Why Gandhi will ROCK forever?


‘It’s nice to be important. But it’s more important to be nice.’

Picture a world where everyone was nice to each other. No ‘Yours’….No ‘Mine’…Only ‘Ours’. The thought itself is pleasantly empowering.

Universal Love is not a Utopian concept. Atleast not in the dictionary of Gandhi………and here’s my tribute to this wonderful man who walked on this planet and this great country and showed the world how universal love & brotherhood can take a whole nation out of the dark shackles of centuries’ old slavery.

I found my true hero in Gandhi when I watched the extremely adorable grand-fatherly like characterization of Gandhi in the latest Hindi flick ‘ Lagey Raho MunnaBhai’. There is an endearing quality about a person who believes in the power of goodness. Goodness does triumph….It’s no fairy-tale. And this belief calls for a lot of conviction and inner self-awareness. To stand rock-soild for the truth and stand up and take onus for your failings is real heroism.

Some of the social messages being dealt with in the story-line were simply put, Outstanding. Very subtely told under the garb of clever & inspiring comedy, I totally loved the scene where a young girl takes heed of Gandhi’s advice when it comes to the selection of her life-partner. It’s important to marry a person who treats the lowly with the same amount of respect he/she would give to a Mr.Azeem Premji or a Mr.Bill Gates.Again here, the same theme of being nice is emphasized. Gandhi couldn’t have presecribed a better sure-shot method of finding one’s Mr/Miss.Perfect. That’s why he is still ROCKIN….

Another scene which I totally identified with was the consequences of being a Manglik and its non-justification for being treated as an immediate out-cast. It brought forth in focus the outrageous degree of supersitions this country was dabbled in. Too many kaalams, muhurtums,kundlis, manglik, all kinds of chauts n vrats….In short too many rituals to make one’s already complicated life even more complex.It’s crazy how for some, every minute event in their life is dictated by muhurtams n vaasthus n kundalis n some ‘kalams’ all that . I wonder why do people here succumb themselves to such added complications in life.Phew! Hats off to the billions in our country – we should be the natural choice for the Nobel Prize for Patience, if ever they plan to include one such category.

It really surprises me when I hear many a proud parent talk about the success rate of Indian marriages and the logic behind it – Astrological Kundli matches……of Mangliks n Non-mangliks alike. Methinks, the only reason for the success rate in the yesteryears was the fact that women weren’t that empowered. They didn’t even have a say leave alone voice in choosing their own life-partner. There was no concept of a marriage between the equals. It was a marriage of the bread-winner and his dependent. Wonder if kundli matches and the step-motherly treatment given to Mangliks will save the rising trend of divorce rates in India? Gandhi stands for freedom from all such futile complexities.and that’s why he still rocks…

Another interesting discussion that unfolds from this whole issue is why do Indians bank on and attribute their success to an auspicious time n favorable planetary postion etc and strip themselves of being truly worthy and responsible for their own success..More on this in my next post…..

At this conclusionary juncture, I am reminded of Tagore’s verses from ‘Gitanjali’ which I think should be a litany for all :

‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake’

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Tina Sequeira
Articles: 230

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  1. Hi Tina,

    By a strange coincidence I also saw Lage Raho Munnabhai on 19th October, the day u wrote your blog. I saw it not at a multiplex paying Rs 175 but at an old cinema hall (probably Mahatma Gandhi’s time) paying a paltry Rs 35 for the balcony seat, thanks to the tax exemption. However, the state of Gujarat, where Gandhiji was born has not extended the tax exemption as it is ruled by insensitive people who think that if a film is a commercial success it needs no exemption.

    Well, I loved the character of sanjay dutt, a zombie who turns into a Gandhian under compelling circumstances and realises what it means to tell the truth and be good to people, understand the pain and suffering of others and help them resolve their problems in a peaceful way. Instead of reading tomes of Gandhian philosophy this short film susccinctly sums up in three hours, the quintessential philosophy of Gandhiji. The young director deserves a tribute for conceiving the story, and working on the script for three years polishing it. I had heard that Thomas Grey who wrote the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” took twenty years to polish it till it became a gem of the purest ray serene. So also the Munnabhai story.

    I entirely agree with u that society is ridden with superstition, false value systems,crass materialism and insensitivity to suffering.Gandhiji sang a wonderful bhajan ” Vaishnava Janato tene kahiye jo peeda paraye jaane re” which means They are the true people of God who understand the sufferings of others. And another poem which was his favourite was “Lead kindly light, amidst the encircling gloom, Lead thou me on”The Nobel Peace Prize Committee recently lamented thefact that they could not award the NObel Peace Prize to Gandhiji? As if that meant anything to him! Sweden was ally of UK in WWII and could ill afford to displease Churchill who once called Gandhiji” a half naked fakir ascending the viceregal steps, shoot him.” It was Einstein who said that centuries from now people would scarce believe that a person of Gandhiji’s nature ever walked on this earth. A thousand Nobel prizes cannot match the statement of the father of Relativity theory. It is said when Bernard Shaw heard of Gandhiji’s assasination he remarked” It is too dangerous to be too good” But Gandhiji died with a smile on his lips after uttering “Hey Ram HeyRam” He did not curse his assassin. Reminiscent of another great apostle of peace who lived two thousand years ago who said ” Father forgive them for they know not what they do”

    How many leaders of Gandhiji’s timbre exist today? U can count them on your fingers. May be a Sunderlal Bahuguna who hugs trees when the demolition squad come with their axes, a Medha Pathak who can starve herself to near death for the sake of the miserablae tribals deprived of their land to carry water to the rich somewhere faraway, a Baba Amte, though paralysed for over thirty years, runs a lepers home from his bed, a veritable Father Damien of India.

    Yes, as long as we break coconuts and perform puja at every Government function or inauguration, and apply tilaks and wear sacred wrist bands to show off your religiousity, there is no deliverance for our country. But then what about the west? Dont they break champaigne bottles while launching a ship or a project? Dont they believe in the signs of the zodiac and read the weekly forecast columns, or show their palm to palmists and astrlogers. Ignorance and superstition is a universal phenomenon. Only in India, it is in an epidemic form. There are a fwew NGOs like Andh Shraddha Nirmoolan Samiti in Pune,run by dedicated rationalists which are fighting the evils of superstition, such as barring entry to women in the Shani temples in Maharashtra, feeding milk to snakes on Nagpanchami etc. But they face tough opposition. What about the cntroversy about the Ayyappa temple? Is it not suprstition of the worst kind? When faith is packaged and marketed with the help of superstition it becomes blind faith, but it is lapped up by the masses.

    Are Mangliks doomed to remain unmarried for life? No they have to look for other Mangliks of their ilk whose horoscopes ensure that the girl or boy will not bring death to the in laws. Superstition forsooth!

    And what about the miracle Godmen who take swisswatches from their sleeves and when challenged by PCSorkar, beat him and drive him out of their ashram?
    Much needs to be done in this country. But first and foremost is to educate the masses. On the one hand we are highly intellectual in the 1 or 2 percent of our educated population and more than half the people cant sign their names. angootta chaaps. And we spend thousands of crores on polio eradication, which is proving to be a failure and neglect diseases like malaria and tb which take millions of lives, and we concentrate instead on HIV aids maybe because of the foreign assistance dangled before the NGOs and the Government.

    We can go on and on? But what is the solution? We write these blogs which only a few people read and even they may not be interested in the subject. HOw can u spread the message to a broader section of the people. A movement is called for
    where we have to be prepared to go out leave our cocooned existence and work among the poor and sensitise them to social evils and make them aware of their rights. Not for glamour, but out of all humility and for the love of it.
    Can u find such dedicated people and if so who will unite them and organise a movement?

    Well, i think i have rattled off more than what i set out to in reply to your simple and sweet piece on Munnabhai. Sorry for the digressions.

    Please continue your blogs. I will read the rest of your blogs too and may comment on them. U write in such simple language and so well!

    And how is little Pammoo? I am sure he would grow up in far better world than we did.


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  3. Reblogged this on THE TINA EDIT and commented:

    An old blog that I wrote about Gandhi! 11 years back in time! Happy Gandhi Jayanthi!

  4. jacob mathecken
    jacob mathecken

    Gandhi and his practices will continue to enrich the society mainly because of the following factors.1. Teachings of Gandhi and prescription for fellow human beings were tested in his life itself. 2. As they say in ISO trainings , he said what he did and did what he said. There was complete sync his thought and action. 3. All his teachings and practices were from the good aspects of religion and spirituality from a living point of view.4. He was honest in intent, purpose and practice.

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