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To Each His Own

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” Albert Einstein.

We always believe everyone and everything in the whole universe follows the same rule as each of us. And we believe that the person sitting next to us think like us. Why else would the Bible say God created man in his own image? Because almost all of us are incapable of imagining beyond us. For the same reason we judge others based on our own view of ourselves. We also always imagine aliens having hands and feet, with their brain in their heads which would always be on top of the torso. Now isn’t it possible that the alien may not have a head and instead of a brain, it might have its some other part doing the job, or it may even have each of its body part thinking on its own and coordinating with each other individually. But that is not natural, is it? Because we are not like that.

If we were to accept that aliens would be completely alien to us, not just by location, but also by its thoughts, behavior and body structure, then it might not be so difficult for us to believe that each of us humans are different. We do not think alike, and we have our own quirks, beliefs, gifts and smell. Your dog can recognize it better than you! Unfortunately, we don’t buy that either. Anything we don’t do is strange and not natural. No wonder why families, friends, neighbors, states, nations, religions etc are always clashing. Either as individuals or as a group, we are incapable of accepting anything that is alien to us.

We know Mother Theresa to be a good person and many would wonder at her dedication to charity work, because that kind of dedication it is beyond a normal human. But since she lived in the same era as us, we believe it. Unfortunately, the next generation will not be able to believe that she was such a saint. They would point out to her words of self-doubt to claim she was not such a great person.

Still in denial? Take the case of Gandhi. I find many of his doctrines to be very intellectual and lofty. Most of them would not make sense to a normal man, and even if it made sense, we would still want to deny it, because they go against all natural instincts. A person who has heard of Gandhi, or read about him will not be able to believe most of it, and since he wants to find proof that Gandhi was not a hero, he will find that proof.

I am not here to put Gandhi on a pedestal, nor am I here to tarnish the image of other heroes. I am sure that the Congress party had down played the part of many freedom fighters if they did not fit the image of the party. A “non-violent” party of the people. And of course, as far as the party was concerned Gandhi was the hero of the nation and the party did all it could to create an image that said party of Gandhi. Don’t be surprised if the history books of the future says that the party made Gandhi instead of vice-versa.

Gandhi was a frail and weak man, but with the will power beyond most other people. There were millions of other freedom fighters who did their part for the country without thinking of themselves. The universal respect that is showered on Gandhi is often mistaken. We think it is for freeing the people of India. Gandhi did not free the people of India. He brought together the people of India together long enough for us to free ourselves. Do you really believe British feared Gandhi as a person? It is his ability to bring the people of India that put the fear in the British.

Gandhi was, for those of his time, just like Sachin Tendulkar is to us. There are those who love him, and those who love to hate him, but his ability to bring Indians together is something that everyone respects.

Last but not the least; a person who is respected not only by the people of his nation, but also by a vast majority of the world has been dead for years. Does it make any sense to malign his image? Does it make any sense to destroy a person who should be a role model for many children? Do you want the future generations to be hot blooded? With the kind of neighbors we have, that could only lead to frequent wars.

Let each of us have our own believes, and our own heroes without which we would be quite lost.

This post is in response to:
Mohandas Crapchand Gandhi

About Sunil J

I write ideas that strike me, sometimes just to remember them later, and just once in a while, you might find something useful. :-)

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