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Monday, October 5, 2009

Gandhi the Mahatma

          Well we all remember this man though some of us have never seen him in our lifetime, even more so in last few days for his birthday and Mont blanc's Rs.1.1 million pen. And we sat down to debate about Gandhian values and the pricing of pen. Well off course they do not jell together that well. Except for Gandhiji had used one pen in his lifetime, nothing else. The use of gold, luxury associated with pen is in stark contrast to the term "naked fakir", a term used to depict his attire.

           Let alone the pen and its branding, if we look beyond that, and think how Indians have taken to values of Gandhiji, it comes as no surprise; that this to would happen some day. Lets look at some of the Gandhian values and there modern interpretation followed by most Indians.

         1. Be on time. Well off course we are on time. And we follow India Standard Time, so what if we are late by about hour or two as per watch.

         2. All are equal. Yes we are secular. Therefore in each election every party tries to appease different sects. All are given protection, rather reservation. As  if 60 years were not enough to elevate position of the SCs', OBCs', NTs' etc.

         3. Alcohol is evil, do not consume it. Yes we celebrate 2nd October as dry day, and yes some other national holidays, but rest of the 350 days we are free to drink and be merry.

         4. Live simple. Yes most of Indian have habit of simple life; there is no other choice.

         5. Hear no Evil. Yes, how much ever the next door woman screams while being abused, we did not hear anything. Until she is dead/seriously injured and media has come.

         6. See no evil. Well its not happening to me, so why should i wait and watch.

         7. Say no evil. This is the reason there are no witness or least they turn hostile.

         8.Non-Violence. Need i say anything, we have had wars, riots, mafia, encounter killings, terrorist attacks, Maoists, Naxalites, and what not. 

         9. Austerity. Well leave alone the pen, the country that brands its currency in Gandhi's face, should consider Rs.1.1 million as a new currency note having a denomination 1100 times greater than Rs.1000.

          Gandhigiri, the modern word for Gandhian values, at the end of day has to borrow from dadagiri, its twist on tongue to popularize them. Its our era that treats anything through tinted glasses of fashion, selfish motto of "Whats in it for me" and money rather than simple passion. 

          I am not saying all is lost, nor are we totally awake. We do need a cup of tea as eye opener, as the Jagore campaign says.