Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hind Swaraj

After reading 'My experiments with Truth' - the famous (and of course only) autobiography of M.K. Gandhi, i was dying to read 'Hind Swaraj', to get a view of the real ideologies of the Mahatma before he actually became one. This book is a collection of questions answered by him on Swaraj, concept of civilizations, kind of education and language to be imparted to the Indians and his idea of the India he wished to see.

Industrialization and globalization were more taboo to Gandhiji than anything else. In one way or the other i sensed so much of Communism in Gandhi's ideologies that i tried to differentiate his thoughts with it.
'We have had no system of life-corroding competition.Each followed his own occupation or trade and charged a regulation wage. It was not that we did not know how to invent machinery, but our forefathers knew that, if we set our hearts after such things, we would become slaves and lose our moral fibre.'

He despised industries on the whole because in his view, machinery has ruined human kind more than anything. Industries have created slaves and reduced happiness and work for all.
'Machinery is like a snake-hole which may contain from one to a hundred snakes.'

He despised railways, doctors, lawyers and of course the complete English approach of the European development.
'It must be manifest to you that, but for the railways, the English could not have such a hold on India as they have. The railways, too, have spread the bubonic plague. Without them, the masses could not move from place to place. They are the carriers of plague germs. Formerly we had natural segregation. Railways have also increased the frequency of famines because, owing to facility of means of locomotion, people sell out their grain and it is sent to the dearest markets.'

Gandhi, who himself was a lawyer and had helped Indians immensely in South Africa, felt derogatory for the profession.
'My firm opinion is that the lawyers have enslaved India, have accentuated Hindu-Mahomedan dissensions and have confirmed English authority.'

About Doctors..
'I have indigestion. I go to a doctor, he gives me medicine, I am cured. I overeat again, I take his pills again. Had I not taken the pills in the first instance, I would have suffered the punishments deserved by me and I would not have overeaten again. The doctor intervened and helped me to indulge myself. My body thereby certainly felt more at ease; but my mind became weakened. A continuance of a course of medicine must, therefore, result in loss of control over the mind.'

This book actually was used as a pamphlet to promote Gandhian philosophy to the Indians. This proscribed literature was sold at nominal cost to the proletarians across India to let them know the Gandhian philosophy and make them aware of the concept of 'Hind Swaraj'.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Israel - some other blasting title required?

When Jews were tortured in an affluent corner of this planet, they looked for a place to rehabitat. And they headed towards middle east since there were Jewish colonies in Palestine already. There was a rapid shift of Jewish population from the Christian extremism (if i may say so) to the centre of most insendiary Muslim epicentre.

They were accepted to some extent but with time tensions started to creep in. With the intervention of UN, two states were created out of Palestine. Ever since (the independence of Israel in 1948), it has kept itself engaged for various conflicts with almost all the Muslim countries.

India can not even imagine, the way Israel works or thinks, being so small, trapped amongst umpteen muslim countries (surrounded by Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Jordan) and still fighting all the time. With a population of less than 8million, Israel is one of the highest spending country in terms of intelligence and security.

Many a times, US intervenes and get treaties signed or ceasefires agreed upon in between Arab coutries and Israel. But history is evident, Israel keeps no resolution for long and attacks one of those countries, captures its land and shows the middle finger to all the Arabs and the treaty makers from US, UK and the lame elephant UN.

The reason for the States not taking harsh actions against Israel is that there are myriad of Jews at prominent positions and with enormous wealth in US (Steve Ballmer, Sergey Brin, Larry Elison, Michael Dell and many many more). And also many politicians..


And guess what - Harrison Ford, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Sandra Bullock, Milton Friedman, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Goldie Hawn, Levis Strauss, Ralph Lauren, Henry Kissinger, Mark Spitz, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks are all Jewish.

So, in one way or the other Jews are damn influential when it comes to deciding the policies for US (read UN also). They have enough of green notes, grey cells (ofcourse in brain) and leadership enzymes embedded in themselves. So, world better watch out coz they are looking out for their small community to place bookmarks (they are a lot into literature also) in each and every corner of this world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Mahatma Gandhi (2nd Oct 1869 to 30th Jan 1948)- Much is already known, said and written about this frail saint. A man with whom you might agree or disagree but can't avoid. A stern follower of his home made policies, medicines, philosophies and attire.

If you have to choose one man for the good or bad or whatever India faced - it has to be Gandhi. He was not liked by most of the Britishers for obvious reasons but many Indians (not necessarily extremists) also disliked him. Anything you might feel about Gandhi, but one thing is for sure, he was a man of immense will power.

After reading 'My experiments with Truth' (i would love to call it-'I, ME, MY, MINE by Gandhi' - yes yes i know it was his AUTObiography), you get to know how an underconfident man lifts himself with self proclaimed ups and downs. He faced immense humiliation at the hands of Whites, Hindus, Muslims, and loads of leaders, but life goes on for this kind of guy. For him no praise was small and no humiliation big enough.

He not only had ardent admirers and followers like Mountbatten, Nehru, Patel but also had Jinnah, S.Bose, Churchill and many extremists (Godse, Savarkar to name the influential) on the other side of his spinning wheel.

One can never undermine his achievements, but also can't forget his distinctive personality traits, i would like to elaborate some of them here:

1. His campaigns to raise awareness about sanitary cleanliness in houses is unimaginable. He rushed from vilas to houses to even huts, only because of his willingness to see Indians live a cleaner, healthier life.
2. It is said that no one can ridicule you without your consent. Gandhi is the best example. He just made a note of every disrespect in his mind but never actually felt humiliated.
3. His unbound love for the motherland, mothertongue and culture.
4. His Vegetarianism.
5. His belief in earth and water techniques (and other self experimented remedies).
6. Vocational training to others, so they can live a respectful life.
And above all, his never failing brahmastra- Fasting and that too till death (many a times) proved an aid in making him Mahatma.

Me and most people like me neither have rights nor hold any feasible reason to justify the stands of Gandhi in various struggles of his life, but one thing is for sure - He was a stern being with a lot of guts, will power, dominance streak, truthfulness and leadership skills. Somewhere in his heart he might have a will to be MAHATMA - but as i said i can't and i should not comment on that.
But, someone like Osho certainly can - "If a threat to kill another person is wrong , how can the threat to kill oneself be right? If it is wrong for me to make you accept what i say by pointing gun at you, how can it be right if i make you accept the same thing by pointing gun at myself?"

Freedom at midnight

Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins can be considered amongst the best historians this world has ever seen. They research so thoroughly about a part of history that while reading , you can almost see yourself standing in the midst of the incident, you can actually feel the trauma, the tragedy of those times.

'Freedom at Midnight' is one such piece. It is not only beautiful and exceptionally venerable but also highly informative. It is written in the real times with real dialogues, experiences, tragedies, and whatnot. So much of research, so much of pain taken to create this masterpiece that you almost visualise the real times.

Apart from describing independence and partition with great details, the authors have laid a very good attempt at throwing light on some of the major figures who were critically important in that panorama -- Gandhi, Mountbatten, Nehru, Jinnah, Extremists (Savarkar, Godse) to name a few.

Authors have tried to collect the feelings of kings, freedom fighters; politicians, bureaucrats (both English and Indian) and the common man. The narrative describing the plight of partition is really heartening. At times, various elaborations appear exaggerated, but there is no proof that no such thing happened.

A must read for all those who wish to get the idea of the times of partition through various eyes.