Monday, October 02, 2006

0 I Think of Africa Today..

Today is Yom Kippur.

Today is also Gandhi Jayanthi, the birthday of the great non-violent freedom father of India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Throughout my schooling life, we have been taught a great deal about this man, but never could we focus on the essence of his philosphy - the driving force of this man, his mind. In our country of over 1 billion today, where talk of bollywood films and songs are on everyone's lips, clash between mryaid political parties are numerous, elections are mundane, and communal violence is the talk of the day, it is easy to forget our roots and miss the memory of a man behind our very freedom from imperialistic rule.

I'm very proud of the fact that my country is part of the Non-Aligned Movement. We are living in an era of great Power conflicts where countries team up to war each other on the global battleground. A nuclear war is imminent. It is a question of when, not how. In such times, India is not talked about in conflicts in today's news. It is a big country, with great numbers of people, and with lots of responsibility. Due to the nature of her own freedom struggles, she recognizes the struggles of people fighting for independance all over the world. So, we do not side with team A or Team B in a global conflict. We are independant, non-violent. We carve a different path in World politics today.

In the online book 'The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi', there is a particular quote of Gandhi's that I really like :

On India rests the burden of pointing the way to all the exploited races of the earth. She won’t be able to bear that burden today if non-violence does not permeate her more than [it does] today. I have been trying to fit ourselves for that mission by giving a wider bend to our struggle. India will become a torch-bearer to the oppressed and exploited races only if she can vindicate the principle of non-violence in her own case, not jettison it as soon as independence of foreign control is achieved.

A truly independent Free India is bound to run to the help of its neighbours in distress, for instance, Afghanistan, Ceylon and Burma. The rule also applies to the neighbours of these three and thus by implication they become India’s neighbours too. And thus, if individual sacrifice is a living sacrifice, it embraces the whole of humanity.

If India fails, Asia dies. It has been aptly called the nursery of many blended cultures and civilizations. Let India be and remain the hope of all the exploited race of the world.

Gandhi having said that years ago, I hope we as a nation, whose freedom was carved out by the great ideas of a great man, transcends selfish struggles on its own soils and looks forward to the struggles of its own people, and others internationally,say in Africa, particularly Sudan (visit the Darfur genocide page and you'll be shocked), Rwanda, Congo etc, where thousands of people are murdered horribly,economies are in shambles and people die of malnutrition everyday.

Africa is the face of flora, fauna, landscapes, species and sheer beauty of nature unlike anywhere else, but it is sadly, also the face of misery. People equivalent to the populations of Ireland are losing their lives every year. These are among the poorest of the poor.

The future of Africa can be a nightmare if the world doesn't shoulder its struggles and help them unconditionally. Its easy for me to sit here and rant about such things, but I guess you're not human enough if you aren't disturbed by the images on T.V or articles from top correspondents in magazines, where pictures of poverty,destruction and death litter pages.

Let's all wake up.


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