Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Power of Ideas.

It is still not long back that a MAN rose. Although he was born near the Western coast of the present day India, he found his purpose in life in a land on the opposite end of the Indian Ocean. It so happened that one fine day he was travelling in a first class railway compartment with a valid first class railway ticket. However, since he was a black and the compartment was apparently reserved only for the white masters, he was asked to move to the third class compartment. Strangely enough, he refused and had to be forcefully thrown out of the compartment.

The far-off land was South Africa. And the man was a young barrister by the name of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Now, incidents like this must have had been a daily affair all over the slave-world in the times when colonialism was the order of the day. Hundreds of people must have been thrown out of their compartments in a like-wise fashion. A few were men-enough to rise against the atrocity and claim their rightful place in the order of the humans. One of them was Mohandas.

The resources, if any, that he had to support himself and rely upon during his initial period of struggle were scanty. And the enemy that he was daring to stand up against was an empire so large that the sun never set completely on it. However, Mohandas had an idea that he wanted to implement, and he had so much faith in that idea of his that he was ready to work upon it, gradually evolve it and, if necessary lay down his life in order to prove it. The idea was Non-Violence and Satyagrah.

All that he had to say to his fellow countrymen was - "Speak truth. Be non-violent. Koi agar tumhe ek gaal pe thappar maare to dusara gaal aage kar do. Maar khao, itni adhik aur itni nirlajjata se maar khaao ki ek din maarne waala maarte-maarte thak jaaye aur wapas jahan se aaya tha wahin chala jaaye."

Weird, crazy and a laughable idea indeed. I wonder how he even dared to utter this idea in front of the public in general. Was he not afraid of being branded as a madman and being laughed at?

Whatever! The struggle began. The team started getting built up slowly. Over a period of time, the movement caught fire. The idea worked. And on 15th of August, 1947, a new star arose on the horizon. That star was India. Gandhi had achieved mostly what he had set out to achieve. He had made a land as unique as India all the more unique. While all the other nations were getting independence by violent means, we were the only one to get it mostly by a peaceful and non-violent method. And in the process, he himself had graduated from being just Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to Gandhi and then to Mahatma and Bapu. By the time the nation got independence, Mohandas was no longer important. It was Gandhi all over.

With the support and deadly determination of those who believed in them, it has always been IDEAS that have evolved the world. And the strange-most thing that seems to be with these world-changing ideas is that they always come in packages so simple that they, in most of the cases, if not all, tend to get overlooked. In their early stages, they are so weird and laughable to look at that it needs immense courage and belief on the part of those who believe in them to hold their ground. And this happens to be the case with all the walks of life – be it Science - where a few crazy scientists dared to go against the Church and said that it is the Earth that goes round the Sun and not the other way round and were in fact hanged till death for their courage to go against the institution that claimed to represent the God himself; or be it Business – where Muhammad Yunus comes from Bangladesh, believes earnestly that poor can be bankable, works on the idea and proves it to the world that the big multinational banking giants are in fact highly mistaken when they say that poor are not credit worthy.

Most of us must have had some crazy idea or the other at some stage in our life. And most of us decided to give that crazy idea a cold shoulder and either ignore it completely or leave it to be worked upon at some later stage in life. It is sad - the way the ideas get overlooked because of the lack of courage on the part of the humans. And it is important that they be worked upon. After all those who live in the memory of the human race long after they are gone are those who, against all odds, believed in their ideas and dared to implement it. The rest, once they die, get lost as if they never existed at all.

The history of the world is truly the history of a few men who had faith in their ideas.

 Believe in your IDEAS. In most of the cases, they are worth dying for.


Dishit D said...

//The history of the world is truly the history of a few men who had faith in their ideas. //
this line really summed up the entire post! great going!

Abhiskek Neel said...

Thanks Dishit ;-)

T N Neelakantan said...

I agree. When it comes to expressing one's ideas, strangely most people seem to be overpowered by their limbic brain that we borrowed from our ancestors and that controls our survival instinct rather than by their neo cortex, developed as part of human evolution, which is responsible for rational and analytical thinking. We are more bothered about our safety, security and physical comforts rather than about a name either during our life or after death. After all, who cares, once we die!

With best wishes.

T N Neelakantan

Abhishek Neel said...

Ya. I guess you are right.

Smitha Campbell said...

This is a really powerful post. I feel inspired now!