Sunday, July 18, 2010

M K Gandhi for centuries to come

Sunil Khilnani writes:

  • Above all, there is a psychological sharpness to his argument that modern civilization implants in all of us a restless dependency. It corrodes individual self-restraint and self-rule, and inundates the individual with distractions. Did he sense the Facebook and Internet addictions of the future when he wrote:

  • “(M)ind is a restless bird: the more it gets the more it wants, and still remains unsatisfied. The more we indulge our passions, the more unbridled they become. Our ancestors, therefore, set a limit to our indulgences....(They) dissuaded us from luxuries and pleasures.”

  • Gandhi was himself fascinated by modern inventions—pens, watches, the wireless radio, gardening tools—and perhaps felt his own susceptibility to gadget addiction. He saw how difficult it was, once new technologies and tools were invented, to turn away from what they seem to offer. “It is no easy task to do away with a thing that is established,” Gandhi wrote inHind Swaraj, “We, therefore, say that the non-beginning of a thing is supreme wisdom.”

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