By Charudutta Panigrahi
“Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”.. Einstein
India’s Father is a superhuman and super-soul, a maha atma. The Father of a nation which has experienced and witnessed eons of civilisations, regimes of erudite rulers, pantheons of sages and saints, assemblage of Gods & Goddesses and limitless blessings from spiritual benedictions, has to be a human and yet much above. It is the highest pedestal and obviously fraught with insecurities. But the Father of my country know no securities or insecurities because he had no-thing.
Steering a country ravaged by loots and pillages, vanquished under years of tyrannical fiefdom and reeling with illiteracy, poverty and inequality needed the Mahatma to march behind and find light. I can’t imagine a pre or post 1947 without the Mahatma. He fought the depraved with the deprived, the most sophisticated with the most marginalised, even without fighting. His scheme of a fight followed his preparation of his army with higher human traits. Armies make soldiers and garrisons impenetrable, he made human beings invincible. Till Mahatma, no one could dare to even imagine such a transformation, leave aside working on each individual like he did, of a country of India’s diversity, scale and innumerable peculiarities. Every individual responded to the magician who prescribed a path which was difficult, uncharted and supposedly without a quid pro quo. A mass movement, without violence and facing tyranny of worst form, and galvanised at the call of this frail man with nothing and not even clothes to cover him was an orison for the entire nation and the world. Humanity needed to be reminded of humanity, the purpose of humanity and Mahatma was the God send with the Mission.
In my ancestral house, the room where he had spent time has been cordoned off and is the house temple over the years. I am sure in many houses in our country Mahatma is an incarnation. An ‘incarnation’ because I believe that he was the rare human walking on earth who was the embodiment of the greatest tenet of life – As Within, So Without, As above – As in Heaven – (Your own mind) So below – So on Earth – (In your body and environment). In Tibet, in Egypt, they say, ‘As above, so below.’ Zen says, ‘As within, so without.’ Completely in public life, he had no duplicity in any facet of his life. What we saw was what we got. He made his mind a beautiful servant and never allowed it to be a dangerous master.
Father of my nation was never a split man. He decided on the last mile campaigns, travelled to the last house in the villages and campaigned against foreign rule with arduous campaigns – the non-cooperation movement, civil disobedience, or the Champaran movement. Never once was he irresolute or unsure. The Father of my nation was unperturbed even in the face of detractors in his own party. So true was he to himself and to others that millions, at his call lay bare their bodies, allowing to be hurt and to be humiliated in public. Because he had transformed these men and women from within. That is why he is Maha Atma. No army in this world can defeat a human who is true. They could not.
Centuries of conditioning, had made a common Indian, a crowd — divided, split, contradictory. There was inner chaos. One part went one way, the other part went in just the diametrically opposite way and it was almost impossible to keep oneself together. He helped re-engineer India. He helped put the individuality together in people, who were divided by cabals of politics. From daily habits, diet to morality, education and rural economy the Maha Atma was the saint who practised. He was walking and living with Indians in every part of the country. He was the walking talking Supreme. The world was stupefied.
So undivided and integrated was he that on Independence day he was at Kolkata facing toxic communal riots and helping stitch the cracks of disharmony. The Father was concerned about his children and not about power politics. Who could have stopped Maha Atma from taking the highest position of power and rule in the country? Only he himself.
On this day let’s hope to see more centred human beings in all of us, away from chicanery and greed. Consumerism in life has almost swallowed us but let us look at his life once and be proud that we are his children.
Mahatma Gandhi has to be omnipresent and India can certainly achieve $5 Trillion economy. We need not be inhumane for he had shown to the world that
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.