Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In Bapu’s (Gandhiji's) words.
The text in this image from a display at Mani Bhavan reads-
“And now we will be able to think of the idea of Swaraj (or freedom) in some time.I still have to reply to that question you asked me, I haven’t forgotten. But let’s look at your last question. The British have not taken Hindustan, we have granted it to them. They have not survived in Hindustan because of their might, but because we have allowed them to. Let us see how. Let me remind you that they first came to our country to trade, to do business. Remember the Bahadurs of the Company? Who made them Bahadurs? Those poor people had no intention of ruling. Who helped the people of the company? Who was influenced by their gold? Who helped sell their goods? History proves that above all, we value getting wealthy quickly…”

62 years on. What has changed?
A young child, not more than 7 years old, holding a 2 year baby, tugged at my hand for money. To buy thumbs up, she said, happy to settle for a packet of glucose biscuits.
What has changed for her?
I was quiet this Independence day.


Nimh Sellers said...

There was a small celebration at a nearby park here. They dressed in their nicer sarees and flew small handmade kites and yet, it all seemed rather subdued for an Indian celebration.


AmitL said...

Sighh!!You're so right!What has changed,really?Would any of today's politicians pass Bapu's test of honesty and integrity?The young child reminds me of the kid who tugged by sleeve once when I landed in Bombay(Before I began landing in Abad)- he said' give me a Dirham,saab'-I asked why a dirham?He said'I'll buy dinner for my family'..since a dirham is hardly 12 Rs,I was wondering how he'd buy dinner for his family with it?
Just strengthens my resolve to do something further beyond the child we sponsor for World Vision,each yr.

Arunima said...

"History proves that above all, we value getting wealthy quickly…”


norrbu said...

A lot has changed Austere di. India is unified and growing rapidly --

PQ said...

True it hasn't changed much...I've always felt it will change though...if we try

austere said...

Yes, I should not be as pessimistic. For the first time you have people coming ahead voluntarily for govt service- Mr Nilekani, Mr Narayanmurty. Good things can come out of this.

Noorbu- more could have been done, so much of wastage in the system...

Arunima- He was a sharp man!

Amitl- heart rending. And so I boil when ppl talk abt having to cut the latte starbucks.

nimh- yes, maybe the economy and the swine flu?

quin browne said...

it makes me re-think what is and isn't important.

what has changed for that child remains a good question.

sadly, we have no answers.

austere said...

quin- so sad. and we could have done muh much more.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

am a huge fan of gandhi. i used to visit mai bhavan as often as i could while in mumbai - and feel distressed at the way some of the rooms were maintained - like godowns!
the architects out our nation byepassed gandhi & gandhiism in the dispensation that followed independece. We have begun to pay for it.
i think youngsters should start a movement for the revival of gandhiism.