Monday, October 02, 2006

Fasting and Gandhi

Today (2nd October) is the 137th birth anniversary of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, one of the greatest leaders of the Indian sub-continent. It is interesting to note how Gandhi used fasting as an effective strategy for his 'Satyagraha' or 'Protest with Truth' campaign in India.

Gandhi considered fasting as an important tool for exerting mental control over the biological activities. He believed that fasting would also put the body through unusual hardship which in turn would cleanse the spirit, by stimulating the courage to withstand all impulses and pain.

Gandhi fasted to death on three occasions:
  1. To stop all revolutionary activities after the Chauri Chaura Incident of 1922;
  2. Against the 1934 communal award giving separate electorates to Untouchable Hindus; and
  3. In 1947, when he wanted to stop the bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims in Bengal and Delhi.
In all three cases, Gandhi succeeded in achieving his aims.

On his birth anniversay, it is perhaps fitting to remember some of his words on non-violence which we have forgotten today:

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".

... and perhaps the best one:

"There are many causes that I am prepared to die for, but no cause that I am prepared to kill for!".

More information on Gandhi is available here.


Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

You are one of my fav contributorso n this blog. Keep those posts coming. Gandhi has inspired so many people and what a fitting way to remember him today. Thank you.

Lirun said...

nice post..

he deserves to be remembered every day as far as i am concerned.. a lot of bloggers sign off with his sayings..

loving it!

Destitute Rebel said...

Great post Abrahim. Gandhi achived a lot through his determination and message of peace. His ways of dealing with his opressors humbeled even them. I wish we had more leaders who thought the same way.

Abrahim said...

I daresay it requires more courage to adopt non-violence than to use it. Fasting is a perfect example; its more diffcult to give up, isn't it?

Thanks SS and Lirun. we need to remember him and others like him, not only on spcial days but everyday.

DR, Gandhi also said "Be the change that you want to see in this world". Maybe instead of hoping for better leaders, we can BE them!

Destitute Rebel said...

abrahim, exactly my thinking.