Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Invisible Man

Mahatma Gandhi...

A name synonymous with ahimsa. A name which has spawned a series of philosophies, a score of super-hit movies and which still finds a place in all major political speeches in India.

I am not a Gandhiwadi. Yes- I look upto Gandhiji- like most Indians do. But I have never been a strict follower of him or his ideas. The simplest example- "Ek gaal par yadi koi thappad maarein- to doosraa gaal aagein badhaaon.." I think I will find it extremely difficult to follow this. If someone does slap me on one cheek- depending on the size of that person- I would either slap back or I would retreat.. I wouldn't really offer my other cheek to be slapped..

All to say that- I respect this great man- and he is a force to reckon with. But that's about it. What I am trying to say in politically correct terms, is that I am essentially indifferent about it.

All that indifference changed in a single moment yesterday.

I was working on a professional assignment which involved monitoring the mailing of a newsletter. In the process of doing so- me and my colleague needed to go through the messages which were a part of the mailing. Being a newsletter- it had a weekly summary of some individual opinions about various topics. And one of those topics was about the Mahatma himself. As a few expletives in that particular section caught our attention, we went ahead to read the whole article and at the end of it- we both were dead silent.

As we read that revolting text which compared the Mahatma with Osama and Bush and others we felt sick. Suddenly the empty office walls seemed to close in on us as our blood boiled with anger. But of course- being professionals we quickly closed the window and resumed with the monitoring. "Oh- this stat has increased- that's a good sign.. Hmm- we'll need to change the config here a bit"

But we both knew- that inside us- we both were terribly upset and hurt after reading that message. We both avoided talking about it- but that one moment of pained silence was enough to say it all- it hurt!

The Mahatma- albeit invisible- made me feel his presence. And the invisibility made him more powerful than any tangible force. Yesterday I understood how implicit some things are. We do not realize how much they matter to us till we see them being brought up in an undignified manner.

As for the individual who had all that nonsense say to about Mahatma Gandhi- I know that beating him up won't help and suddenly- Gandhiji's ahimsa starts making sense... So here's what I pray for that bird-brained lost soul:

Raghupati raghav raja ram
Patit paavan sita ram

Ishwar allah tero naam

Sabko sanmati de bhagwan..

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Blogger Sangram said...

सगळ्यांची लेवल नसते सगळेच समजून घ्यायची! [:)] chill.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Amita said...

Indeed! I felt furious myself. I will avoid writing the specifics here for obvious reasons.

But, think about it - the readers of this newsletter are the teenagers of this country. And content is supposed to be hilarious.

This just tells me about their damaged ideologies and retard outlooks.

I am not hurt about how they have trivialized the Mahatma. It is beyond anyone's comprehension to be able to do that. I just am sorry for these minds, who write and read such content. I am sorry about their future!

This, and many such incidents - make me feel all the more proud of being born and brought up in India. You will be familiar with this statements, having read my blogs :)

5:18 PM  
Blogger Priyanka M said...

Rohit, you're right- kharach saglyanchi level nastech muli samzun ghyaychi... :)

12:11 AM  
Blogger Priyanka M said...

Amita, yeah- me too feel proud to be born and brought up in India.

However, the identity or outlook of these teenagers is more than their countries. Sadly, not even many Indian teenagers would feel infuriated or be bothered at all by the very words which hurt us (or rather- me).

I look around me here in India and see that the majority of teenagers have forgotten the Rashtra Gaan the moment they are out of school. They feel ashamed and "un-cool" to sing the national anthem when it is played in cinema theaters before a movie begins. I am not sure if you heard your share of cheap Mahatma Gandhi jokes while in school/college- but I sure did. These jokes were made by my friends- my generation folks- who have always been in India. And you know what's really strange? At the time- it did not matter as much to me as it does now...

Teenagers all over the world are just the same- they are trying to figure out a lifestyle which suits them the best. And till they get there- they keep trying on different masks- some of aggression- some of black humor...

Lets hope that these teenagers who find such infuriating content funny right now- grow up to become sensible and responsible people.. Amen! :)

12:33 AM  

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