G a n d h i

THE INVERTED TREE
a s h o k a a t e r y a

1

Copy right © Ashok Aatreya All right reserved 2 October 2010

Procesed at : Shubham Computer , Jaipur. Printed at Balaji Printers, Jaipur-302018 04
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Gandhi
THE INVERTED TREE

A

L O

N G

P O E M

B Y

ASHOK AATREYA

THREE CHAIRS
Three Chairs Publisher’s Distributors D-38,39, Dev Nagar, Tonk Road, Jaipur Contact No. : 0141-2707555, Mob. 9828403226

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4

‘Salute my father salute V..n..d..e..Bapu..! Rashtrapita !! The father of nation
5

Salute to your mother Salute to the mother earth, Who gifted the most wonderful child
6

Never born earlier And would never come again As he was not an incarnation But the son of the soil
7

Salute to those who stood with him Against the most dreadful times And kept alive the fire to fight the darkness
8

Salute to those who believed in his words Followed him blindly As if he was the messenger of god The triumph of lowest of slaves or citizens
9

The outcaste and the underdogs The haves and have-nots Who gave up everything
10

Hoping to see light in the darkest time Because they had seen his transparency Because he was one in thoughts and actions Because he never betrayed anybody who believed in his path
11

Salute from your spent force sons and daughters the old and young The Mahatma Who kindled light of freedom in their hearts? Who chose the right path right means?
12

And achieved what was never possible even in dreams When the world was not at peace Still dreadful than before
13

And perhaps more dreadful today The immortal ghost not dead or buried alive The ghost of hatred and violence The ghost of exploitation and plunder The ghost of poverty and hunger The ghost of in-equality and ignorance The ghost of hatred
14

And with all that odd And perturbed nonsense And vague & vulgar ways many remember you And pay their pretentious regards Holding a bunch of paper flowers in their minds
15

The life styles far away from you The poor fellows of heavy weight of corruptions Or Champions of power games Some feeling terribly at loss and Slipped pathetically In day-dreaming mood and poetic masti
16

The life styles far away from you The poor fellows of heavy weight of corruptions Or Champions of power games Some feeling terribly at loss and Slipped pathetically In day-dreaming mood and poetic masti
17

With their mended mucky muffled pair of shoes At the granite covered precincts Of India’s most pious grandeur the Rajaghat Their may be killes
18

they did not know whom they intended to kill or harm But It is all horrible Irrationally rational Hearing dull but most disturbing voices Away from the lyrical realities Or Lul by heard in the childhood
19

The story of ‘Harishchandra ‘ told to you by your mother was also in your mind The truth of Mahabharat was still in the air In the capital Indrapasth now New Delhi
20

The king so as the Mahatma in you gave up everything but truth And at the Samadhi there was no end of the living corpse coming and going The fashionable ladies concubines and politicians diplomat’s chiefs of nations
21

Children teachers’ poet’s artist’s known and unknown faces All that held them there at considerable length of time But now my sojourns changed and rolled frequently Inward and outward opening into
22

Many known and unknown born and unborn images A waking dream breaking into fantasy And a fantasy becoming reality A reality into surreal and irrational
23

Travelling along me for years in untiring hopes Their dreams (of great promises made to them) shattered Even forgotten at this day of light
24

Or Parliament Rastrapati Bhawan or Modern Art Gallery or The meeting and melting pots of sick and civilized The doing and dieing point for one to all People moving from post to pillars Overall it all in reality a ‘Darsan-cum business cum entertainment -trip’
25

Or a dip in holy-waters of India i.e. Bharat or politicians paradise The game of paradise lost and paradise regained From one freedom to another adventure To witness the market of dead not souls
26

Still the historical Dillii is for those who have ready made hearts Like ready-made garments girls and goons ‘Dilli hei dil valaun ki for people who forget things and people and events
27

At this juncture ‘unfortunately’ or ‘fortunately’ My honor and pride bleeds I feel buggered Disillusioned screwy distraught and lost
28

Where all fruits and flowers gone Who has put pumpkin in my hand? To duck the so called democracy I am crying in crowd still chained not freed in cunning corridors among stony hearts
29

It is an invidious situation to single out blame The vertebra of the nation oscillating simple harmonic motion The nerves of constitution violating Still the innocent believed the vote can buy them freedom
30

As they were still living in a sanctifying dream But again there is a melodrama Unfortunately fading into a phantasmagoria Into unending ethereal worlds Of fire-brand unfulfilled desires Repeatedly mispronounced as freedom
31

I found the institutions of Parliament/Judiciary/Executive And the forth estate Press being raped repetitively By non- believers of Non -violence and Truth The god already defined as opium balls
32

Politics-Prostitution Social service- Madness Bureaucracy- Cancer ward Business- Broker All other works- Hypocrisy
33

Who did all this? Where all lights gone? The light of moon and the sun Isn’t it darkness in the noon my father ?
34

Tell me the truth tell me o goddess of justice Even if you wear a band on your eyes Justify between the real and false Is it stolen or pick pocketed?
35

To understand this utopian project Who shall give us some mneumonic a device We are forced to face The haphazard and hanky-panky turn In the life of a nation
36

Remember we remember it very well When you most worried wandered In the burning streets in the wounded jungle Of men made centuries old civilization
37

When you… the house master lost yourself in haplessness Searching for the light like a madman In your increasingly monosyllabic cry and agony Not words but the meaning of freedom In Jig-saw puzzle
38

In the awkward destiny the so called tryst You were old tired but not retired Fast unto death not against the British But against the inadequacies of your own government The intolerable but heinous killings in Noakhali
39

The non-stop communal riots followed by massacre It was the last battle of your life and the last fast In the desperate trial to conquer inner hatred The fast broke people cried in joy Your daughter-in -law rushed in with a tall glass of juice You gave your last kiss to her
40

“The great light is extinguished..Mahatmaji is gone. And darkness surrounds us all’’ Another voice /address/ sympathy another anarchy Unlashing patch works ad hock efforts
41

The end of the believer of non-violence was shot by rude violent mean And again someone very close, uttered’’ You were the only…single voice Always right.
42

Even for man who killed you ‘’ you were right’’ The first Prime Minister of India broke down. The millions eyes wept bitterly Because everyone thought you were right
43

Then who was wrong Where was the problem? You my dear father you were shot dead Not in the Imperial time But in Independent India Was it all not a heinous jibe? Or a slap on the face of the free nation !
44

Who would tell all this And to whom where and when? And what would happen to all that!
45

The questioning mouths and the answering machines Would never tell the truth They pretend again and again That the truth is beyond and beyond And with this mocking trial and justice
46

The water of the polluted Ganges still flowing And so is the polluted truth The heat and the dust the light and the darkness The people and the Crown
47

All lulled in dream The magicians and new Mullah Furling the flags mechanically Not knowing how long the show would go
48

The timid tumult and relegate desires Of the mid-night children Still awake in the dreams But before they come to surface They are declared illegitimate Or forgotten or postponed or killed or crushed
49

Everybody is in infinite unrest Everything in doldrums Every effort of peace is preserved for posterity Nothing but the absolute slumber of slavery Has become a pastime of people
50

Then tell my dear father tell me Who is answerable to all this? Those knights and kings who have gone far away Across the sea Giving us freedom at midnight Or
51

Their predecessors Or paupers? Leaders becoming followers? History-sheetors and plunderers commanders? Thieves - judges? Murders - practicing mad paths?
52

Sorry my dear father I feel extremely sorry to intrude But I need to talk to someone dear to me Nearer to my expectations and hopes
53

As my freedom has risen Many intriguing questions And no soul satisfying answer I think it’s not okey-doke
54

Are we not living in a Saraaya? Are we not hostages? Are we not horse-traders? Are we not philanders or vagabonds?
55

Are we not used toilet papers or dustbins? Are we not cowards? Are we not the sons and daughters of Kumbhakarna ? Sleeping from century old times?
56

There is the only way left for ever For those who love freedom The light not shown by others But by your own self
57

Buddha said it well‘Aapo deepo bhav’ ‘’Perhaps he will not succeed, Perhaps he will fail as Buddha-’’ Tagore told it …’’
58

As the Christ failed to wean men from their inequities. But he will always be remembered for making his life a lesson.’’ And Albert Einstein expressed his feelings in words-’’
59

Generations to come Will scare believe that such a man as this Ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.’
60

The action that free you from in-action The love which binds you with your neighbor The hatred never taken at heart But kindling the kindness that become permanent part The search for the unending solutions The service untiring
61

The knowledge never retired But that all is not so easy Not so clear Never in words But in actions
62

And for that you have to plunge deep Fly high Live last Think fast Take care Wish well Breath beyond
63

Travel in trance And for the good Believing Believing And seeing The light coming from within !
64

Never in nostalgia or in histrionic ways Like hip-huggers Anyone attains freedom Unfortunately what we have achieved Is a fledgling democracy Giving us fleeting moment of happiness
65

Who are we after all? Ask this question to your self And get answer from within The heart would always speak the truth not mind The heart enlightens the dark –zones The plug-hole of all pervading
66

But the sky is unlimited And so is the light Beyond normal reach The grace that you get To live and let live The courage you seek To fight the unruly The abundant energy Waiting for you To be liberated and transformed From one into many
67

The fire that evokes in you Covering the whole cosmos Becoming the fire of uncounted people That “ Bharat Agni’’ Becoming bread butter and God In their state of affairs In the super consciousness of their existence (As in the last super)
68

The same fire in every individual Living and non-living Has to come under one roof of humanity To chant the Vedic hymns“ Sahnavatu sahnobhunaktu sahveerya karvavahei Ending in Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
69

No doubt only this way You would feel The light reaching this land From in-numerable light years Is eternal And that eternal is seen as beyond and beyond
70

To see the eternal is but the impossible task As impossible as to see the God The omnipotent omnipresent omniscient Can do anything present everywhere knowing everything
71

Yet the entire game is one sided based on blind faiths The god is out of reach to mankind And that is the crux of all crusades All places of worships man made but declared ‘self created’ All books heard stored in human memory or documented
72

Declared told to specialized groups of people close to God Or their Messiahs the Messengers the mullahs or Pandas Self styled descendents Made God their capital and built parallel empire
73

They build huge temples massive mosques castle like churches And what not in the name of almighty Misused the sanctity of god for their selfish motives The so called gods and goddesses and their progenies The so called one and the only in the name of god- Allah
74

The so called ‘Eternal fire’ not known who brought Existing in the mythical scriptures or dogmas And that all creating hatred among people Waging wars unending pervading the whole world Engulfing Men Asuras
75

And even the so called God in the fold of terror The outcome is the wrath following the blood The wounds the spears darts swords Bombs tridents news paper television
76

Circus famines poverty chaos Ved Bible Koran dividing humanity Which attempt to make the strongest of the strong The weakest of the weak
77

In this dreadful game Of highlighting Obama’s Muslim tag And making him the latest victim of ground zero debate Pretending to announce the so called judgement On issue of Ayodhya Which might resurrect the violence
78

Never peace Hatred not love By international ring masters Of pseudo-secularist of Babari mosque or post 9/11 chaos Makes hardly any difference
79

The incident of giving beef to Hindu flood victims in Pakistan Fortunately do not irritate the fire of communal riots Even the repugnant behavior of the Dragon And it’s false territorial claims
80

Pregnancy or no pregnancy news of Aiswarya or Anushka Opening bed-room windows For ‘bhookhi-nangi janata’ without purpose Or guilty face of match fixers missing explosives Allegedly reaching of explosives to BanglaDesh
81

The first woman of France openly denounced as Prostitute For standing against the age old Shari at law To lash mother of two children publicly Found guilty of infidelity Or ‘Reds’of Chhatishgarh Or any other unknown destination
82

By folly no guide dog to watch Everything moving in the cover of darkness Good that all this high level fomenting Is taken at half volley
83

All the rubbish by deaf ears and without fear At many occasions remain irretrievable Which might otherwise invite nuclear war? Or if counted least can turn to domestic violence
84

All this non-sense and . shady designs All that is grotesque and . disgustingly dirty And all sorts of man made thunderbolts Like the most unfortunate creation Of so called god by man himself
85

Dreadfully and distantly sweep of all human energies Ultimately in the waste basket of ‘Divinity’ in question…! Be careful Bapu Be careful even posthumously
86

Why to raise and fall the curtain of mystery Why to play the game of defeat and victory For nothing But as pastime hobby Oh my father pardon me

87

For all that I don’t want any praise but peace of mind For all that I want to protect my energy Not used in the filthy games For all that I want this world free from all the calamities Created by men himself
88

For all that I want to liberate the tormented From the clutch of deprivations and miseries For all that I want to train my body and mind To keep my heart clean from all cancerous lusts of life
89

Let me be prepared for all that Bapu Let me see the emergence of new men in me The vanguard of the vanishing species Called the so called god The one and the only
90

I am at the vintage point And at the same time in advantage To say good bye to all my innocent friends Who still keep a safe distance ? In varieties of ways not to go beyond And never to be vindictive To question the creator the Almighty
91

I know the swimming across the ocean is difficult But I also know there would be green Islands After the adventurous journey I know my flights in the sky might blind my eyes But I have the ideal of Garud I have the ideal of Sisyphus
92

Burn my skinny ideas but I would never take rest Till I knock the door of unknown I know my waiting would not last Till I meet my beloved called truth and freedom
93

And for that give me courage my father Only you can do it
94

Whom else I could believe accept you Whom else I could follow accept you For you are the only source of my being For you are the ultimate of my existence
95

The tree of Vedas For you are the seed of my inverted tree Unfortunately the tree is perverted today (Beyond limited space and time)
96

I still see The tree of wisdom The tree of darkness The tree of light The tree of energy The tree of faith The tree of death The tree of life The tree of infinity The tree of beauty The tree of duty The tree of fidelity
97

Let me be honest now my father I see in this tree the Men only Men in the name of Iswar Men in the name of Mohammad Men in the name of Christ And all above You my father only you! Not a god but a man Still I see you omnipotent Omnipresent Omniscient As my beloved My freedom.
98

We all remeber you today The time is stood still or At least slow We celebrate this timeless movement With deep felling We are thankful to the mother earth Again & again
99

For the precious gift she gave to us We touch your feet to make us high We kiss your ideals your greatness To forget your sins We kiss the eternity To lose the threats of temporality
100

In the single moment Locking in a close embrace of our freedom We cry merrily Bapoo.....Bappa... bless us ! Come again...... to bless us !
101

The End

102

A Long Poem

THE INVERTED TREE

‘Salute my father salute V..n..d..e..Bapu..! Rashtrapita !! The father of nation Salute to your mother Salute to the mother earth, Who gifted the most wonderful child Never born earlier And would never come again As he was not an incarnation But the son of the soil Salute to those who stood with him Against the most dreadful times And kept alive the fire to fight the darkness Salute to those who believed in his words Followed him blindly As if he was the messenger of god The triumph of the lowest of slaves or citizens The outcaste and the underdogs The haves and have-nots Who gave up everything Hoping to see light in the darkest time Because they had seen his transparency Because he was one in thoughts and actions Because he never betrayed anybody who believed in his path Salute from your spent force sons and daughters the old and young Who kindled light of freedom in their hearts? The mahatma who chose the right path right means? And achieved what was never possible even in dreams When the world was not at peace Still dreadful than before
103

And perhaps more dreadful today The immortal ghost not dead or buried alive The ghost of hatred and violence The ghost of exploitation and plunder The ghost of poverty and hunger The ghost of in-equality and ignorance The ghost of hatred And with all that odd And perturbed nonsense And Vague & vulgar ways many remember you And pay their pretentious regards Holding a bunch of paper flowers in their minds The life styles far away from you The poor fellows of heavy weight of corruptions Or champions of power games Some feeling terribly at loss and Slipped pathetically In day-dreaming mood and poetic masti With their mended mucky muffled pair of shoes At the granite covered precincts Of India’s most pious grandeur the Rajaghat Their may be killers they did not know whom they intended to kill or harm But It is all horrible Irrationally rational Hearing dull but most disturbing voices Away from the lyrical realities Or lul by heard in the childhood The story of ‘Harishchandra ‘ told to you by your mother was also in your mind The truth of Mahabharat is still in the air In the capital Indrapasth now New Delhi The king so as the Mahatma in you gave up everything but truth there was no end of the living corpse coming and going The fashionable ladies concubines and politicians diplomat’s chiefs of nations Children teachers’ poet’s artist’s known and unknown faces All that held them there at considerable length of time But now my sojourns changed and rolled frequently
104

Inward and outward opening into Many known and unknown born and unborn images A waking dream breaking into fantasy And a fantasy becoming reality A reality into surreal and irrational A dream of waking eyes of millions of people The down-trodden with shabby clothing and age old turban Only evidence of their place in society Those mid-night children of ladies of liberty Travelling along me for years in untiring hopes Their dreams (of great promises made to them) shattered Even forgotten at this day of light What a magic passable shown that Whoever entered the Rajaghaat monument In search of new buzz word ‘Rashtrapita’ Holding a tourist respect for Bapu Also had his mind-set of the prospective visit of the Zoo or Bhindi Bazar Or Parliament Rastrapati Bhawan or Modern Art Gallery or The meeting and melting pots of sick and civilized The doing and dieing point for one to all People moving from post to pillars Overall it all in reality a ‘Darsan-cum business cum entertainment -trip’ Or a dip in holy-waters of India i.e. Bharat or politicians paradise The game of paradise lost and paradise regained From one freedom to another adventure To witness the market of dead not souls Still the historical Dillii is for those who have ready made hearts Like ready-made garments girls and goons ‘Dilli hei dil valaun ki for people who forget things and people and events At this juncture ‘unfortunately’ or ‘fortunately’ My honor and pride bleeds I feel buggered Disillusioned screwy distraught and lost Where all fruits and flowers gone Who has put pumpkin in my hand? To duck the so called democracy I am crying in crowd still chained not freed in cunning corridors among stony hearts It is an invidious situation to single out blame
105

The vertebra of the nation oscillating simple harmonic motion The nerves of constitution violating Still the innocent believed the vote can buy them freedom As they were still living in a sanctifying dream But again there is a melodrama Unfortunately fading into a phantasmagoria Into unending ethereal worlds Of fire-brand unfulfilled desires Repeatedly mispronounced as freedom I found the institutions of Parliament/Judiciary/Executive And the forth estate Press being raped repetitively By non- believers of Non -violence and Truth The god already defined as opium balls Politics-Prostitution Social service- Madness Bureaucracy- Cancer ward Business- Broker All other works- Hypocrisy Who did all this? Where all lights gone? The light of moon and the sun Isn’t it darkness in the noon my father ? Tell me the truth tell me o goddess of justice Even if you weer a band on your eyes Justify between the real and false Is it stolen or pick pocketed? To understand this utopian project Who shall give us some mneumonic a device We are forced to face The haphazard and hanky-panky turn In the life of a nation Remember we remember it very well When you most worried wandered In the burning streets in the wounded jungle Of men made centuries old civilization When you… the house master lost yourself in haplessness Searching for the light like a madman In your increasingly monosyllabic cry and agony
106

Not words but the meaning of freedom In Jig-saw puzzle In the awkward destiny the so called tryst You were old tired but not retired Fast unto death not against the British But against the inadequacies of your own government The intolerable but heinous killings in Noakhali The non-stop communal riots followed by massacre It was the last battle of your life and the last fast In the desperate trial to conquer inner hatred The fast broke people cried in joy Your daughter-in -law rushed in with a tall glass of juice You gave your last kiss to her But few hours later on the way to evening prayer You were shot down by revolver bullets You uttered your last words ‘hey Ram’ ‘’The great light is extinguished..Mahatmaji is gone. And darkness surrounds us all’’ Another voice /address/ sympathy another anarchy Unlashing patch works ad hock efforts The end of the believer of non-violence was shot by rude violent mean And again someone very close, uttered’’ You were the only…single voice Always right. Even for man who killed you ‘’ you were right’’ The first Prime Minister of India broke down. The millions eyes wept bitterly Because everyone thought you were right Then who was wrong Where was the problem? You my dear father you were shot dead Not in the Imperial time But in Independent India Was it all not a heinous jibe? Or a slap on the face of the free nation ! Who would tell all this And to whom where and when? And what would happen to all that!
107

The questioning mouths and the answering machines Would never tell the truth They preten again and again That the truth is beyond and beyond And with this mocking trial and justice The water of the polluted Ganges still flowing And so is the polluted truth The heat and the dust the light and the darkness The people and the Crown All lulled in dream The magicians and new Mullah Furling the flags mechanically Not knowing how long the show would go The timid tumult and relegate desires Of the mid-night children Still awake in the dreams But before they come to surface They are declared illegitimate Or forgotten or postponed or killed or crushed Everybody is in infinite unrest Everything in doldrums Every effort of peace is preserved for posterity Nothing but the absolute slumber of slavery Has become a pastime of people Then tell my dear father tell me Who is answerable to all this? Those knights and kings who have gone far away Across the sea Giving us freedom at midnight Or Their predecessors Or paupers? Leaders becoming followers? History-sheetors and plunderers - commanders? Thieves - judges? Murders - practicing mad paths? Sorry my dear father I feel extremely sorry to intrude
108

But I need to talk to someone dear to me Nearer to my expectations and hopes As my freedom has risen Many intriguing questions And no soul satisfying answer I think it’s not okey-doke Are we not living in a Saraaya? Are we not hostages? Are we not horse-traders? Are we not philanders or vagabonds? Are we not used toilet papers or dustbins? Are we not cowards? Are we not the sons and daughters of Kumbhakarna ? Sleeping from century old times? There is the only way left for ever For those who love freedom The light not shown by others But by your own self Buddha said it well-‘Aapo deepo bhav’ ‘’Perhaps he will not succeed, Perhaps he will fail as Buddha-’’ Tagore told it …’’ As the Christ failed to wean men from their inequities. But he will always be remembered for making his life a lesson.’’ And Albert Einstein expressed his feelings in words-’’ Generations to come Will scare believe that such a man as this Ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.’ The action that free you from in-action The love which binds you with your neighbor The hatred never taken at heart But kindling the kindness that become permanent part The search for the unending solutions The service untiring The knowledge never retired But that all is not so easy Not so clear Never in words But in actions
109

And for that you have to plunge deep Fly high Live last Think fast Take care Wish well Breath beyond Travel in trance And for the good Believing Believing And seeing The light coming from within ! Never in nostalgia or in histrionic ways Like hip-huggers Anyone attains freedom Unfortunately what we have achieved Is a fledgling democracy Giving us fleeting moment of happiness Who are we after all? Ask this question to your self And get answer from within The heart would always speak the truth not mind The heart enlightens the dark –zones The plug-hole of all pervading But the sky is unlimited And so is the light Beyond normal reach The grace that you get To live and let live The courage you seek To fight the unruly The abundant energy Waiting for you To be liberated and transformed From one into many The fire that evokes in you Covering the whole cosmos
110

Becoming the fire of uncounted people That “ Bharat Agni’’ Becoming bread butter and God In their state of affairs In the super consciousness of their existence (As in the last super) The same fire in every individual Living and non-living Has to come under one roof of humanity To chant the Vedic hymns“ Sahnavatu sahnobhunaktu sahveerya karvavahei Ending in Om Shanti Shanti Shanti No doubt only this way You would feel The light reaching this land From in-numerable light years Is eternal And that eternal is seen as beyond and beyond To see the eternal is but the impossible task As impossible as to see the God The omnipotent omnipresent omniscient Can do anything present everywhere knowing everything Yet the entire game is one sided based on blind faiths The god is out of reach to mankind And that is the crux of all crusades All places of worships man made but declared ‘self created’ All books heard stored in human memory or documented Declared told to specialized groups of people close to God Or their Messiahs the Messengers the mullahs or Pandas Self styled descendents Made God their capital and built parallel empire They build huge temples massive mosques castle like churches And what not in the name of almighty Misused the sanctity of god for their selfish motives The so called gods and goddesses and their progenies The so called one and the only in the name of god- Allah The so called ‘Eternal fire’ not known who brought Existing in the mythical scriptures or dogmas And that all creating hatred among people
111

Waging wars unending pervading the whole world Engulfing Men Asuras And even the so called God in the fold of terror The outcome is the wrath following the blood The wounds the spears darts swords Bombs tridents news paper television Circus famines poverty chaos Ved Bible Koran dividing humanity Which attempt to make the strongest of the strong The weakest of the weak In this dreadful game Of highlighting Obama’s Muslim tag And making him the latest victim of ground zero debate Pretending to announce the so called judgement On issue of Ayodhya Which might resurrect the violence Never peace Hatred not love By international ring masters Of pseudo-secularist of Babari mosque or post 9/11 chaos Makes hardly any difference The incident of giving beef to Hindu flood victims in Pakistan Fortunately do not irritate the fire of communal riots Even the repugnant behavior of the Dragon And it’s false territorial claims Pregnancy or no pregnancy news of Aiswarya or Anushka Opening bed-room windows For ‘bhookhi-nangi janata’ without purpose Or guilty face of match fixers missing explosives Allegedly reaching of explosives to BanglaDesh The first woman of France openly denounced as Prostitute For standing against the age old Shari at law To lash mother of two children publicly Found guilty of infidelity Or ‘Reds’of Chhatishgarh Or any other unknown destination By folly no guide dog to watch Everything moving in the cover of darkness Good that all this high level fomenting Is taken at half volley All the rubbish by deaf ears and without fear
112

At many occasions remain irretrievable Which might otherwise invite nuclear war? Or if counted least can turn to domestic violence All this non-sense and shady designs All that is grotesque and disgustingly dirty And all sorts of man made thunderbolts Like the most unfortunate creation Of so called god by man himself Dreadfully and distantly sweep of all human energies Ultimately in the waste basket of ‘Divinity’ in question…! Be careful Bapu Be careful even posthumously Why to raise and fall the curtain of mystery Why to play the game of defeat and victory For nothing But as pastime hobby Oh my father pardon me for asking all this Again and again For all that I don’t want any praise but peace of mind For all that I want to protect my energy Not used in the filthy games For all that I want this world free from all the calamities Created by men himself For all that I want to liberate the tormented From the clutch of deprivations and miseries For all that I want to train my body and mind To keep my heart clean from all cancerous lusts of life Let me be prepared for all that Bapu Let me see the emergence of new men in me The vanguard of the vanishing species Called the so called god The one and the only I am at the vintage point And at the same time in advantage To say good bye to all my innocent friends Who still keep a safe distance ? In varieties of ways not to go beyond And never to be vindictive
113

To question the creator the Almighty I know the swimming across the ocean is difficult But I also know there would be green Islands After the adventurous journey I know my flights in the sky might blind my eyes But I have the ideal of Garud I have the ideal of Sisyphus Burn my skinny ideas but I would never take rest Till I knock the door of unknown I know my waiting would not last Till I meet my beloved called truth and freedom And for that give me courage my father Only you can do it Whom else I could believe accept you Whom else I could follow accept you For you are the only source of my being For you are the ultimate of my existence The tree of Vedas For you are the seed of my inverted tree Unfortunately the tree is perverted today (Beyond limited space and time) I still see The tree of wisdom The tree of darkness The tree of light The tree of energy The tree of faith The tree of death The tree of life The tree of infinity The tree of beauty The tree of duty The tree of fidelity Let me be honest now my father I see in this tree the Men only Men in the name of Iswar Men in the name of Mohammad Men in the name of Christ And all above You my father only you! Not a man
114

Still but I see you omnipotent Omnipresent Omniscient As my beloved My freedom. We all remember you today The time is stood still or At least slow We celebrate this timeless movement With deep feeling We are thankful to the mother earth Again & again For the precious gift she gave to us We touch your feet to make us high We kiss your ideals your greatness To forget your sins We kiss the eternity To lose the threats of temporality In the single moment Locking in a close embrace of our freedom We cry merrily Bapoo.....Bappa... bless us ! Come again...... to bless us !

T—h—e—e—n—d…..

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THE SPEAKING LEAVES
A civilization is to be judged by its treatment of the minorities. We (Must) meet their ungodliness by godliness. We (Must) meet their untruth by truth; we (must) meet their cunning and their craft by openness and simplicity; we (must) meet their terrorism and frightfulness by bravery and patient suffering. I tell the British people that I love them, and that I want their association (but this must be on conditions not inconsistent with) self-respect and... absolute equality. Violence is bred by inequality, nonviolence by equality. Jesus Christ, Daniel and Socrates represented the purest form of passive resistance or soul-force. All these teachers counted their bodies as nothing in comparison to their soul. Tolstoy was the best and brightest (modern) exponent of the doctrine. In nonviolence, the bravery consists in dying, not in killing. No man, if he is pure, has anything more precious to give than his life. If I am to die by the bullet of a mad man, I must do so smiling. There must be no anger within me. God must be in my heart and on my lips. And you promise me one thing. Should such a thing happen, you are not to shed one tear. ––Gandhi (to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur) New Delhi, January 28, 1948 The slightest, frailest man in Asia, with face and flesh of bronze, close-cropped gray head, high cheek bones, kindly little brown eyes, a large and almost toothless mouth, larger ears, an enormous nose, thin arms and legs, clad in a loin-cloth, standing before an English judge in India, on trail because he has preached liberty to his countrymen. Picture him again similarly dressed, at the Viceroy’s palace in Delhi, in conference on equal terms with the highest representative of England. Or picture him seated on a small carpet in a bare room at his Satyagrah Ashram, or School of Truth-Seekers, at Ahmadabad; his bony legs crossed under him in Yogi fashion, soles upward, his hands busy at a spinning wheel, his face lined with the sufferings of his people, his mind active with ready answers to every questioner of freedom. This naked weaver is both the spiritual and the political leader of 320,000,000 Indians; when he appears in public, crowds gather round him to touch his clothing or to kiss his feet; not since Buddha has India so reverenced any man. He is in all probability the most important, and beyond all doubt the most interesting, figure in the world today. Centuries hence he will be remembered when of his contemporaries hardly a name will survive.... I, personally, would wait, if need be, for ages rather than seek to attain the freedom of my country through bloody means. I feel in the innermost recesses of my heart, after a political experience extending over an unbroken period of close upon thirty-five years, that the world is sick unto death of blood-spilling. The world is seeking a way out, and I flatter myself with the belief that perhaps it will be the privilege of the ancient land of India to show the way to the hungering world. We present in India all the principal religions of the earth, and it is a matter of deep humiliation to confess that we are a house divided against itself, that we Hindus and Mussalmans are flying at one another. It is a matter of still deeper humiliation to me that we Hindus regard several million of our own kith and kin as too degraded even for our touch. I refer to the so-called “untouchable.” “Plastic historian” would on all counts have become a brilliant plastic surgeon. (He refused to let Ambassador Dawes smoke his pipe during the sittings.) I had originally intended to make just a head of him. But when I saw him in his white robe, squatting before his spinning wheel, it occurred to me that a life-size figure was a better idea. He looked eternal- a holy man.

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There was a constant flow of visitors, or rather pilgrims to seek light who came to worship at his shrine. Some of the visitors asked him rather rude questions. One asked what ‘Mahatma’ meant. He replied, “An insignificant man.” There are innumerable definitions of God, because his manifestations are innumerable........But I worship God as Truth only. I have not yet found Him, but I am seeking after Him. I am prepared to sacrifice the things dearest to me in pursuit of this quest. Even if the sacrifice demanded my very life, I hope I may be prepared to give it. But as long as I have not realized this Absolute Truth, so long must I hold by the relative truth as I have conceived it....... Often in my progress I have had faint glimpses of the Absolute Truth, God, and daily the conviction is growing upon me that He alone is real and all else in unreal. Let those, who wish, realize how the conviction has grown upon me; let them share my experiments and share also my conviction if they can. I use Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a telescope through which to view this balancing of force because he is, without controversy, the outstanding personality of the new East. Without him India, in fact the whole modern Orient is like France without Napoleon, like America without Lincoln. I shall have failed in my purpose if I do not make you see behind the statesman, or politician, or ascetic, if you wish, Gandhi the man, the living, breathing, loving, serving, repenting, triumphant Gandhi, who is my friend. What a strange contradiction Gandhi is, then! In India a god, in England and America a cartoon. Newspaper pictures reveal him ugly, emaciated, toothless. The western world is bewildered at his power. We see in him a thin little brown man, walking on foot to the hundred million dollar palace of the viceroy of India. We of the West look at this human god of the East, clutching his back umbrella, and say contemptuously, “Why, he is only a naked little man.! Yet not so long ago this naked statesman came out of the viceroy’s palace with the fate of the British Empire balanced in his bony fingers. Ancient India planted ahimsa (nonviolence) and reaped Gandhi. He was born in spirit six thousand years ago when the history of the Aryan race began. BY A PLASTIC HISTORIAN

He was the spiritual giant of the twentieth century, exerting the most profound influence over three hundred ninety million people and affecting the history of the world. WELTHY HONSIGER FISHER Mr. Gandhi provided a crucial point of reference for the American Negro in his social and political struggle for freedom. Here was an ethical insight of reverence for life which was the essence of the doctrine of nonviolence. Mr. Gandhi Wrote : “Speak the truth[ without fear and without exaggeration, and see everyone whose work is relative to your purpose. You are in God’s work, so you need not fear men’s scorn.

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HOWARD THURMAN The concept of nonviolence is a perfect example of Gandhi’s familiar usage of moral weapons to achieve practical results, of his combination of spiritual and temporal powers. India, an unarmed state, could make a revolution only by nonviolent means. Nonviolence was a spiritual concept, but it made revolution practicable. Another source of power is his tremendous knowledge of India. There are 7,00,000 villages in India, and Gandhiji has visited and extraordinary number of them. His travels have been epochal. In the third-class trains and especially on foot, he has covered the entire peninsula. The things Gandhi likes most are children, fresh air, laughter, friends, the truth. What he dislikes most is a lie. He personally advocated khaddar and village spinning, which plunged his revolution into the heart of the countryside; he walked to Dandi and the sea, and behind him spread the wildfire of revolt. He likes to choose a small concrete objective that the starved, illiterate millions can easily grasp. Above all his inveterate love of compromise. He is a staunch antagonist, but he infinitely prefers settlement to struggle. Gandhiji wants compromise with the socialists, with the princes, with the industrial magnates, with the government in Delhi. Surely no man has ever so quickly and easily let bygones be bygones. He has no hatreds, no resentments; once a settlement is made, he cooperates with enemies as vigorously as he fought them. He dislikes “passive resistance” as a synonym for satyagraha, because he feels that satyagraha is not passive; it is nonviolent resistance, which is quite a different thing from non-resistance per se. JOHN GUTHER Each day I had an hour’s interview with Gandhi; there was also an opportunity for conversation at meals; in addition, I walked with him once or twice a day. I usually arrived for the morning constitutional while he was still sitting on his bed in the open air eating mango pulp. Between spoonfuls he plunged into serious discussion. His body did not look old he did not give one a feeling that he was old. His head showed his age. His head was large, wide at the top and tapering down to a small face; big ears extended away from it abruptly. His upper lip, covered with a black-andwhite stubble mustache was so narrow that it almost met the fat, down-pointed nose. The expression of his face came from his soft and gentle eyes, the sensitive lower lip which combined self-control with strength and showed a suffering, and the ever-present smile revealing naked gums. (He wore his dentures only for eating and took them out and washed them in public; he wore gold-rimmed bifocals; he shaved his face every day with a straight razor, but sometimes one of the men or women disciples shaved him.) Early in the week I spent At the ashram in June, 1942, it became obvious that Gandhi was determined to launch a civil disobience campaign with a view to making England “Quit India.” That was to be the slogan...

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One

afternoon, after Gandhi had talked at length about the reasons that were prompting him to start civil disobedience against the British government.

Gandhi enriched politics with ethics. he faced each morning’s issues in the light of eternal and universal values. He always distilled a permanent element out of the ephemeral. Gandhi thus broke through the framework of usual assumptions which cramp a man’s action. He discovered a new dimension of action. “Perhaps he will not succeed,” Tagore wrote of the living Gandhi. “Perhaps he will fail as the Buddha failed and as Christ failed to wean men from their iniquities, but he will always be remembered as one who made his life a lesson for all ages to come.” LOUIS FISCHER Gandhi took the vow of celibacy while still a young man, but never ceased to be aware of women, as he was frank to say. Once a young man wrote him a letter, professing to be in great distress because he found that the innocent touch of a woman, such as a hand on the arm, gave him pleasure. Answering the letter in one of his open prayer meetings, Gandhi reassured the young man that there was nothing wrong with such a feeling. Not only did Gandhi share the sensation of pleasure in touching a woman, he said, but furthermore, he took every opportunity to do so ! In the last year of his life Gandhi’s influence, particularly on youth, was waning. His real work was done with the achievement of independence, and now new situations were arising in which his parable did not seem to fit. Cynics were arising in which his parable did not seem to fit. Cynics were beginning to say that “the old man was growing senile,” and to mock some of his metaphysical statements, such as his famous advice that “the first President of India should be an untouchable girl.” Remarks made for the ages were derided by introverted minds preoccupied with the narrow problems of the moment. The Hindu fanatics were outraged by his solicitude for persecuted Moslems, which was to result shortly in his death... The elite and the intelligentsia continued to pack his famous prayer meetings in the quite, orderly garden of Birla House. His simple homilies in Hindustani followed a devotional period in which honor was paid to every great religion, including Christianity and Islam, through readings from their sacred books. Even my own insignificant life had been bettered by the brief crossing of my erratic path with his, I reflected. Often, at the end of a frustrating day, I had recalled his twinkling remark on his birthday, “We start a new life every morning.” ROBERT TRUMBULL Gandhi is not merely trying to convert others to his opinions in the normal Western way. He is obsessed with the notion of soul-force and tries both to use it himself to win over others to his beliefs and to generate it in them so that they can convert and activate still others. He has always preached that in the end this soul0force would take effect even upon his British enemies, and certainly now nobody is going to be able to prove that he was wrong. The Gandhian concept of soul-force is a mystic one and seems to me basically

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unscientific. Yet the techniques based upon it are probably more effective than any techniques of mass influence that have been developed in our day. More than any other great leader of modern times, Gandhi follows the sound rule of military leadership, that the best way to get men to do anything is to snow them by doing it yourself, to make them follow by leading. At the first All-India Congress meeting that he attended as a young man he was appalled by the filthy condition of the latrines and suggested that this detracted from the dignity of the meeting. Everyone agreed with him but said nothing could be done because the untouchable latrine cleaners were staging a protest strike. Gandhi, thereupon, cleaned out the latrines himself, an unprecedented violation of caste rules as well as a gesture of religious humility and of leadership by example. He has never been able to define his views on untouchability in words as clearly as he did by this gesture.

EDMOND TAYLOR Gandhi, looking at that enormous and very cheap watch he wore in his shawl– the kind that was called a “turnip” in America when I was young––said, “Well, this is more than I had bargained for. It was undoubtedly the shade of Kasturbai that turned his mind on to the story of Harishchandra from the Mahabharata. This he told me at considerable length–– the king who gave up everything for the truth, became the lowest of slaves, in that outcaste which burns the corpses, and was restored to life through spiritual reunion with his wife. VINCENT SHEEAN I found the inside of the hut even darker than I had anticipated. A single beam of daylight shone from a little high window directly into my lens and into my eyes as well. I could scarcely see to compose the picture, but when my eyes become accustomed to the murky shadows, there sat the Mahatma, cross-legged, a spidery figure with long, wiry legs, a bald head and spectacles. Could this be the man who was leading his people to freedom–– the little old man in a loin cloth who had kindled the imagination of the world ? I was filled with an emotion as close to awe as a photographer can come. He sat in complete silence on the floor; the only sound was a little rustling from the pile of newspaper clippings he was reading. And beside him was that spinning wheel I had heard so much about. I was grateful that he would not speak to me, for I could see it would take all the attention I had to overcome the halation from that wretched window just over his head. This would be the sixteenth fast of Gandhi’s life. He was now seventy-eight. This fast could be his last. The previous fifteen had been directed against the British Government, but this fast was against the British Government, but this fast was against the inadequacies of the new all-Indian government, which he had done so much to create. Being a Hindu himself, Gandhi found it intolerable that other Hindus should be massacring the Moslem minority. When Hindu refuges began storming Moslem mosques in Delhi, throwing out Moslem worshipers and moving their own families into these holy places, Gandhi felt the moment for action had come.

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With this sixteenth fast, Gandhi was launching the hardest battle of his life– the battle to conquer inner hatreds. His method of nonviolence had led his people to independence. Now he was faced with the more difficult task of winning tolerance and unity. On the sixth day of the fast, early in the morning, I went to Birla House and learned from Gandhi’s happy followers that the Mahatma had received what they called a “Spate” of telegrams. At exactly eleven o’clock Gandhi broke his fast. It was a moving experience to be there and see the people laughing and crying for joy. Gandhi lay smiling on his mattress on the floor, clutching some Pease telegrams in his long, bony hands. I jumped up to a high desk and got my camera into action. Gandhi’s daughter-in-law rushed in with a tall glass of fruit juice, and he kissed her. Then Pandit Nehru, who was sitting by his side, made a little ceremony of holding Gandhi’s glass of orange juice for him. I asked Gandhi whether he believed America should stop manufacturing the atom bomb. Unhesitatingly, he replied, “Certainly America should stop.” Of course, when I had this talk with Gandhi, the atom bomb was not yet obsolete nor had the hysteria of nuclear testing swept around the world. Gandhi went on to stress the importance of choosing righteous paths, whether for a nation or for a single man; for bad means could never bring about good ends. As we sat there in the thin winter sunlight, he spinning, and I jotting down his words, neither of us could know that this was to be one of the last–– perhaps his very last–messages to the world. He was speaking very slowly, and his words had become toneless and low. “The world is not at peace.” His voice had sunk almost to a whisper. “It is still more dreadful than before.” I rose to leave, and folded my hands together in the gesture of farewell which Hindus use. But Gandhiji held out his hand to me and shook hands cordially in Western fashion. We said good-bye, and I started off. Then something made me turn back. His manner had been so friendly. I stopped and looked over my shoulder, and said, “Goodbye, and good luck.” Only a few hours later, on his way to evening prayers, this man who believed that even the atom bomb should be met with nonviolence was struck down by revolver bullets. I was back at Birla House. Thousands of people were already pressing toward the scene of the tragedy. The rush was so great, I could hardly reach the door, but the guards recognized me and helped me through. In the next moment, I was in the room where Gandhi, dead less than an hour, lay on a mattress in a corner on the floor. I was swept by the crowd back to the gates, and there I found Nehru speaking. Once more, he had climbed up on the gatepost of Birla House to address the people. “The great light is extinguished,” he said. “Mahatmaji is gone, and darkness surrounds us all. I have no doubt he will continue to guide us from the borders of the great Beyond, but we got by running to him for advice on every difficulty.” At this point, Nehru broke down and wept openly on his gatepost, and the crowd wept with him. Then he made a supreme effort to speak a final sentence. “We can best serve the spirit of Gandhiji by dedicating ourselves to the ideals for which he lived, and the cause fro which the died.”

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Revolution without the use of violence was the method by which Gandhi brought about the liberation of India. It is my belief that the problem of bringing peace to the world on a supranational basis will be solved only by employing Gandhi’s method on a large scale. Generations to come will scare believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. The shot of a gun and only silence is left, silence and a handful of ashes. It is no wonder that the ignorant, the stupid, the inventors of atom bombs, the generals, the captains, the sergeants, the little soldiers, are the lovers of violence. All that they dear, all that they hate, all who rebel against them, can be so easily ended. Gandhi was only one. His voice was single, always gentle, always reasoning. He was right, he knew he was right, we all knew he was right. The man who killed him knew he was right. MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE “Is related to Tolstoy’s intellectual traits of wit, lucidity and indignation which... I still regard as a touchstone.” MARY MCCARTHY Independence for India, he often said, meant primarily independence for the villager, which required that “even the poorest Indian should get enough milk, vegetables and fruit. Today the villages of India are dung heaps. Tomorrow they will be like tiny gardens of Eden where dwell highly intelligent folk whom no one can deceive or exploit.” CHESTER BOWLES India - March 12,1930. The wizened, toothless, half-naked little Hindu had walked 200 miles to the sea, enlisting volunteers for a satyagraha (“insistence on truth”) demonstration against British rule. Now, at the sea’s edge, he picked up a pinch of dried salt– calmly breaking the law that made salt a government monopoly. As his followers’ surged forward, native policemen “rained blows on their heads with steel-shod lathis,” reported Webb miller. “Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off the blows. They went down like tenpin.... The waiting marchers groaned, sucked in their breaths at every blow, (and then) marched on until struck down... The police kicked (them) in the abdomen and testicles... Hour after hour, stretcher-bearers carried back a stream of inert, bleeding bodies.” This terrible scene climaxed but one more passive-resistance crusade led by the man millions called mahatma, “Great Soul” or “Man of God.” to the British, he was a mystic rabble rouser, a preposterous gnome in an immaculate white dhoti (a diaper, they sneered) who toured the engorged cities and squalid villages to preach love, self purification and civil disobedience–– leading a goad, whose milk, unlike the cow’s or buffalo’s, he drank. This Gandhi held no office, commanded no soldiers, yet paralyzed India with a word.

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The proud British Sahibs imprisoned him again and again, but it did not help. “Jail is jail for thieves.... For me, it (is) a palace.” He spent over 2,000 days in prisons, reading, meditating, and drove the British frantic with his final, bloodless weapon: fasting. Nothing so haunted Whitehall as the nightmare of what might happen in this idolatrous land if the “seditious fakir,” as Churchill called him, died in a protest fast.... Gandhi set up an ashram (retreat of ascetics devoted to prayer and meditation, in a search for godliness. Later, he left his lucrative law practice, returned to India and established a Tolstoyan retreat to which he admitted untouchables –– horrifying even his Hindu wife, who warned that a place so defiled would fail. When fund finally ran out, Gandhi said, “We shall go to live in the untouchable quarter.” He was often stone, vilified almost lynched. He held the New Testament as sacred as the Bhagawad Gita and regarded all men as equal. India’s future lay in education, sanitation, self-discipline. With Jinnah, the Moslem leader, and Lord Mountbatten, he framed India’s independence in 1947, desperately opposing partition into Hindu and Moslem (Pakistan) states. When hideous fighting broke out, he toured the Bengal Villages pleading for an end to bloodshed. At a great prayer meeting in New Delhi, he was assassinated–– by a Hindu fanatic who blamed him for India’s partition. LEO ROSTEN It is no accident that a large watch was among the few effects Gandhi valued in his lifetime and left behind at his death. Gandhi was extremely meticulous about time, as it was measured by the clock, the more so as he found a good many of those about him indifferent to its compulsions. He employed his watch as a species of tyrant to regulate his own affairs and the lives of those associated with him. Introducing the venerable B.G. Tilak. who was late, to a conference in 1917, Gandhi remarked: “I am not responsible for his being late. We demand swaraj. If one does not mind arriving late by three quarters of an hour at a conference summoned for the purpose, one should not mind if swaraj too comes correspondingly late.” SUSANNE AND LLOYD RUDOLPH Gandhi grew up in a three-storied ancestral house which his father shared with his five brothers and their families. One of the most instructive passages in Pyarelal’s book characterizes the life of a joint family “where so many people with diverse tastes, habits and temperaments are cooped up day and night in a narrow space, from week to week month to month and year to year,” The mother, Putali Ba, was an ideal mother of a joint family : “She never made any distinction between her own children and other children in the family...” Likewsiem the prime minister, as the head of the family, looked after the well-being of every member of his clan well into their adult lives. ERIK h. ERIKSON I have met Lenin, Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wilkie, Stalin, Litvinov, Attlee,

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Einstein, Lloyd George, Eleanor Roopsevelt and many othe famous people. I have never met a more remarkable person than Gandhi. LOUIS FISHER Gandhi in turn was stimulated by the vies of the Russian writer, Tolstoy, and by the American, Thoreau, who was sentenced to serve in a Massachusetts prison because of his “peaceful protest” against the Fugitive Slave Laws. Indeed, it was from Thoreau’s essay, Civil Disobedience, that Gandhi borrowed the phrase widely to describe his program. Instead, he called off his political campaign, organized an Indian volunteer ambulance corps of 1,100, and led them wherever the fighting was heaviest. For valor under fire he and thirty-six other Indian received Empire war medals. CHESTER BOWLES Traveling by train through Pretoria, South Africa, as a young lawyer, Gandhi was suddenly and (to him inexplicably) forced out of his firsty calss railroad car. In 1948, the year Gandhi was assassinated, Dr. King was named assistant pastor of his father’s Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia. Chief exponent of passive resistance in the civil rights movement in the United States. Standing before Washington’s Lincoln Memorial, King gave the speech which is so widely recalled and quoted today, “I have a dream.” A month-long trip to India with his wife early in 1959. As Dr. King said, “To other come as a pilgrim.” His name was, in fact, already familiar to many Indians, who referred to him as the “black Gandhi,” the “American Gandhi.” Where Do we Go from Here: Chaos or Community ? Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale. Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transforma tion. The intellectual and moral satisfaction that failed to gain from the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, the revolutionary methods of Marx and Lenin, the social Hobbes, the “back to nature’’ optimism of Rousseau, and the superman philosophy of Nietzsche, I found in the nonviolent resistance philosophy of Gandhi. I came to feel that this was the only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. His break with pacifism came in the early Thirties, and the first full statement of his criticism of pacifism was in Moral Man and Immoral Society. Here he argued that there was no intrinsic moral difference between violent and nonviolent resistance.

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Be successful in preventing the spread of totalitarian tyranny. It could only be successful, he argued, if the groups against whom the resistance was taking place had some degree of moral conscience, as was the case in Gandhi’s struggle against the British. He argued that pacifism failed to do justice to the reformation doctrine of justification be faith, substituting for it a sectarian perfectionism which believes “that divine grace actually lifts men out of the sinful contradictions of history and establishes him above the sins of the world.” Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but he resisted with love instead of hate. Niebuhr’s great contribution to contemporary theology is that he has refuted the false optimism characteristic of a great segment of Protestant liberalism, without filling into the anti-rationalism of the continental theologian Carl Barth, or the semifundamentalism of other dialectical theologians. Moreover, Niebuhr has extraordinary insight into human nature, especially the behavior of nations and social groups. He is keenly aware of the complexity of human motives and of the relation between morality and power. His theology is a persistent reminder of the reality of sin on every level of man’s existence. Illusions of a superficial optimism concerning human nature and the dangers of false idealism. While I still believed in man’s potential for good, Niebuhr made me realize his potential for evil as well. Moreover, Niebuhr helped me to recognize the complexity of man’s social involvement and the glaring realities of collective evil. Almost 2,800 years ago Moses set out to lead the children of Israel from the slavery of Egypt to the freedom of the promised land. MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr.

Already Gandhi’s place in history is sure. In all reverence, and with utter confidence, I would affirm that he belongs in the majestic hierarchy of Buddha, Lao-tzu, Isaiah, Socrates, Jesus and St. Francis. Our age is blessed by the presence of one more of the pure leaders of the spirit. Amid the fury of force and violence, bloodshed and slaughter, these save mankind from death, and patiently and ever steadfastly point the way to life. HOMER A. JACK

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ABOUT THE POET
 Ashok Aaterya

Ashok Aatreya was born on 26th December1944, in Bikaner, in a renowned family of south Indian Andhra-Pundits. Even as a college student, he showed exemplary orientation towards literature and fine arts. As a graduationstudent, he started contributing short stories and articles on art and aesthetics in almost all renowned Hindi magazines and newspapers during the sixties and 70s. Soon he established himself as an off-beat short story writer in the literary circles of contemporary Hindi literature. Mr. Aatreya, because of his familial artistic and literary background, was naturally exposed to contemporary modern trends in Art. He not only wrote sensible criticism on the art activities of Rajasthan for years together and brought into limelight, certain significant trends and potential artists, but also developed his distinct identity as a modern artist cum-art-critic. As a keen and research oriented cultural Anthropologist, he wrote a column called “ Kesar-Kyari” for more than 15 years on the art, architecture and the culture of Jaipur. Similarly he contributed another historical-cultural column in Daily “Rashtradoot” under the title “Shahar-Sawaya”. Both these series contain more than 2000 exclusive articles on History, Art, Architecture, places and life and people. He has also published his Art- criticism / exhibition-reviews and articles on Indian Art and articles in English in “Times of India” and “Hindustan Times Live”. He has written a novel- “All the beautiful daughters of Mara” and a long story- “Seven Summer Nights” which are published in the e-literature in “Book-Rix, USA. Both the works are being published shortly by Divine Publications, Ahemdabad In 1966, 1968, 1974 and 1996, he organized in Bikaner, Jaipur and Delhi his solo/ group shows of paintings done mostly in mixed media. His last show of mixed media paintings was held at a famous art gallery in Sri fort area, at New Delhi, inaugurated by well known modern artist Ms. Arpna Kaur. Mr. Aatreya has been an active art-organizer too. With the inspiration of his internationally acclaimed artist friend, Mr. Daniel Fillod of Carol (France), he performed a miraculous feat by getting painted a 100 feet long and 12 feet wide canvas at Jaipur in 1994. This large size canvas was painted by 14 eminent Jaipur painters including Mr. Fillod and Mr. Aatreya, and unveiled by the British High Commissioner to India at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. He also has a long experience of working with internationally acclaimed NGOs and social-work institutions like Sewa Mandir, Udaipur, Social work and Research Center Tiloniya, and Ce-Coi DeCon, Jaipur etc. 126

Mr. Ashok Aatreya has also has shown his creative talent as a film Director and producer of certain art-films, focused on the life and works of renowned modern painters and poets. Apart from making tally films on Social work institutions, Surat’s Diamond cutting industry, A film on the City of Ajmer for Television, Gujrat Cyclone tragedy followed by rehabilitation -work, he has made a full length documentary film on the most secret Shakti Puja Paddhati of present Shankaracharya of Dwarika (Gujrat). Lately in 2007-2008, he wrote a series of 13 episodes for Doordarshan (Indian Television) tiled as “Bhartayan”- which consisted of the glimpses of History of glorious Indian Freedom Movement. This series, telecast on National network of Doordarshan has fetched him wide applaud from innumerable Indian TV viewers. As a modern play writer he wrote, directed and produced his own installation play- “Bhookha Bhookam.....sponsered by WZCC and CZCC, at Lok Kala Mandal and Darpan Sabhagar, Udaipur. Mr. Ashok Aatreya has had a long innings of working as creative journalist. He was associated with numerous national level newspapers and News agencies in various capabilities as the Chief sub- Editor of “Hindustan Samachar”, Editor of weekly “Akshar Bharat”, Editor of Daily Haryana Patrika, Special Correspondent and Feature Editor- Dainik Bhaskar, and regular cultural-columnist of Daily Navjyoti. Shri Ashok Aatreya was picked up by a few international publication-houses and broadcasting agencies like “Life- Time Books”, as marketing Officer and “Voice of America” as South Asia stringer-reporter respectively. Mr. Aatreya has published some collections of modern Hindi short stories, Mere Pita Ki Vijay, monograph Time Fiver (Sahitya Academy Rajasthan), Udaharan ke liye, Vivek Publication, Jaiur Dharti Ka Swarg, Alankar Prakashan Jaipur and a book on Tantrik Tradition of Lalita Archana, a long poem on the social and cultural tribal life of ‘Aboojhmaad’ (Prena Prakashan Jaipur and many books on adult literacy for which he was awarded by ministry of human resource development, New Delhi. A long poetry– “Innocent Anarchist” is also published by Three Chairs Publications, Jaipur. Half an hour documentary flim on Gandhi written as poetry installation was produced recently at Kala Neri, J.L.N. Marg, Jaipur. His Permanent postal address is: D 38-39, Dev Nagar, Tonk Road, Jaipur Rajasthan India -302018 Telephone Nos. are 0141-2707555. He’s reachable on his mobile number- +91-9828402226.

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“Ashwathha serva vrikshanaam... deverseenaa cha Naradah Gandharvanam Chitrrathah ...siddhanam Kapilo munih..” Shrimadbhagawadgita 10/26.

“Oordhamool madhah shakhamswastha prahurvyam Chhandasi yasya parnani yastam ved sa vedvit.” Shrimadbhagawadgita 15/1
Ashok Aatreya

A

shwathha is an inverted tree of Vedas. Even Lord Krishna identified himself as Ashwatha. This tree is beyond time and space...beyond Maya...beyond body and mind this is supreme. The branches of this tree are towards earth. The main trunk is intellect, religion and nonreligions with beautiful flowers represent the leaves, the good and the bad... moral and immoral are fruits....and through all this whatever is seen told or heard exist...including Vedas.(Rig, Yaju, Sam ). The eternal knowledge...is nothing but parts of the false world. All ages and times exist in this ‘Bramha tree’...By becoming one with this tree an individual attains final liberation of soul...This tree in Vedas is also known as AVYAYA. The reason and the purpose of an individual of visiting this world is nothing but to know this tree...to discover every moment that is divine & which exists everywhere..! In my ‘Inverted tree’ I have tried to symbolize Mahatma Gandhi and the installation poetry interpret our values ,the modern and post modern world in totally new dimension of fusion of Art with poetry.
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