Thursday, December 12, 2013

In the Mahatma's image

In the Mahatma’s image
Mandela and Badshah Khan were two apostles of non-violence
who carried forward Gandhi’s legacy
By Ajit Ranade

Both Mandela (L) and Khan displayed a remarkable forgiving nature, especially to their adversaries;
a gentleness perhaps borne of their unwavering conviction in the path of non-violence

Only two non-Indians have been awarded the Bharat Ratna. One of them was Nelson Mandela who passed away at the age of 95. The other was Badshah Khan, also known as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who died on January 20, 1988 at the age of 98. 
There are many parallels in the lives of these two long-lived giants of the twentieth century. The most important one is that both were deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and the principle of non-violence. They both struggled ceaselessly for freedom for their homeland, for which they had to suffer untold hardship. But they never swayed from non-violence. 

They both spent long years in prison. Mandela was in prison for 27 long years from 1962 till 1990, of which many years were in harsh solitary confinement. Badshah Khan spent an even longer 35 years in prison, also many in solitary cells. Surprisingly, and sadly, Khan had to face prison life even after the British had left. He spent 12 years in prison in independent Pakistan facing worse treatment than even the British prisons. He had become a citizen of Pakistan, not entirely by choice, and wanted to lead a constructive Opposition party. 

At the advent of India’s independence, he had wanted a referendum for an independent Pakhtun home land which was never granted. His second choice was to join and be a part of India, which was impractical due to geography. But he chose to live and die on his land, rather than live in exile in India. 

Both Mandela and Khan displayed a remarkable forgiving nature, especially to their adversaries; a gentleness perhaps borne of their unwavering conviction in the path of non-violence. For instance, much after apartheid was dismantled, when Mandela was asked, how come despite facing grave injustice, torture and even murder of his comrades, he did not hate the former white rulers of South Africa? He said, “Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.” Such magnanimity is common to both Mandela and Khan. Khan never bore any ill will toward the British or to his Pakistani captors. 

These parallel in their life stories are not superficial. Just as Mandela was able to prevail over his more militant and violent fellow freedom fighters, so also Khan formed the brigade of Khudai Khidmatgars (servants of God) who were committed to non-violence and satyagraha. The weapons of the Khidmatgars were patience and righteousness, which Khan said, no power in the world could stand against. The Khidmatgars could court arrest, face lathis but would not resort to violence. It is indeed astonishing, that Badshah Khan was an apostle of peace and non-violence, even though he came from the Pakhtun region defined by ethnic conflict and violence. Such was his conviction, that he said “The most important word for a Pakhtun is honour. I will harness this honour, and show that real honour lies in the power of non-violence.” 

In 1931 when offered the presidency of the Indian National Congress, he declined saying that he was an ordinary soldier, a khidmatgar. And his goal was simply freedom for India. 

Of course there were differences in these two life stories. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, whereas Badshah Khan was denied, despite being nominated twice for the prize. Unlike Mandela, who lived to see his dream of a multiracial democracy come true, Badshah Khan met only heartbreaking disappointment. He was against partition and against a theocratic state. Even at his burial attended by thousands, bombs were set off to kill mourners. Afghanistanis today bloodied by war and violence.

 While Khan is virtually unknown and unsung, Mandela leaves a rich and unshakeable legacy of a multiracial and largely peaceful society. Yet we cannot but marvel at these two great warriors of peace of, who used only moral force, and who were living embodiment of Gandhi’s message of non-violence.

Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror, dt. 07.12.2013

Thought For The Day ( CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE )

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Civil Disobedience

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gandhi Journal Article - III

Gandhi's Debt: Family Obligation and the Greater Good

By Thomas Weber 

There is often a dilemma is deciding where an obligation to assist others should be directed. Many insist that “charity begins at home”, while others may agree that it should be aimed at most needy. Gandhi was a member of a joint family who saw their future prosperity linked with his success as a lawyer. Yet eventually Gandhi ceased contributing to the family coffers and put his income at the disposal of the Indian community in South Africa, to the great displeasure of his immediate family. Gandhi justified his actions by adopting a broader than usual definition of family. This came at the cost of alienation from his siblings but it was also at least partially responsible for creating the Mahatma.

Thought For The Day ( MAN )

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Man

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lasting legacy : Nelson Mandela's evolution as a strategic leader

Lasting legacy: Nelson Mandela's evolution as a strategic leader

Nelson Mandela

The life story of Nelson Mandela is well known, and elevated him to the level of such widely recognised heroes as Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. There was indeed much courage, sacrifice, wisdom and nobility in his life -attributes that demand our deep respect and have much to teach us.
What is less well-known is how Mandela evolved into the kind of strategic leader who, from prisons on Robben Island and elsewhere, helped to bring genuine democracy to South Africa. For example, while isolated from his fellow prisoners by force, he steered secret government meetings toward the abolishment of apartheid and free elections. Subsequent to that, he became the country's first democratically elected black president.
Mandela's remarkable story holds valuable lessons for other leaders involved in deep struggles, foremost among which are the importance of holding firm to a morally just vision and the ability to influence a sequence of key strategic decisions over time (decades, in his case) in order to bring about truly remarkable results.
Three decisions especially stand out in Mandela's evolution as a strategic leader. To appreciate these fully, however, we need to understand some of the social and political contexts that shaped his career and values.

Thought For The Day ( NATION )

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Nation

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gandhi Journal Article - II

Gandhi's world of peace
By Balamurali Balaji

Over many centuries, world civilization has witnessed countless instances of warfare, battles, and conflicts duly capable of employing the power of transmuting the human kind into forms what the emperors and rulers had never thought of. There existed peerless and rarest men among the human species who preached and practiced theories of peace that made the human race to evolve into a more enlightened genre living of what he is today on this planet.
Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest apostle of peace the world has seen after Buddha and Christ. His notion of peace is centered on nonviolence, individualism, soul force and forgiveness. At first glance, global peace initiatives might be perceived as far-flung methodologies that have wholly diverged from his ideologies. Many modern researchers and philosophers feel that today's conflicts are far more complex, so as their solutions. Global peace, global citizen, neo-modern trends and global issues have placed Gandhi at the backseat of the global forum.
But, there exists a fundamental correlation of what Gandhi had said and what the world is doing these days to combat violence and bring peace. This paper tries to find the relevance of Gandhi's dictum and how his ideologies can be put in current day’s global peace initiatives. It also traverses through various dimensions of peace one could think of in upholding global peace at micro, individualistic levels.

Thought For The Day ( STRENGTH )

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Strength

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gandhi Journal Article - I

Management minus Jargon
Learning Management & Leadership from the Mahatma's "The Story of My Experiments with Truth"

Mahatma Gandhi is an icon! Business and political leaders have marveled at his monumental achievements in South Africa, India and the world at large.
Mahatma Gandhi exemplifies leadership and managerial capabilities in the most myriad and trying situations. One can take various lessons in Self Management, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Negotiation, Strategy, Economics, Communication, Rural Development, Social Inclusion, Education, Entrepreneurship, Women Empowerment, Law, Ethics and Corporate Governance from his work and methods. 
This article explores some incidents from the autobiography. Being a bestseller, it is readily available in over 40 Indian and foreign languages. This book provides a strong base for the lessons that can be derived from practices of Gandhiji. His life, practices and work of course go way beyond the autobiography.

Thought For The Day ( SPINNING WHEEL )

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Spinning Wheel

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mahatma Gandhi's teachings relevant in modern society: Bali's governor

Mahatma Gandhi's teachings relevant in modern society: Bali's governor

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi is like a candle as he enlightened the world and scarified his own life, the Governor of Bali has said, underlining that the peace icon's teachings are still relevant in modern society. 
"It is important that all of us, including the young children and students, follow the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, and become a good citizen and a good human being," Made Mangku Pastika, Governor of the Province of Bali, said delivering the Second Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture.

Thought For The Day ( TRUTH )

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Truth

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Book Published: Gandhiji's Hind Swaraj

Gandhi's Hind Swaraj
A New Paradigm, Agenda and Programme
New Book Published: Gandhiji's Hind Swaraj

By : L. M. Bhole

Pages : 

Price : 
Rs. 650/-

Published by : 
Shipra Publications, New Delhi, India.
Tel. +91 96500 280 65 | Email: |

About the Book:
The book seeks to contribute to the debate, understanding and exegesis of Hind Swaraj. It presents an in-depth analysis of a number of themes discussed by Mahatma Gandhi. The book shows that Hind Swaraj is a very relevant book even today. In fact, one can say that its relevance has grown over the period of time as the human civilization is reaching its end.

Thought For The Day ( PROMISE )

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Promise