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did India move away from Gandhism?

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Polki_Zofi

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Polki_Zofi

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 8:18am | IP Logged
The nonsectarian and nonviolent teachings of Gandhi seem to be sidelined in India nowadays. He had another great quality of sacrifice and humble living. He taught people to be content.
 
Since learning about India closely, I felt that a growing segment of people wish to disregard his values and wish to follow a more materialistic life. Is it really something that ever helped this nation?
 
In Europe still some children think of India as a country of elephants and monkeys with many jungles and tigers Smile, so did I once (there is Tajmahal too!). If there is anything beyond that, in school we come across Gandhi. Gandhi is a great figure outside of India, but do you Indians think he is equally revered inside India by its new generation? Does this help India and its evolving culture and values?
 
I certainly doubt it. But my knowledge of India is still confined to one visit only, and I met people within my extended family mostly, with some of my husband's friends from outside the family Smile. Indian women still have not much respect and it is my personal perception, they also remain malnourished. This is something Gandhi wanted to abolish too I think, he wanted a simple yet content life for the Indians.
 
I wish India was like I once imagined, it was so exotic.Embarrassed

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 8:43am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Polki_Zofi

The nonsectarian and nonviolent teachings of Gandhi seem to be sidelined in India nowadays. He had another great quality of sacrifice and humble living. He taught people to be content.
 
Since learning about India closely, I felt that a growing segment of people wish to disregard his values and wish to follow a more materialistic life. Is it really something that ever helped this nation?
 
In Europe still some children think of India as a country of elephants and monkeys with many jungles and tigers Smile, so did I once (there is Tajmahal too!). If there is anything beyond that, in school we come across Gandhi. Gandhi is a great figure outside of India, but do you Indians think he is equally revered inside India by its new generation? Does this help India and its evolving culture and values?
 
I certainly doubt it. But my knowledge of India is still confined to one visit only, and I met people within my extended family mostly, with some of my husband's friends from outside the family Smile. Indian women still have not much respect and it is my personal perception, they also remain malnourished. This is something Gandhi wanted to abolish too I think, he wanted a simple yet content life for the Indians.
 
I wish India was like I once imagined, it was so exotic.Embarrassed
 
 
I think this must be 5th or 6th time I have seen you mentioning India as land of elephants and monkeys lol. I might be wrong.
 
On Mahatma Gandhi, I agree with you. For example in Pakistan you will rarely find anyone speaking against father of our Nation Muhammad Ali Jinnnah. You can be a urdu speaker, punjabi, sindhi, baloch or pathan but if there is one thing they agree on its respect for the founder. I had same impression of Gandhi. I was impressed by the title Indians and others gave to him i.e. Mahatma meaning great soul. Then I read all those articles making him one of the greatest leaders of all time.
 
Then I come here on India Forum where own countrymen have issues and don't consider him as good and many even make fun of him. What I don't know is why? What is the motivation? Was it because he was soft? Did he cheat anyone? Did he favor any group that you dont like? I dont get it. If you have so many issues then dont give him such titles. Do a referendum and remove him from that status.
 
Thats my honest take.

return_to_hades

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 9:13am | IP Logged

Gandhi is a very important figure in Indian history. He is after all dubbed "Father of the Nation". However, Gandhi is just one Indian leaders amidst hundreds. Moreover, he represents just a few years in centuries of Indian history. So to center a perception of India around Gandhi is a big mistake.  As time moves on, history fades in the background and historical figures become less revered and less important. Time has moved on in India. While people still respect Gandhi his reverence has faded. People want to give all our freedom fighters their due and not just center it around Gandhi. Our freedom was a collective effort and not granted by one man. People also don't think Gandhi was infallible and think he made several mistakes and poor judgment calls, like any other human in history. Most importantly, the Gandhi concept of non-violence is a very difficult concept for most humans to follow and agree with.  While most Indians do subscribe to civil disobedience and non-violence, they don't see it the way Gandhi did. They are more agitated, passionate and angry.

 

Ugh! I won't delve into how much we Indians hate people perceiving us as exotic objects. I once met a person who saw me in jeans and t-shirt looking like an everyday American and was disappointed. She expected me to be more colorful and exotic. Personally, I find that perception very narrow minded and insulting. We are human beings just like anyone else on earth, not exotic creatures.

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 9:41am | IP Logged
What I have been reading about Mahatma Gandhi here is troubling (there was another topic before where people involved personal life also). It took 60 years to realize that there are other leaders equally important?
 
Or is it something that Polki is referring to? Is it possible that many Indians are ashamed of him and his message of non-violence? Is it because they think okay we will be labelled as sofites by following Gandhi? Is it that extremist behavior is increasing among Indians? Is it insecurity? Is it politics of regionalism? There has to be some explanation besides sudden realization of other leaders lol. It is you who gave him that status and rest of the world acknowledged. Now when you will act in this manner people like me will ask questions.
 
Please do not get me wrong. All I want is clarity on this issue. I don't think Jinnah was greatest of them all. However the respect is there. Hope all are getting my point. I am not doing any comparision here.


Edited by King-Anu - 05 October 2012 at 9:48am

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Polki_Zofi

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 10:46am | IP Logged
King-Anu, I cannot remove myself from the dissappointment I received when I discovered that no elephant or monkey were common sights in India Broken Heart, whether you like it or not it broke my heart Tongue. But on a serious note, I mention it because I had a perception about this place like I had about Africa Big smile ... it changed and I realize the truth and respect it. But it is as it is, what to do Approve
 
return_to_hades, Gandhi taught nonviolence and religious harmony to people not only in India but to the world. He taught contentment, sacrifice and nonsectarianism can make people strong and not weak. I respect him because when one sees him, he starts respecting everything about him and India is a part of it I think. Although as he is the father of nation of India we end us making him part of India I think, rather maybe it should be opposite?
 
My perception of exotic is not confined to me. Many from the world feel the same about other nations. I have met an Arab in our university who thought every white girl in Poland was interested to get in bed with him or drink drums of vodka and dance. He was shocked to find Poland a devout Catholic country.
 
In India there is a perception that a white girl must be an American. I was asked the same in my husband's native village in Uttar Pradash and I was unable to convince some people (poor and not educated) that I was actually European.
 
What is wrong in your colorful dress? I have a few pairs myself and I liked to wear it while in India. I am not comfortable in saree as I never wore it (just twice in India). It is your national dress so people expect to see you and feel that they saw a little more of this world. There is nothing wrong in that.
 
You have contempt in your culture? I hope not. Then do you feel sick of people who want to see or know your culture a bit? There are people who never visited India or know too much, so they imagine a little. Is that wrong? I dont know why you feel so bad Broken Heart
 
Many country have one central uniting figure, and ours are three "Lech, Cech, and Rus". In all of Poland, none will say something against them. You can test Wink. Central figures are revered. Was Gandhi so old in history? You can have many freedom leaders, but there is always one on whom everyone must look up to. You think other nations got freedom due to only one man or woman in action?

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 11:42am | IP Logged

@Polki Zoki I was born and raised in Bombay. I've known jeans/shorts and tees my entire life. India is not merely the land of elephants and tigers. There is a whole urban educated India that is just like any other city in the world. I'm not insecure nor am I ashamed of my culture. I am more than happy to share it with people who want to learn more about India, its history and traditions. But the fact also is that we are not a zoo or safari for entertainment. Our history and culture is personal, not for exotic indulgences of foreigners. It insulting also insulting when people are shocked that Indians speak English, can assimilate easily in western cultures it is clear that some still see India as some ancient exotic land of elephants and tigers.  I'm not always offended when people have stereotypes or assumptions about India. Sometimes I know people are genuine, and discuss things with them. Other times I know they are just pretentious pricks like to pretend they are worldly wise.

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 12:21pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Polki_Zofi

King-Anu, I cannot remove myself from the dissappointment I received when I discovered that no elephant or monkey were common sights in India Broken Heart, whether you like it or not it broke my heart Tongue. But on a serious note, I mention it because I had a perception about this place like I had about Africa Big smile ... it changed and I realize the truth and respect it. But it is as it is, what to do Approve
 
 
It all has to do with long term memory being encoded relatively. You must have seen some movie where India was shown in such a manner and that became a memory about India. The context of the movie must have been elephants/monkeys romaing around/Taj Mahal (i remember Indian Jones was like that) and that got associated with India. For many years that was there until you decided to visit the place.
 
We all have such notions about country we have not visited. I think of Africa as a jungle with animals romaing around however I am sure its not like that. At one time I thought of Germany as Hitler type extreme people. These days many think of Pakistanis as extremist also with Talibans romaing around. Anywyay


Edited by King-Anu - 05 October 2012 at 12:28pm

Polki_Zofi

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Posted: 05 October 2012 at 12:37pm | IP Logged
return_to_hades, I didnt mean to hurt anyone. Dont be hurt please.
 
King_anu, you make a very good point. I had a map of India in school and there was money and elephant drawn on it. The elephant was so cute. These days the same map is there for children. For Japan there is the picture of rising sun I think, etc. But my impression came from a Russian Telenovela which showed an Indian soldier with turban speaking of his country with such things.
 
I would like to visit Pakistan too, I am sure no such taliban are everywhere. I came to India only due to my husband and in laws in there. Since my childhood I never thought or investigated about India, so I remained with that same old image forever. Maybe if I investigated or had more personal interest in the country then I would know more before I visited it Smile.

This is the first book my son will read when he grow up a little more :
I loved this book and the movie of it too.
 
 
The point was about Gandhi and India. If I am not mistaken, Pakistan is also greater India and another country Bangladesh. You all are ethnically Indian right? Forgive me if I am wrong.


Edited by Polki_Zofi - 05 October 2012 at 12:50pm

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