Friday, June 02, 2017

Gandhi's nervous breakdown

Why the story of Gandhi's nervous breakdown in 1918 (and goat milk) is relevant for today’s India by Ajaz Ashraf
"Was it then that the apostle of peace was reconciled to his suspicion that people embraced satyagraha out of cowardice only through his own failure to adhere to the oath he had taken against consuming milk? Perhaps. Through his own imperfection, he possibly understood the imperfection of his followers, that the quest for perfection is unceasing, that truth is revealed to mankind through action. India was not the poorer for it – an invigorated Gandhi was to arise from the sickbed a month later to launch a movement against the Rowlatt Act, which allowed for incarceration without trial.
This story of Gandhi’s nervous breakdown should have a special resonance for today’s India, where the strong and powerful mistake courage as the violence they visit on the weak and meek. Think of the atrocities committed on Dalits, the violence of cow-vigilantes, the clashes triggered over issues of religion and nationalism, and people who perish in armed conflicts or become victims of terror."

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