Tag Archive for 'Gandhiji'

The Acid Test for Democracy

It is rather a paradox that while the cradle of democracy – Greece – is battling to save its economy through various bail out and stimulus packages , China is singing the virtues of a one party rule in boosting its economic growth and global dominance . A matured democracy like US is also getting restive about its ‘ duology ‘ of two party system .

Are we as a global community losing our grip over the time tested democratic institutions ? Are we misusing or not exercising due care and caution in electing our political leaders ? While a democracy now only means the right to vote for a common citizen in any country following this process , the duly elected leaders many times resort to taxing the masses to bail out the [rich] classes!

One way out is the right to recall  your representatives when they fail to deliver but this is not possible except through revolutions which turns mostly violent . After all ,  Gandhiji’s strategies are not working now the way it should in many situations .

There is no easy way out and in the long term people themselves [hopefully] will find an answer to this malady .

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi

I was 6 years old when Gandhi was assassinated on this day in 1948 . I have a very vague memory of walking with my young friends in a procession wearing a black badge on my shirt along the road next to my house . I experienced Gandhi indirectly when I visited the  Birla House and Raj Ghat in Delhi , and the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad  while serving in the Army.  I could take my father – a lawyer, along on all these visits and it was a great pilgrimage for my father because he experienced  Gandhiji and everything the great man stood for , directly. Inspired by the Mahatma and emulating his simplicity , my father always wore white  and I have never seen him resorting to any ostentation in his personal habits.

Gandhiji lived his life for the downtrodden and the poor masses represented by the real India  and died for a cause which he believed  would have transformed this country from mutual hatred and sectarianism . He communicated his thoughts eloquently and I like the following three messages  which are widely  quoted  –

”  Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man , and ask yourself , if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him ”

” The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems ”

” A customer is the most important visitor on our premises . He is not dependent on us , we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work , he is the purpose of it .  He is not an outsider in our business , he is part of it . We are not doing him a favor by serving him , he is  doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so. ”

All these thoughts are so very relevant in all walks of life , now and for ever in the future  and Gandhiji ‘s  Martyrdom will never go wasted.