Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Remembering THEM


It was on this day in 1948 that Mahatma Gandhi's body succumbed to the bullets of an assassin. The Indian nation went into an unprecedented phase of mourning. Even today this day stirs up emotions of loss. In honor of Mahatma Gandhi's martyrdom we also remember all those brave souls who fought for India's independence and paid the ultimate price in doing so. As an Indian and a believer in pluralistic democracy I am greatly indebted to them for their sacrifice. I can only hope that we all become worthy of the sacrifice that this great generation of Indians made.

Today is especially poignant for me as for the first time my grandfather is not here with me on this day. He was my connection to that great battle India fought to emerge as a democracy. Our greatest tribute to him and all of those who like Mahatma Gandhi transformed the character of a nation through personal transformation will be to carry on their struggles for social justice, economic opportunity and mutual respect.

May their souls rest in eternal peace.



Monday, January 15, 2007

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rarely have men of such towering moral stature as of Dr. King graced humanity. America is a greater nation because of him and we all are better human beings because of his actions and words, which will remain enshrined in our collective consciousness for all times to come. Dr. King once said that we will forget Gandhi at our own peril. We will forget Dr. King at our own peril.

The battles of social justice that he spearheaded may have changed their outer look but the underlying challenges persist in even more complex forms. Dr. King may not have given us the solutions to all our problems but, more importantly, he perfected a method to tackle them. As students of nonviolence we believe that the Civil Rights Movement under Dr. King's stewardship was a marvelous exhibition of nonviolent transformation.

Today we remember this great son of America as an inspiration for all across the globe still believing in the potency and moral superiority of the nonviolent method. Success may take long but it will arrive. We must persevere like he did.