The “Apostle of Peace”

The world today is facing a great moral and spiritual crisis. Values have vanished. Hanging high on our heads are sins with no means of atonement. The hatred in our hearts is so strong, so deep-rooted and so hot that the boiling cauldron is explosing. The result is war when what humanity needs is peace. The result is hatred when humanity needs love, the result is bullets when humanity needs food. People who can pray are praying, people who can persuade are persuading, people who can meditate are meditating, each contributing in their own way.
    On the occasion of the birthday of Mohandas K Gandhi, the Mahatma, and remembering this person who came to Mauritius and to whom the world is paying homage, and on whom Dr Ramgoolam will be speaking in the most awaited memorial lecture in England,  I find it extremely appropriate to bring my humble contribution towards peace by projecting here an image of the one who was called the “Apostle of Peace”.
    This God-fearing half-naked fakir who dominated the world for some decades would have been able to stop this impending war had he not been shot by a fanatic. Good souls do, or are made to leave early. As a farewell to all readers of his autobiography “My experiments with truth” he wrote “Join with me in a prayer, to God that he may grant us the boon of ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) in mind word and deed.
 Unfortunately the present day motto of the modern man is proving to be ‘Himsa’ (Violent) in word, mind and deed.
    In these days of terror and sufferings, if you are humble, if you stick to ideals of ‘Ahimsa’ and believe in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, you are labelled as unpatriotic. But Mahatma Gandhi was most patriotic and peace was his walking stick!
    Mahatma Gandhi was a pious soul in the midst of the hypocrisy that surrounded him, he believed in “living like the lotus, born in slush but away from it, always looking upwards towards the Supreme Being who is watching from above how we deal with the slush”.
    Gandhi ji agreed that as a matter of fact we are all helpless mortals caught in the conflagration of violence and the saying that “life lives on life” had a deep meaning in it. Man cannot for a moment live without consciously or unconsciously committing outward Himsa, that is violence but a votary of non-violence will remain true to his faith if the spring of all his actions is compassion. Do not destroy, do not be deadly, do not be wicked, do not injure so that when finally you stand in front of the maker, the one and only God, you are guilt-free.
    What would have been his message if he was here? “Renew your alliance with Gods”. Educate the masses for education eliminate fanaticism, the educated will never be a fanatic, he would have said. He would have found non-violent ways to deal with the growing waywardness. He would have asked the whole world to pray. God is not the property of any one country.
‘Mahatma Gandhi is no more’, we think, as pessimism and fatalism slip in our entrails. But it is in times of upheavals and crisis that wisdom and humanity emerge. So many Gandhis can be born again. We only wish the Ministry of Arts and Culture or the Ministry of Education could bring Gandhi to our schools through some well devised projects.
What a better way to celebrate his birthday!