The Taj Mahal and Mahatma Gandhiji are India’s two gifts to mankind. On the 30th of January, 2012, we mark the death anniversary of the latter and remember that gift. It is poignant to recall what heartbroken Nehru, while holding back tears, said 64 years ago on AIR (All India Radio) after the champion of non-violence was gunned down:
The light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. I do not quite know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of our nation, is no more.
Since his murder, the light has also gone out of the lives of many of our family members due to violence—the practice Gandhiji vehemently opposed. Just a few days ago (January 21), in the state of Jharkhand, 13 policemen were blown up in a landmine explosion triggered by, what was presumed to be, the Maoist faction of the communist party of India. There are many extremists groups in India, and their aim is to achieve their goals at any cost, including indiscriminately and cruelly killing humans. There are no states in India that are unaffected by violence.
A life is no longer priceless in our land. The lack of love and respect for life is evident. But it should not be so, said Gandhiji. He taught Britishers that their acts of massacre on unarmed Indians in the holy Sikh city of Amritsar was unnecessary and inhumane; that their belief that they were a master race born to rule inferior people, as we were then called, had no basis. He drove them out of our country without firing a single shot or killing anyone. Let us hope that we can apply his lessons to end violence in our country.
Gandhiji showed us that love, truth, and non-violence have more power than bombs, guns, and knives. He was an ideal leader, and his ideas were (still are) ideal for solving our problems.