Thoughts on Gandhi Jayanti

Postcard of 1955

Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much, recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him.

Mahatma Gandhi

These words are probably more relevant today than they were some 60-odd years ago, when Gandhi said them. There is wasteful expenditure on unnecessary development and infrastructure. The millions who are still in poverty and deprivation do not figure in the plans. And of course, nature and the environment are irrelevant. The scare that Covid has given the world has been inadequate to make the government and its agencies review its growth policies. It’s now left to the citizens to stand up and push for what is right.

Coming to this postcard. It was sent from a sister in Madras (one of my aunts) to her brother in Bangalore in January 1955, reaching in two days.

In it, the sister writes that she was to send her little sister back to Bangalore, but her husband and uncle were not comfortable sending the girl by herself. She informs the brother that the little sister would be travelling with others later in the week. So protective, and understandably so. It’s a crazy world out there.

Context: Hatras rape case, September 2020
(Picture received as a Whatsapp forward)

It’s been the same story repeating many times, year after year, and one wonders when things are really going to change enough to make an impactful difference. But, we have to be hopeful.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Mahatma Gandhi


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