The whole of India pauses today to celebrate the birth and life of a great person – a person who’s acknowledged to be one of the fathers of this great nation and who managed to guide it towards independence through non-violence. India celebrates Gandhi Jayanthi today – the birthday of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Like most other great men, he wasn’t without critics or detractors but the legacy lives on. Whenever one thinks of non-violent revolution or trying to influence others through placid means of resistance, one inevitably thinks of Gandhi-ji and all that he’s done.
Rarely has a single man been able to do so much with just words and ideas (though I do know of someone else who did and he influenced Gandhi too). What Gandhi lacked in stature he made up with inspiration and ideas. While it’s nice to have a holiday to commemorate this, I couldn’t let this pass without writing just a little about this. After all, I am living in India now.
We all aspire to do something. We’re all seekers – sometimes we seek truth, sometimes we seek happiness, sometimes we seek a particular way of life. What happens as we seek these things is that we get sidetracked by the millions of things that can sidetrack us from getting things done. Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re seeking and the sidetrack can eventually become the main track. We can take a leaf out of what the Gandhi-ji did – he got on a track to get something done and followed it to the logical conclusion. We could all use a bit of that.