Gandhi still works!
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 12, 2011, 19:05
So, finally after 30 years of unopposed rule and 18 days of massive protests, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has gone down into the history books. The ‘Nile Revolution’, as it is widely referred got the better of a dictator who, as reports suggest, is the richest man in the world with possibly USD 70 billion at his disposal.

As Egypt rejoices and celebrates the ouster of the dictator amidst reports that his resignation might strengthen Islamists across the world, one thing that this revolution once again established is that non-violence continues to remain the most potent weapon against all sorts of oppression.

No wonder, immediately after Mubarak resigned, the most powerful man in the world, President of United States of America, Barack Obama was heard saying, “And while the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can't help but hear the echoes of history - echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the street
s, Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice.”

Even though the protests were marred by stray incidents of violence, it is astounding to see such a massive uprising being largely non-violent.

Long back when India was in the clutches of the oppressive British, the Sabarmati Saint told his countrymen, “Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

His words proved equally relevant in a foreign land 63 years after his death, as they were when he addressed them to his own countrymen.

Ever wondered, the mighty Egyptian President who survived as many as six violent attempts on his life was ultimately ousted by a non-violent movement!

Gandhi was the first man (I will be amazed if people don’t call him an incarnation in coming years) to understand the power of truth and non-violence and implement it too. The end result is a nation that is counted among world powers in as little as 63 years of independence.

When I was in school and my history teacher taught us about the ‘Chauri Chaura’ incident after which Gandhi withdrew his Non-cooperation Movement, I found it outright impractical. After all, what was the point in withdrawing a successful movement because some people retaliated against the oppressive regime?

I was wrong!

As it turned out, Gandhi was right. We had Gandhi, so we became ‘India’. The country which had everything else like us, apart from Gandhi, turned out to be ‘Pakistan’. This, I guess, is evidence of the fact that Gandhi was always right in leading us to our independence.

Moving on, the lessons of non-violence are reiterated by the ‘Nile Revolution’. A lesson the Maoists and terrorists may want to take.

It has once again been proved that violence is not the solution of any problem, peace is. As Mahatma puts it, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”

I know Mahatma must be looking down on earth and getting restless by the situation prevailing in his own country where he has been reduced to a photo-frame on the walls of government offices. But Egypt has once again given Gandhi, a reason to smile.

“Ishwar, Allah Tero Naam, Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan!”

First Published: Saturday, February 12, 2011, 19:05

(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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