Monday, November 04, 2013

Remembering Gandhi Around India

One of the world's most inspirational figures for peace and change for people in need, is remembered all across India.

We came across him first, in statue form overseeing the Marina Beach in Chennai. This is Gandhi remembered as he lead the Salt March. An instrumental movement of people, which helped shift India to independence.

His powerful form of nonviolent civil disobedience made a difference. He called it "right against might".

We saw him again in Pondicherry, but the most significant places Gandhi is remembered is Delhi.

The Raj Ghat, the ghat where Gandhi was cremated after he was assassinated in 1948, sits within a huge grass area on the banks of the Yanuna River. The walls around it make the memorial a quiet and peaceful place, with the eternal flame burning always.

The Gandhi Smriti, however, was where I learned the most. Free to enter, you can walk along the windows of the room where Mahatma Gandhi lived for this last months. And then you can follow his footsteps, helpfully marked out, on his final walk to prayer - where he was shot dead.

Reading the boards of information along the walk told of the work Gandhi did, and the moments that lead to his death. It's actually done really well, and is very moving.

Behind the house in which he stayed, is an indoor museum which is a multimedia overlay of all the work Gandhi did.

You could spend hours in there, taking in the volumes of information. I spent the time I had stepping through the simple dioramas that stepped through his life, significant event to significant event. Wow, what a life.

One of the boards outside had this quote, which really stayed with me, his India Of My Dreams...
I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country, in whose making they have an effective voice, an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people; an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability, or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men. We shall be at peace with all the rest of the world. This is the India of my dreams.
Gandhi's work is still not yet finished. Keeping working at it, India.

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