Oct 2, 2019…the Nation celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of a person, difficult to describe in terms reserved for ordinary mortals. An extraordinary person – a politician, saint, philosopher, nationalist, humanist, thinker, strategic visionary and a humble humanist…all this and much more. How do you even get to celebrate him and his message? Most of us choose the easy way out – garland his photo/statute, give long speeches, talk about Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satya (truth), distribute sweets and the go on with our daily lives. Little are we realising that we have reduced him into a ritualistic symbol bereft of the attempt to understand and live his message. His message of Truth and non-violence is much more relevant in today’s times that it possibly during his life time. And the best way for us to celebrate him and his message will be to build a society which is inclusive, tolerant, with no discrimination of any kind, built on the foundations of trust, fairness & justice and that which celebrates diversity and dialogue. Hopefully, we will begin by going beyond the sloganeering and get down to the serious business of ‘Being the Change that we want to see’.
Find the audio of the recording of my musings in Kannada on Janadhwani, the community radio station operated by team SVYM.