Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Pioneer >> Of saints and sinners

    • Premen Addy
    • Taking the argument a step further, I see in this Pakistan-inspired terror against India a primordial impulse to maim and destroy an object of the purest hate: A continuing response to Mahatma Gandhi’s praxis of reconciliation and compassion bred in love for all humankind. It in no way diminishes Gandhi’s towering greatness to recognise that his encounter with the pre-partition All India Muslim League and its Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was a dialogue of the deaf, that the more desperate the Mahatma’s pleas for Hindu-Muslim brotherhood, the more virulent was the response. Truth is that his message was and is relevant for societies with a capacity for introspection whence comes the seeds of redemption. Thus Gandhian self-discovery and achievement occurred in South Africa and India, which became the inspiration for Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in the US.

      Pakistan and everything that went into its creation was Gandhi’s failure. He was economical with the truth when he placed responsibility for the Moplah violence in Kerala, arising from the Khilafat movement, on the British; he compromised his own high moral principles when he advised the Jews in Palestine to accept the overlordship of their Arab neighbours rather than struggle for an independent state of their own; and he was foolish in the extreme when he recommended that the Jewish community resist Adolf Hitler’s Nazi hordes with non-violence even if meant their eventual extermination.