So I was speaking of Gandhi's Favorite from Gandhi My Father (2007) in my last post. And speaking of the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections and the Mahatma Gandhi, here is an interesting thought if there ever was one. Who would Gandhi endorse? From barackobamafans.com. Don't you agree?
And before I publish this here, please note that these words might well be mine (:P), and you do not have to agree with everything expressed therein. The endorsement contained in it is very deliberate. Take it from a former [entirely voluntary, I swear] lobbyist for higher education to Congress who is a proud Gandhian.
Who would the Mahatma Gandhi endorse?
What the world needs today is change. A change in attitudes toward people of a global society. A philosophical change, when it comes to treating people on individual merit, not on presumptions of race, ethnicity, or religion. A cultural change, when it comes to managing people and their intellectual capacity.
I am a strong believer in the message delivered by the Mahatma Gandhi. What I know we respect the Mahatma most for is that he was a true champion of Ahimsa (non-violence). See, I believe that the pursuit of non-violence is the only means through which we can achieve long-term peace the world over. I am told by many that I am naive. Yet, I hold on to that belief.
As children, we were taught that trust and respect are the foundations of every relationship. Non-violence is then, in my humble opinion, the approach that offers the global community the best chance to earn this mutual trust and respect -- across geographic boundaries, religious ideologies, cultural biases, and ethnic preferences.
Gandhi invested his life in promoting non-violence, and helped steer to independence through his efforts what is today the world's largest democracy. To separate him from any discussion on non-violence would be unfair. And to separate a discussion on non-violence and its relevance to the world, from within the spectrum of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, would also be unfair. We the American people need a leader to look up to. To believe in. To trust. To speak the truth.
Amid all the campaign journalism and political punditry that justifiably earn the spotlight across global media, I ask myself: Who would the Mahatma Gandhi endorse if faced with the challenge of supporting one of the remaining three candidates in the race? John McCain, Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama?
One would assume this is a difficult question to answer. As a Gandhian, I know not to take it lightly. Yet, the answer could not be more black and white than it is this election year.
Seriously...who would Gandhi endorse?
One who dares to talk of shunning war? Of negotiating first? Of doing something to provide a glimmer of hope for those of us who believe that non-violence needs to be accepted at an alarming pace by those at the upper echelons of any country's leadership, lest we aim to lose sight of the bigger picture and the dangers of entering another, dare I say the word, 'war'?
That candidate would be Barack Obama. At least he gives non-violence a chance.