Mahatma Gandhi was shot down on this day in 1948 by Nathu Ram Godse. Every history book credits him for standing against aparthied, for getting India her independence, for propagating the path of truth and honesty and preaching non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi, in his 72 years of life did more for his country than anyone else could ever do in 7 lifetimes. Now these are strong words that I am using. And I will have to defend them.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi could have taken the path trodden by everyone else and could have been a meek spectator to the Indian freedom struggle. He was after all a qualified lawyer and he could practise law at London or at South Africa. But he chose a different stance. When he was kicked out of a railway carriage, he could have cursed the Brit and sat in the third class compartment but he stood his ground. There are numerous incidences like that.
In short, he had this ability to stand for what he thought was correct. Most of us admire him for this very reason. Even when odds were against him, he would make sure he stood his ground. For me, the best thing about Mahatma Gandhi was his ability to connect with the masses when newspapers were limited in reach, television was a privilege and Internet was not even born. His messages and letters could bring the entire nation to its feet. Managers in this era should learn from his methods and way he influenced people. And this influence was not a particular section of people but on everyone. Hindus, Muslim, Educated, Villagers, Men, Kids .. think about a strata and he had reached them.
Many people have blamed him for partition of India and Pakistan. He is also blamed for all the problems we have between Hindus and Muslims. He is known as a bad father. His relationship with his son Haribhai are still as big as a folklore. But all things said an done, he was after all one of the key reason we got our independence. His contribution was no small one and he will always be missed.
For me, he is one of those few people who died too soon. His death anniversary is a time to take stock of the situation. What we could have been and what we are now. And finally the way ahead for future.