Mahatma Gandhi aka Bapu…PRESENTE!!

Today I reflect on the life of Mahatma Gandhi as the world remembers this amazing soul on his 64th death anniversary. In an ideal world, January 30, 2012 would have been a global day of non violent demonstrations against U.S. Corporations and Financial Institutions who have benefited from our current recession. People would have been on the streets spreading Gandhi’s message of non-violence and non-cooperation. People would have shut down banks and corporations, and engage in dialogues via popular assemblies, neighborhood gatherings or townhall meetings. The people would have been sending one clear message to the world: 2012: A People’s Revolution. It is a message that our generation has an obligation to fulfill. If last year was an awakening then this year must be a call to action. May we be inspired by Gandhi’s political tactics of non-violence and non-cooperation to raise the conscious of the masses. It is only by a mass social justice movement that the people will rise to bring about the change that we so desperately need in our world.

I can’t think of a better way to honor Gandhi than to continue dedicating myself to the non violent struggle for a better world.
Here are some of my favorite quotes by Gandhi taken from the book, Quotes of Gandhi, compile by Shalu Bhalla.
1. My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him.
2. Democracy must in essence, therefore, mean the art and science of mobilising the entire physical, economic and spiritual resources of all the various sections of the people in the service of the common good of all.
3. A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
4. Ill-digested principles are, if anything, worse than ill-digested food, for the latter harms the body and there is cure for it, whereas the former ruins the soul and there is no cure for it.
5. To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse than starving the body, it is starvation of the soul the dweller in the body.
6. The greater the institution, the greater the chances of abuse. Democracy is a great institution and therefore is is liable to be greatly abused. The remedy therefore is not avoidance of democracy but reduction of the possibility of abuse to a minimum.
7. Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or lordliness. It consists in daring to do the right and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds, not in words.
8. Non-violence and cowardice are contradictory terms. Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. Non-violence springs from love, cowardice from hate. Non-violence always suffers, cowardice would always inflict suffering. Perfect non-violence is the highest bravery. Non-violent conduct is never demoralising, cowardice always is.
9. Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.
10. Non-cooperation is directed not against men but against measures. It is not directed against the Governors, but against the system they administer. The roots of non-cooperation lie not in hatred but in justice, if not in love.
Mahatma Gandhi…PRESENTE!!
I took these pictures when I visited New Delhi, India.

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