The global evidence of Gandhi’s legacy has, unfortunately, fizzled out.
People are more than ever using violence to achieve their ends. Modern politics has embraced ‘Machiavellian’, rather than ‘Gandhian’.
Is this fact telling us something about our ‘decadent’ and ‘malevolent’ society? Is it telling us that being ‘bad’ is better than being ‘good’? Could it be echoing what Machiavelli wrote in ‘The Prince’: that a leader must be compationate, but also be prepared to use violence when necessary? If the answer to this is “yes”, then we have failed miserably – as a society. And looking at the world with a ‘bird’s eye view’- with wars errupting in all the time – it’s blatantly obvious that humanity is just not ready to embrace Gandhi’s philosophy: we haven’t evolved enough yet.
And with the development of ‘weapons of mass destruction’, and the ‘nuclear arms race’, there are some very dangerous individuals in power, quite paranoid, and with their fingers on the button, ready to release those nukes and send everyone to oblivion; these dangerous leaders are corrupt and power hungry. They have no interest in peace: their business is ‘war’ – and all the profits that flow from it.
Living in Britian, I can personally testify to this Machiavellian politics being played out in every fabric of society: government, civil life, corporate life…the list just goes on.
America – and Europe – are no different: they are all adherents of Machiavellian politics.
I believe, in my heart of hearts, that Western societies can never embrace Gandhism. Why? Because they gain through ‘treachery’, ‘deceit’, and ‘bully boy tactics’ – all Machiavellian traits.
Peace does not bring ‘profits’ for them in any way, shape or form. They fight for ‘gain’.
Gandhi could clearly see the dangers different religions posed to each other. He wanted a ‘unified India’ of all different religions, living together in harmony. But the British had other ideas; losing their empire – their ‘Jewel in the British Crown’ – they laid the groundwork for the partitioning of India into two states, and subsequently displaced millions of Indian Muslims and the mass slaughter of Hindus and Muslims.
This is the Western way; this is the British way, and for this reason I make the argument that Gandhi’s legacy was very short lived. I believe the key lies in the ‘East’. India is becoming more and more powerful by each passing day. Eventually, Western countries will have to ‘yield’, and once countries like India and China’s economy matures enough, and the West can see that there is now a balance of power between East and West, maybe then Gandhism will prove valid.
Gandhi was a visionary who was way ahead of his time. He showed us what can be achieved through ‘non-violence’. Perhaps one day his Gandhism will become just as fashionable as Machiavellianism.
Shahrokh Sharifrazy is A trained mathematician from the University of London..Shahrokh has been an accomplished teacher of Mathematics for a long time and is now full time journalist. He originally hails from Iran.
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