Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Birthday India

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”- Albert Einstein, referring to Mahatma Gandhi.

While reading the India Independence Day issue of the SpiceJet In Flight magazine this weekend, I was disappointed to see that in their list of India’s heroes, they had managed to overlook Gandhi. They wrote him off by saying that ‘Everyone knows about heroes such as Gandhi’ and subsequently described several revolutionaries who blew things up.

Recognizing that many of the American revolutionaries also blew things up, I’m willing to accept that every independent nation prides itself on the people who brought about its freedom, no matter what their methods. However, particularly after my recent experiences and on the 60th anniversary of India's final goodbye to Britain, I think that what India can be most proud of is its most famous son who, like so few, was able to bring about change not though force, pain, fear, or suffering, but through goodness and bringing hope that change can be made through goodness. I can only hope that if America had a revolutionary son who brought about as much change as Gandhi did through entirely peaceful methods, that we would revere and respect him as much as Gandhi deserves to be revered and respected. His is a message that I hope modern India does not overlook, for they are at a turning point, as is the rest of the world, and the right choices need to be made.

Here’s a little of Gandhi’s wisdom:

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems”

“The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives”

“Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it”

“Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause”

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

“What do I think of Western civilisation? I think it would be a very good idea.”

Google Indian Independence Decorations in the cafe - this is an outline of India with the Indian flag filling in, made entirely of flowers & leaves

A birthday card for India

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