Monday, September 18, 2006

Reminiscing the Mahatma*

Sometimes I wonder how MKG would have reacted to the present day scourge of terrorism. Would he have gone on an unending fast till the Mumbai or Malegaon blast suspects were remanded to justice. What would his mantra be, if he was living today? Truth, non-violence, non-cooperation ...these tenets of Gandhian philosophy seemed perfectly relevant when we were fighting oppression and racial discrimation. During British Raj, Indians were faced with a different kind of terror - that of the British government. What about 21st century terrorism? How do we prevent the attacks carried out by the misled extremists? Attacks that disrupt normal life worldwide causing fear and anxiety at public places of worship, public transport and shopping malls.

Does it help if we think and try to understand what circumstances, historical events create and breed terrorists ? What is their goal in life? Are they convinced about the cause they are 'fighting for' or 'dying for'? If supremacy of religion is the primary cause of proliferating terror, then I would say that the terrorists are anything but religious, for no religion propagates killing of innocent to fulfil the 'dubious' agenda.

Is there a Gandhian solution to modern day problems such as terrorism? How is the social transformation possible in a globalized, flattened world? Or, is this nemesis going to get worse in the coming years?

*My thoughts after re-reading 'Gandhi - his life and thought' by J B Kriplani.

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