The Mahatma's Dagger of Love
01 August 1996

After 50 years of Independence, Rajmohan Gandhi reconsiders his grandfather's widsom - opening up a source of hope for further healing with Britain, and within the divisions of the whole sub-contintent.

The Good Boatman, a portrait of Gandhi by Rajmohan Gandhi
Viking Penguin India 1995

This is an extraordinary book, defying categorization. Biography? The narrative is given in six masterly pages. Portrait? Mural would be a better indication of the countless portraits of men and women crowding Mahatma Gandhi's life.

This book does not offer any simplification of India's complexity, any short cut to understanding. After 50 years of Independence, his grandson reconsiders the Mahatma's widsom - opening up a source of hope for further healing with Britain, and within the divisions of the whole sub-contintent.

Major themes - violence, East vs West, caste and outcaste, Partition, family relationships - are traced through Gandhi's life. This is a meditative book, yet it teems with action. It takes us into a great man's life purposes: the singleness and the breadth, elements sometimes in conflict yet never separated.

What of Gandhi's aims? Independence was achieved, though at the cost of division. He was equally passionate about harmony. This cost him his life, and seems still far away. From early in his life, he says, ' I have had the dream of Hindus, Sikhs, Parsees, Christians and Muslims living in unity in the whole of India.'

His achievements, however incomplete, rouse longing for further advance along the lines he demonstrated. The world knows the futility of violence, but has yet to put into practice on a wide enough scale the force of love - a dagger demanding the total rejection of hate. Gandhi saw his and India's mission as presenting such love as 'the best weapon, in the battle for justice, and demonstrating its effectiveness'. For him satyagraha, so inadequately translated ' non-violence', held the content of the Gita, and of the oft-quoted 1 Corinthians 13. 'Read this, chew it, digest it. If we can get at the dagger of love we can shake the world to its foundations.' He carried out bold strokes of strategy to demonstrate its working. With these went always the tenderness and the incisive challenge of his personal dealings.

Why the title? The simile is relevant to his life's work: 'the faithful helmsman (who) brought the good ship India to freedom's shore'. ' He was making an internal journey as well, towards God.... He hoped that both journeys would have something to say to the world.'

There is much throughout on the internal journey, and a chapter on 'Gandhi and his God'. 'There was only one Boatman for the journey through and beyond life.' He consistently sought the 'steadfast mind' of the Gita, and the Truth which ' is what the voice within tells me'. In his company people became aware of a greater Power - and of their own potential. The final page of the book depicts this release of power in others, which has made him ' a spark for consciences across the world, all through the 20th century'.
Dr Charis Waddy


8 March 2007

To understand Mahatma Gandhi, one needs to understand the India that he loved. It is in the villages of India, Why was his India in villages? The Indian illiteratre commoner is one of eight reigions for centuries. The kings, rulers, Brahmins and Maulanas and Ministers and leaders and scholars were all divided and divisive and never one in India's history. The Mahatma was an akhandda Bharati.

Since akhandda Bharsati political party did not try to understand the India that the Mahatma loved, it killed the Mahatma.

The other party was Congress. Its leaders too did not also try to understand the India that the Mahatma loved. They helped the Akhandda Bharatis to kill the Mahatma by not providing elementary security at Birla House

I shall be grateful to know if any of at least 979 authors in the catalogue of the Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA, could find why in five years from 1916 to 1921 the Mahatma could surface the rock of 400 millions for ahinsic fight for 26 years along with him. This 400 millions was the Mahatma\s India.

Why could not Tilak, Gokhale, Naoroji, Aurobindo, Tagore and the galaxy of the great could not surface even two millions in 31 years from 1885 to 1916? .

If God permits me life, I shall attempt to write a monohragh of say 100 pages to unravel the Mystery that was Gandhi.

Please look for its date of release at my web site

In the meanwhile enjoy the fare the web site offers.

With best regards,

Prakash Narain
(Born Delhi 1917)
Prakash Narain, 08 March 2007

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