kiskiKAHANI (the Ramayana Project)

300 Ramayanas and Counting . . .
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Gandhi’s Ram-Rajya

Posted on by Imran

Ram, Allah and God were convertible terms to Mahatma Gandhi, and his concept of Ram-Rajya represented not Hindu rule but principled rule, writes Rajni Bakshi. Some of the ideas and values that were most precious to Mahatma Gandhi had a way of getting him into trouble. Historians and sociologists are still debating whether Gandhi did more harm than good by invoking the image of Ram-Rajya. Many dalits resent Gandhi’s coining of the term ‘Harijan’ to refer to the oppressed castes. It is a truism that many conflicts are a consequence of the gap between the intention of what was actually said and how it was received by the listener. The great tragedies of both individual lives and societies occur when both speaker and listener are ‘right’ – as in their perceptions are necessarily born    of their given context and experience of life. So there is merit in looking at why Gandhi was drawn to the Ramayana not in relation to the reactions it provoked among different groups, but rather as an end in itself. How this engagement of Gandhi was received is a much larger story, one that I will not attempt to grapple with here. ~ As a child, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had a fear of ghosts and spirits. Rambha, an old servant of the family, suggested that he repeat Ramanama to overcome this fear. “I had more faith in her than in her remedy, and so at a … Continue reading

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