I saw the movie “Lage Rahe Munnabhai” and was bamboozled with the concept of Gandhigiri. The movie was accused to be more melodramatic than the previous one but I feel that is required when one is dealing with a subject of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
One of the most influential leaders ever, this frail guy rocked the country with his simple ideas and effective implementation. In the book Freedom at midnight, the authors write about his fast that in country which lacked effective communication between major cities the news of Gandhi’s fasts traveled like wildfire, each tit bit correct. How it happened is beyond me.
Going back to the movie being melodramatic, it was fitting for a movie made with Gandhi’s thoughts in mind. Hell, Gandhi was melodramatic. Be it the weapon of Satyagraha or his Dandi March or the announcement of his fasts. He loved melodrama as he shrewdly understood the Indian psyche, the love of melodrama present in the common man. It was the melodrama that forced the stiff upper collared Englishmen to consider leaving the crown jewel of their empire and sending Mountbatten (as close as someone could come to being a melodramatic Englishman) to arrange the departure of the British from India.
But in Gandhigiri we have found another weapon, one which is better than all H bombs of the world combined. The simple reason is we have 1 billion people which no one else has. A vibrant democracy (or maybe not) India can actually give these weapons to the world and sit back as another weapons race starts. But no NPT or CTBT required here.
Gandhi steadfastly opposed Globalization. He believed that all the villages of country should be self sufficient for their own needs (food, milk etc.) and behave as a mini community. This I feel looks incredibly stupid in today’s context where the world is flattening (Thank you Mr. Thomas Freidman!) and we have a chance to compete with and defeat any foreigner on their home grounds and not having to leave ours. Better will be have the country or the globe as one village and have all the communities (a.k.a. countries) equally developed or rather each developed in its own specialized field and assisting, no trading its skills with the other. I think this would have pleased Gandhi.