Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Gandhigiri’s first converts.

The Ulhasnagar Police Force, would you believe? Or, so claims the Mumbai morninger that used to be an eveninger till not so far ago and still sticks to the monicker that says as much. The credit for spreading the good word goes to a recent movie about two bhais with hearts of gold. How a criminal manages to possess one is beyond me. Come to think of it, though, if they call the Gandhian way ‘Gandhigiri’ – a pejorative derisive label, at best, compare 'dadagiri' (bullying) and 'chamchagiri' (kowtowing) – what they’re preaching (and practicing) may be a parody of what Gandhi preached and practiced. But I could be totally wrong. Maybe their simple-minded reinterpretation of Gandhi – a persuasive repackaging of his thesis laced with humour – is just what was needed to make people look at him anew. And, if Munnabhai could inspire hard core cops to enroll for a course about the Gandhian way and even resolve to practice it in their day-to-day work, that cannot be such a bad thing. Gandhi had a sense of humour. For instance, when a reporter once asked him what he thought of Western civilization, he reportedly answered: “I think it would be a good idea!” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mohandas_Gandhi.

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