“I’ll be back!”
Well, move over Arnie, Gandhi is back in international mindspace. Wow! Gandhigiri tops the list of Hot Trends in 2006 in India. Gandhi beats Sensex, xbox 360, Nach Baliye, FIFA World Cup, iPod, Blogging, FM Radio etc. to get to the top as the hottest idea of 2006.
Courses in Universities, Gandhi Topis, Quiz Contest, People Practising Gandhigiri, Increased Sale of Gandhian Books, Cover Stories in Leading Magazines – all are the proof of renewed interest in Gandhi.
Well, I am not surprised. I recollect an incident which took place nearly a decade ago in my life.
Once we had session in our college on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, an amazing book by Stephen Covey. After an interesting and effective presentation, I asked the trainer the following question : Why is that Indians are forgetting Gandhi while West is rediscovering Gandhi? He was both surprised and impressed to see a young college lad being interested in Gandhi. He could also understand my concern on the cool trend of criticizing Gandhi without understanding him.
He smiled and answered me through one simple quote from T S Eliot. The quote was:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
~ T S Eliot, Four Quartlets
Indians are just discovering West and exploring it. They will soon realize importance of Gandhi when they will come back home after the Western Trip.
Tons and tons of pages have been written about how Lage Raho Munnabhai brought Gandhi back in Indian hearts and minds. Now we have people organizing constructive programs on Gandhi and colleges starting courses on Gandhigiri. TV shows debate more about Gandhi than Rakhi Sawant.
The fact is Gandhi can never be ignored. Gandhi is not ephemeral. Gandhi is timeless. Gandhi is the soul of world.