December 29, 2011
Occupy Wall Street: what would Gandhi say?
Ruchira Gupta in The Guardian:
As a citizen of India, and as a citizen of the world we all inhabit, I offer one of Gandhi's most basic ideas to those Occupying Wall Street. India is the world's biggest democracy and the US is the world's most powerful democracy. I know the actions of the United States profoundly affect my country's future – but I also know the reverse is true. The Occupy Wall Street movement was partly inspired by demonstrations in Cairo's Liberation Square – "March like an Egyptian!" was one of its slogans – and the peaceful demonstrators in Wall Street's Zucotti Park ate pizzas ordered on the web by supporters in Libya.
India gained independence without a war, something even the United States can't claim. This was largely due to Gandhi's understanding that the ends don't justify the means, the means are the ends; the means we choose dictate the ends we get. As this has come down to us, it is popularly understood as non-violence, but it went far deeper than that. After all, if actions are only against something, however unjust, the result will not satisfy people's need to see and taste and live and work for something that is just. Even if the negative effort wins, a new negative will replace it because a critical mass of people haven't learned to live in a positive way. Gandhi went so far as to say that civil disobedience is "worse than useless…without …constructive effort."
More here. (Note: The writer and dear friend Ruchi Gupta, the strongest advocate against sex trafficking in India and now worldwide, has certainly shown the way with her own constructive work which has won her a place as one of the 19 leaders in Clinton's Global Initiative)
Posted by Azra Raza at 05:32 AM | Permalink