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The Suburbanite
  • Charita Goshay: Gandhi’s example still needed today

  • Today marks the 65th anniversary of the assassination of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the little man who conquered a gigantic empire through nonviolent resistance.

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  • How do you know when you’ve made a contribution to the world? When your words transcend time.
    When your wisdom is needed as much today as when you first dispensed it.
    When life has been made better for people you’ll never meet because you permitted your own life to become the keystone for a greater good.
    Today marks the 65th anniversary of the assassination of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the little man who conquered a gigantic empire through nonviolent resistance.
    His life and work remain the standard for effective and lasting change. His humility is a stark and enduring contrast to the shouting heads, demagogues and bomb throwers who currently crowd the stage.
    Because he chose to ignore the man-made barriers built from religion and politics, and because he dared to speak out on behalf of the disenfranchised, Gandhi was regarded as a dangerous man.
    The world could use more dangerous people.
    GLARING INEQUITIES
    In India, the recent case of a woman who was gang-raped and murdered and the bumbling response of law enforcement and government officials has effectively unraveled the argument that India is ready to take its place as a world leader.
    The death of a powerless young woman has peeled back that continent’s glaring inequities and its treatment of women and the poor.
    India needs dangerous people who will put an end to what clearly, up to now, has been acceptable behavior.
    Dangerous people are needed in places where those who view themselves as more advanced ignore their own injustices.
    Because he implicitly understood the nature of faith, Gandhi was not tempted to use it as a means to divide, then conquer. After all, religion had been used to support the belief that Indians were inferior and were therefore better off living under British rule.
    TRUTH IS TRUTH
    It prompted Gandhi to note: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    Calling love “the prerogative of the brave,” Gandhi understood that faith was not something to be practiced but rather lived.
    How ironic that religious fanaticism cost him his life.
    But the lesson of Gandhi was not lost on those who embraced his philosophy and, in turn, changed the world, among them, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Aung San Suu Kyi and Ai Weiwei.
    Such living is not for the squeamish or the weak. Prophets have never been welcome in this world, and those who dare to take on the mantle suffer greatly for it.
    But time brings understanding. Mohandas K. Gandhi has prevailed, even over his own death, all because he held faith in the immutability of right. “Even if you are minority of one,” he said, “the truth is the truth.”