Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Personal Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi


Ever since I was a kid I remember this day being more exciting to me than my own birthday. Today that excitement has transformed into optimism. Mahatma Gandhi gave the weakest among us the strength to resist injustice through establishing moral supremacy in the humblest possible way. He was one of the very few in the annals of history who have brought morality to bear upon the most pressing causes of our times. He gave a message devoid of doctrine and dogma. His message was from the heart and soul. He was brilliant in using the mind to communicate these profound ideas in the most effective ways. All in all, he was a moral strategist, a realistic idealist, and the most determined human being I have come across in life and my readings.

Today, as we remember him along with the rest of the world that is celebrating the first International Day of Nonviolence, it is his tenacity to fight the right battles the right way that reverberate most in my thoughts. Too often with the passage of time we grow jaded, tired and begin to rationalize injustice as a system defect. The Mahatma's life reminds us the critical need for endurance in this struggle for justice, equality and opportunity.

Mahatma Gandhi has a great personal resonance with me because he too was part of the Indian diaspora till he was 46. I am not 46 yet but many like me in the diaspora today look up to the Mahatma as a role model in finding ways to contribute in the making of a more democratic, pluralistic and prosperous India. I feel there is something for everyone to learn from his life.

A re dedication to our beloved causes with the commitment to persevere in pursuing them for the betterment of all is going to be our greatest tribute to this great soul. No matter how small or big our sphere of influence or the impact of our actions may be, it is important that our efforts don't cease.

Young India, Inc. will continue to play its role in shaping policy and attitudes to make nonviolent thinking an integral part of our strategic vision to tackle problems. There is no nonviolence without empowerment. Thus, empowerment becomes the centerpiece of all our work. Mahatma Gandhi did that through his Constructive Program. The newsletter that introduced Gandhi to India and made him a Mahatma, Young India, is today our inspiration to carry on his unfinished work to whatever degree we can. That is my commitment to nonviolence. Today, we all should to think about our commitments to this fundamental principle.