THE MAHATMA AND THE PRACTITIONER
While we vow every year to follow the teachings and the life of the Mahatma, how much we have drifted away from it is not left to anybody’s imagination. His thoughts, quotes and life ignited to act, even physically, at least two generations of Indians, to the ultimate cause of the motherland, on a liberation struggle modus operandi, never practiced across the colonized world. The dissection of his thoughts and major milestones of the freedom struggle have been discussed ad nauseum. *What is to be practiced cannot be isolated thoughts, stray political tools or modalities of liberation struggle or social alleviation strategies. What is to be replicated and practiced is the persona whom Einstein declared, ”Generations to come, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”
What Einstein was referring to is the persona; political, social, intellectual, thinker and above all the practitioner. The totality of it makes him a colossus, who will stand out in the history of mankind for all times to come. What differentiates him from philosophers, thinkers and writers is that all this he added into the skills and expertise of a practitioner. Putting your theory into practice under the unrelenting razor of the colonial power is what should be practiced by us, at least in a small measure, in our free democratic air. The theoretician and the practitioner enmeshed into one, in the most seamless manner and delivering over and over again, and accomplishing the final goal has kept the world awestruck even to this day.
He is the epitome of the theoretician – practitioner model, one feeding into the other and evolving in an iterative manner, to finally show the colonial power the door. How many of us believe in this model? Today, the schism between the theory the country professes and what is practiced would be the widest in its history. And what to say of the political class, technically to which he belonged. His life was a tryst and an experiment with truth. How close can a practitioner be to the truth, which is currently being proven a fallacy, is what he practiced day in and day out. He was a practitioner first and Mahatma next.
The purity of the practitioner made him the Mahatma, the role which has been extolled over and over again and very rightly so. Besides, being the father of the nation, his thoughts would ever remain the guardian of the nation. His practice would be the ever-existing North Star, for the political class and nation. If his well-documented thoughts and nitty gritty of his practice coupled with the Constitution of India, in word and spirit are taken as the gospel truth, and sincere efforts are made to achieve and improve, India still has a chance to be democracy’s guardian for the entire world. Social equity and economic growth would turn out to be natural by products. The stark division between theory, philosophy, envisioned legal mandate and the prevalent practice in a vast majority of areas is killing the nation, no end.
A PRACTISING PHILOSOPHER HAS BEEN THE MAHATMA’S GIFT TO MANKIND.