40. Is Gandhi relevant today?
Is life relevant?
Is truth relevant?
Is morality relevant?
It has become a fashion to question the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi today. I suspect the people who ask this question are the ones who are convinced that he is irrelevant and useless. I want to ask them if they feel life, truth and morality are also irrelevant? Because the corner stones of the Gandhian philosophy are life, truth and morality.
In this age of nuclear weapons and the recently popularised term ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ the only philosophy or rather way of life that ensures our longevity on earth is nonviolence.
It will take only a pull of the nuclear trigger to wipe every trace of life from this earth, and turn it into a nuclear wasteland. Today with irresponsible, fragmented and fanatical regimes acquiring nuclear capabilities and delivery systems, how will we create a world where nuclear or any other deterrent becomes unnecessary? It will only come about when we adopt Nonviolence as our creed, our way of life.
Violent and aggressive civilisations have thrived momentarily but in the end they have all met a very violent end, it is the comparatively more humane and nonviolent societies that have been blessed with longevity. It is utopian to imagine a world without violence some amount of violence has and will always exist as long as there is life; but to let violence, aggression and dominance by terror be the dominant principles in life only hastens our slide towards obliteration.
The English Irish dispute did not end till such time as both sides discarded violent means of suppression and retaliation. The accord in Ireland came about when both the sides gave up the gun and started talking to each other.
Closer to home in Sri Lanka till the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government kept fighting there were no signs of the conflict ever ending. Although a solution is still a mirage, they have moved towards a solution only after both the sides gave up...