Even Mahatma Gandhi believed in it

February 6, 2006

These are some excerpts from Gandhi’s Autobiography “The story of my experiments with truth”:-

“Finally, it is better that one do

His own task as he may, even though he fail

Then take tasks not his own, though they seem good

To die performing duty is no ill

But who seeks other roads shall wander still”

“My aptitude for nursing gradually developed into a passion, so much so that it often led me to neglect my work and on occasions I engaged not only my wife but the whole household in such service. Such service has no meaning unless one takes pleasure in it. When it it done for show or fear of public opinion, it turns the man and crushes his spirit. Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant not the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”

In the context of the Zulu war in South Africa, Gandhi ” At any rate my heart was with the Zulus, and I was delighted on reaching headquarters, to hear that our main work was to be on the nursing of the wounded Zulus”

At the kumbh mela in Hardwar, when Gandhi was not left alone by the people even during meals and baths, he concluded.  “Thus it was in Hardwar that I realized what a deep impression my services in South Africa had made throughout the whole of India.”

It can be concluded from all this that it was his passion for nursing and public service that queered the pitch for his being the Mahatma. Even fifty years after India’s independence, there has not been an encore because some of the powers that be have made politics a profession and put the cart before the horse.