Thursday, October 2, 2008

Miss You Bapu

I miss you Bapu. True, I was born decades after your death, but I still miss you. I miss you because today there is violence all around in India. In the last week alone there have been several bomb blasts in different corners of India. Kandhamal (in Orissa) is still burning because of religous strife. It is hard to believe that it is the same country that you had won freedom through non-violence. In these dark moments, it really feels like we have failed you. You are the one who had said, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." How true! But we have all forgotten it. We are busy playing juvenile blame games of "...but he (or they) started it first." We have forgotten that it doesn't matter who started it first; all that matters is who took the first, second, and all the steps of non-violence, because unless we stop blaming others and deluding ourselves with self-justifications, violence will only escalate further. When we fight, we suffer; it may seem like there is a winner or loser in the short run, but in the long run all turn out to be losers. History and statistics clearly show that countries where ethnic groups fight each other end up getting poorer.
On Gandhi's birthday, let's all pledge to not justify any kinds of violence. Most of us do not commit violence ourselves, but we do take sides - it is not uncommon for us to justify violence committed by our own group/ethnic community. But when we justify the actions of our group, we only encourage more violence to occur. Violence - be it in the form of terrorism, riot, or revenge, is always deplorable, and should not never be justified.
I would like to end this post with a song from the 1954 movie Jagriti, Sabarmati ke sant tune kar diya kamal (translation: You gave us freedom without shield and sword. O saint of Sabarmati you have worked wonders). The beautiful song was written by the Kavi Pradeep (who wrote several inspiring patriotic songs) as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi; the music was composed by Hemant Kumar, and the song was originally sung by Asha Bhonsle.
Sabarmati Ke Sant.mp3

1 comment:

  1. It was a treat listening to this song after ages! I really appreciate your choice of songs. And more than that, your views about Gandhiji and non-violence. They completely resonate with mine.