Mahatma Gandhi was a remarkable man who directly and indirectly inspired many more remarkable men and women. Around the world many leaders of peace, human rights, anti-corruption and national liberation movements have drawn the spark of inspiration and useful tactical advice from the words and examples of Mohandas K. Gandhi.
His great rival Winston Churchill derided him as “the naked fakir” and had him thrown in jail, but in the end the modest former lawyer defeated Churchill and the British Empire, paving the way for independence for his own India and many other nations. Gandhi lived an ascetic existence in an ashram in Ahmedabad, a communal home on whose grounds cobras would occasionally be found — and caught to be released unharmed down by the nearby Sabarmati River. He practiced politics that way, too. It didn’t keep him out of jail, but it turned his incarcerations into terrible defeats for those who sought to silence him and his movement by interposing bars.
Possessed of a sometimes savage wit, Gandhi was patient with people. When a young American reporter asked him “What do you think of Western Civilization?” Gandhi pondered for a moment and answered “I think it would be a good idea.” And notice that in London where Gandhi studied law, the vegetarian society that he helped to found in his student days still continues in the capital of the Western empire that he later defeated.
Gandhi’s example remains relevant all these decades after his death, as an empire much more powerful than Churchill’s, led by a man far more pompous and far less erudite than Churchill, plays to crude passions as it bullies the weak. The suicide bombers are going to fail, but the individuals, movements and nations that walk the path of Gandhi will bring the pompous oppressors to their knees.
Bear in mind…
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