Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi - Sakshi Post

By Ravi Valluri

Gandhiji in all humility and respect called Rabindranath Tagore ‘Gurudev’, while the latter rechristened him as ‘Mahatma’. There is perhaps no Indian or person born in the last two centuries who has had a Teflon coating as tough as the Mahatma had.

Albert Einstein was to say of Gandhiji, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” A barrister by profession, he suffered the ignominy of being ejected from a train at Pietermaritzburg by a white man who perceived Gandhi as coolie (indentured labour) and thus unfit for first class travel.

The incident which took place during the journey to Pretoria in April 1893 changed the direction of Gandhiji’s life. He took a momentous decision and resolved to launch a movement to combat the ignominy heaped on him and on other hapless Indians across South Africa by a tyrannical British rule. In his arsenal were the twin weapons of “Ahimsa” and “Satyagraha” which were to later dislodge the British government from India and simultaneously inspire the legendary Nelson Mandela to launch a successful movement against apartheid in South Africa.

Gandhiji had a troubled family life as his son Harilal Gandhi turned an apostate and converted to Islam, lived with women of ill repute and eventually succumbed to alcoholism. The errant behaviour of his son was a stigma swallowed by Gandhiji though it did not deter him from continuing his experiments with truth. Though India won freedom, the country was partitioned much against the wishes of the Mahatma. He was to spend the day of 15 August 1947, trying to provide succour to those afflicted by the spectre of communal violence. In one of the most ironic twists in life, the man who lived and breathed “Ahimsa” fell to the bullets of an assassin on 30 January 1948.

Such was the life of this greatest soul of the subcontinent. Perhaps the Gen Next might connect with the Mahatma Gandhi through “Lage Raho Munnabhai.”

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