): Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence, or ahimsa, extends beyond politics and is a central tenet of Hinduism and Jainism. It holds that all life is sacred and violence only begets more violence.

4. Simple living: Gandhi lived a life of simple living and advocated for the rejection of materialism and consumerism. He encouraged people to live in harmony with nature and prioritize their spiritual and ethical values over their material needs.

5. Swadeshi movement: Gandhi's promotion of the swadeshi movement, which encouraged the use of locally-made goods had a significant impact on the Indian independence movement and inspired similar movements in other countries.

6. Education for all: Gandhi believed that education should be accessible to all, regardless of class or caste, and emphasized the importance of education in personal and social transformation.

7. Interfaith harmony: Gandhi was a strong advocate for interfaith harmony and believed that all religions should coexist peacefully. He promoted the idea of sarva dharma sambhava, meaning "equality of all religions," and emphasized the importance of tolerance and understanding between different communities.

8. Vegetarianism: Gandhi was a lifelong vegetarian and advocated for the ethical and spiritual benefits of a meat-free diet. His beliefs have influenced the vegetarian movement in many countries and have helped raise awareness about the ethical and environmental implications of meat consumption.

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