Friday, August 20, 2010

How to evaluate your moral

Ananya Vajpey gives some clue how M K Gandhi had evaluated not in the name of nation freedom but as an individual first:

  • Talking about Gandhi in Kashmir (or in Maoist India) seems laughable. But Gandhi it was whom India listened to, when it fought hardest for its own decolonisation between 1920 and 1950. Throughout this time, the Mahatma tried to establish certain core ethical values for a new politics of swaraj. Among these were ideas that had a long history on the Indian subcontinent, such as ahimsa. We usually translate this as “non-violence”, but what Gandhi really meant was the moral courage necessary to relate to another person without the desire to harm him.

  • THIS moral courage is difficult to achieve between any two persons, but it is hardest, and most essential, that ahimsa prevail in the relationship between adversaries, so Gandhi believed. He got the lesson of ahimsa, oddly enough, not from Asoka the Mauryan emperor of the 3rd century BC, who became a pacifist after causing great carnage , nor from Jain doctrine, which enshrines ahimsa as a key practice, but from the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna teaches Arjuna how to put up a good fight, without compromising his basic sense of morality and decency.

  • But Gandhi also insisted on satya, the truth, enshrined in India’s national motto, satyameva jayate, “truth alone prevails” . In addition, he wanted India to recover its oldest tenets of ethical sovereignty : anukrosha, from the Ramayana , the capacity to feel another’s pain; aanrishamsya, from the Mahabharata, the elimination of cruelty from one’s conduct, which Yudhisthira recognised as the highest dharma, the norm-ofnorms , especially for a king. Gandhi sought not just political independence from British rule, but a truly liberating political culture, grounded in age-old ethical norms like non-violence , moral courage, non-cruelty , truthfulness and compassion. Without these values in place, he said, India would never be free, never have true swaraj.

No comments:

Post a Comment