Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Morality is not hot potato to sale it, it has to come from within oneself

The lesson that two outstanding socio-political leaders of India— Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar — taught was that a moral polity is essential for sustaining healthy democracy. Mahatma Gandhi’s personal life is too well known to be commented upon, but one example from the life of Ambedkar, who was the first law minister of the nation, gives us a glimpse of his high ethical standards.

Ambedkar did not have `20,000 to publish his last major book — Buddha and His Dhamma — even after he had served as law minister. He then wrote a letter to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, requesting for that amount to be arranged as a pre-publication grant and he would deposit copies of the book worth that much money for the government to distribute to Buddhist scholars. Nehru refused to grant that money and Ambedkar had to struggle to publish that book. Can you imagine a Union minister of that kind now?

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