Rambling-ly, Unraveling, Gandhi

Halt there, reader, and heed this word of caution. This piece of text will seem unconnected, wayward, and even incoherent to you. It will be an uncharted, wild territory with no guiding signs. It will seem to lack an introduction, a body or a conclusion. It will appear to be desperately random. And if you have read this far, and plan to read further, let me give you the key, the connection between the broken thoughts that will be laid out before you. All the threads are related to Gandhi. That’s right, Mahatma Gandhi.

And now, if you may, let’s plunge.

Man is on the top of the evolution ladder, said Darwin. What do you say? Do you, as an individual, say anything? What is your identity? The tax man says it is your Pan-Card, the traffic police says its your Driving License, the EC says its your Voter-Id and your college says its your Library ID. The corrupt official says it’s your money. What do you say?

A small boy, less than ten years of age is caught stealing five rupees on the road. An angry and judicious man decides to teach a lesson to the thief lurking in the boy. The custodian gets a stretch of rope, and binds the child to an electricity pole. The child’s world watches. Some jeer, some just stare. A policeman is attracted by the mob, and is repelled as he realizes the reason for it. Will rescue come for this child, maybe from a stranger who is alive enough to be indignant for the child? It is a child we are talking about, isn’t it? Or did the child become a man in his cradle?

Existence for the poor is a free-for-all, survival of the fittest fight in the jungle from the start?

Cancer can strike anyone, it is a matter of probability. And it is no more than a stroke of ill-luck that it chose a poor man. The man sold his land and his property for treatment. And in a humane human society, no help seems to be coming. Money allocated by the Government failed to reach this- can one call him/it a man?

What gives a section of society the right to be un-courteous, and another the duty of being humble? Form which quarter did the decision to place men over women originate? And from where do the voices who deem it fair, or unfair come? Who decided that its O.K. for the “boy’s family” to courier back a bio-data to the “girl’s family”, which incidentally was hand delivered, with a note pinned to the back saying – Sorry, this “rishta” cannot work out because of blah blah blah. And what and who decides that this facility of rudeness is available and acceptable only if you represent the “boy”? What is the use of education, enlightenment, religion and God if you still set store by caste, color, gender or any type of discrimination? Can belief in this- stench be called faith?

Each generation is worse than the one before, and each generation blames the one before. If these are the Dark ages, as old as history themselves- can wide-ranging good ever exist? Did it ever exist? If God is extinct- does it mean that he once existed?
One man led us to freedom. The same man was a hypocritical jerk.  He was a savior -a cheating one? Half the history would have us believe that this man was the epitome of truth and courage, the one who never could falter. The other half assures us that he was a power hungry mongrel, who let his betters be sacrificed so that he could usurp all the credit and whose only skill (and that too disputed) was getting people to follow him. But undeniable facts say that this man was not a natural at speaking but he learnt his lesson so well that millions swayed and swooned at his words. He took a movement to the masses, which before him was confined to the elite. He was a “fakir”, and was suspected of being an opportunist and making disastrously wrong decisions.(Calling off the Non-Co-operation Movement for instance). And he had the courage to recount his mistakes, call himself a fool and tell the young not to make the same mistakes in the most honest autobiography ever. (Few know that all the accusations hurled at this man come from this autobiography itself)

He died calling out to “Ram” yet he was the most secular. His ideas for the society were Utopian, and yet they embody what each society should be (The curious may place a call  to the Directive Principles, the Indian Constitution for further information.) He loved to work, yet the world takes a day off on his day.

Just a thought. Imagine that this man was re-incarnated. As a girl, will he be burnt for dowry before he can lead the country?

Will Lord Krishna’s reincarnation be publicly whipped?

Radhika Kapoor