Wednesday, October 17, 2018 | ePaper

BREAKING NEWS:

Gandhi’s spiritual authority Tarapada Acharjee

  • Print


In a world where the rulers of nations are relying more and more upon brute force and the nations trusting their lives and hopes to systems which represent the very denial of law and brotherhood, Mr Gandhi stands out as an isolated and most impressive figure. He is a ruler obeyed by millions, not because they fear him but because they love him; not as the master of wealth and secret police and machine-guns, but as holding that spiritual authority which, when it once dares to assert itself, seems to reduce almost to impotence the values of the material world. I say “seems”: for against purely material force, untinged by conscience or pity, it would be helpless. It only wins its battles because of its secret appeal to the spiritual element in its enemy, that humane element from which man, in his utmost effort to be brutal, cannot quite shake himself free.
“A battle of the unaided human soul against overwhelming material force; and it ends by the units of material force gradually deserting their own banners and coming round to the side of the soul!”
We cannot, of course, assume that a spiritual authority is always right in its guidance. Its claims and professions can seldom be proved or disproved. It is directed by human beings, who are subject to ordinary human frailties and as liable as other autocrats to be corrupted by power.
But among spiritual rulers, as among rulers in general, Mr Gandhi stands out as almost unique. In the first place, he utters no dogma, no command, only an appeal; he calls to our spirits; he shows what he holds to be the truth, but does not exclude or condemn those who seek the light in some other way.
In the second place, he is unique in his manner of fighting, as was shown best in his fifteen years’ struggle for the rights of Indians in South Africa. He and his followers were repeatedly imprisoned, herded with criminals, treated as sub-human creatures, yet whenever the Government which oppressed him were weak or in trouble, instead of pressing his advantage be turned and helped them. When they were involved in a dangerous war, he organized a special corps of Indian stretcher-bearers to help them; when, in the midst of a non-violent strike by his Indian followers, the Government was suddenly threatened by a revolutionary railway strike, he immediately gave orders for his people to resume work until his opponents should be safe again. No wonder that he won the day. No genuinely human enemy could hold out against that method of fighting.
Thirdly, perhaps the hardest point of all for a leader who is worshipped and idealized by immense multitudes, he never claims to be infallible. I see that at this moment he is calling a pause in his ‘non-co-operation’ campaign, in order that he, as well as his opponents, may wait and think.
The spiritual authority of one unarmed man over great multitudes is in itself wonderful, but when that man not only abjures violence and helps his enemies in their need, but also recognizes his own human fallibility, he claims unanswerably the admiration of the whole world. From a distant country, from a quiet alien civilization, with different views from his on many practical questions, out of the careworn and striving movements of thought in Europe, where the human conscience and intellect seem for the moment to stand helpless under the bludgeons of ignorance and brute force, I gladly give this great man the title his disciples claim for him and hail with reverence ‘Mahatma Gandhi.’

More News For this Category

Where do you feel at home?

Where do you feel at home?

Weekend Plus Desk :Gaius Plinius Secundus, a Roman philosopher better known as Pliny the Elder, once said, “Home is where the heart is.” Almost two thousand years later, it

Cookies around the world you  should definitely try in lifetime

Cookies around the world you should definitely try in lifetime

Weekend Plus Desk :The history of cookies dates back to 7th century Persia, where they were nothing but small testers for cakes used to check oven temperature. Monarchs like

Controlling social media to prevent teenage crime

Controlling social media to prevent teenage crime

Md Atikur Rahman :Bangladesh is the name of a prosperous poverty-stricken country suffering from the present world population. Intentional misuse of Internet, dream of digital Bangladesh and cyber crime

POEMS

Some Flowers                   -M Mizanur RahmanSome flowers are in bloom in my garden While blossoming some And I am stopped on the pathway and then By the sideways they are in

Book Review

Book Review

Legal Stories of Lifeby Omar H KhanPublisher : Legal Counsel, DhakaPrincipal Park : 11/7/G, Free School Street (4th floor)Kathalbagan, Dhaka-1205WWW. legalcounselbd.comDate of Publication : June 2018Layout and Design : ARK

Poet Edgar Allan Poe: A major figure in world literature

Poet Edgar Allan Poe: A major figure in world literature

Literature Desk :Edgar Allan Poe’s 1809-1849 stature as a major figure in world literature is primarily based on his ingenious and profound short stories, poems, and critical theories, which

What your handwriting says about you

What your handwriting says about you

Weekend Plus Desk :We often ignore it, but the way we do things can say a lot about our personality. Going by the science of graphology (handwriting analysis), it

Foreign Aid: A blessing (or a curse) in disguise?

Foreign Aid: A blessing (or a curse) in disguise?

Lutfay Tariq Rahman &  Tanzid Nahid Mustafa Sundrin  :Very recently both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have offered ‘financial aid’ to support Bangladesh with the Rohingya

Treating dandruff to glowing skin: Some uses  of apple  cider vinegar

Treating dandruff to glowing skin: Some uses of apple cider vinegar

Weekend Plus Desk :Apple cider vinegar which comes from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and then fermented has gained popularity over the recent years. However, the history of

Are we wired to sit?

Are we wired to sit?

Weekend Plus Desk :Are we born to be physically lazy? A sophisticated if disconcerting new neurological study suggests that we probably are. It finds that even when people know