Yesterday, on the eve of India’s Independence, I saw Richard Attenborough’s 1982 Oscar nominated movie ‘Gandhi’. It was the 1st time I had seen the whole movie after becoming an adult.
I loved the movie. It was a reminder of all the history I studied back in my school days. Back then history was 1 of my favourite subjects…& I welcomed this opportunity to revisit some of the brave leaders & the momentous events they participated in.
After watching the movie, I was reminded of how unique M.K Gandhi was. They called him the ‘Mahatma’ (Maha-Atma as in Great Spirit) for a reason.
In a world, where the ‘eye for an eye’ saying seems prominent, here was a person following the Bible’s ‘Turn the other cheek’ philosophy.
Revolutions all over the world involve violence(in the past as well as the present)…but India’s freedom struggle involved the usage of non violent means (Satyagraha) to achieve its goal.
Its extremely easy to follow your emotions & revert to violence on provocation…but it takes true determination & willpower to stay away from that path & instead walk along the hard way of non violent resistance & make the wrong doer realize his mistake.
1 point which critics make is that India could have achieved Independence much earlier had they resorted to an armed uprising. But I agree with the Mahatma’s thinking : ‘The theory of satyagraha sees means and ends as inseparable’. The end result is important…but the means to it matter more.
Had this lesson of non violence not being taught by Gandhi, then I really wonder what would have made great leaders like Martin Luther King & Nelson Mandela stand out in history.
I will wrap up this blog entry with a line which was quoted in the end of the movie.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always”
– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi