Over the past seven decades or so, interpretations of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, some of which are lopsided, half baked and controversial, have been many and manifold. My readers may feel rather baffled, if I disclose the fact that my studies, however humble and disorganized they may be, have commenced on far back as the latter part of the year 1958 in the last century. A jewel of a book entitled ”
An Autobiography or the Story of my Experiments with Truth” (I possess up to date, though in tattered pages) which I bought at a book counter of Ananda Bhawan at Pettah, Colombo, having paid Rs.1.25 during my teacher training days at the G.T.C.Maharagama has been dated by me as 25-11-58. Simply count the many years past, since then – from 1958 in the last century to Corona ridden gloomy year of 2021 of the present century!
From the day I concluded reading the incomplete unfinished autobiography of the great Indian Sage, I remained ‘Gandhian’ in spirit, heart and soul, transcending all my later studies of Marxism – or rather, Marxism – Leninism – culminating my doubts about the so called communist utopia of a classless society annihilating the bourgeois after having established a dictatorship of the proletariat !
And now, one would be rather amused to witness how this so called dictatorship of the proletariat ended up having enthroned a heinous autocrat – corrupt to the core – in the garb of a Russian Tsar, in the emergence of a man called who dreams to build a Chinese Super Empire encompassing Asia and Africa, and a Castro type degenerated family rule which brought into being the poorest state in the whole of Latin America !
So that, as a man who witnessed all these upheavals and political changes of universal magnitude, my attraction toward ‘Gandhism’ ( if you pardon me for the term) has been unavoidable.
At a time when crude nationalism raises its ugly head in the form of racialism, communalism and many other “tribal manifestations”, in my own country the life and, most importantly, the death of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi emerges supreme in the history of mankind. Undoubtedly His death, was that of a martyr, in the compact sense of the word.
I sometimes feel that most biographers of Mahatmaji have opted to glorify his death, rather than his many-faceted political, social and reformist life.