The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog


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9/11 was an important day in history even before the tragedies of five years ago. In fact, in light of those tragedies, the message of 9-11-1906 – one hundred years ago today – offers a great deal of hope.

Here’s why, in the words of Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, during an interview with Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! Click here for the whole interview (it’s all good!).

Arun GandiAMY GOODMAN: Arun Gandhi, can you tell us what your grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, did 100 years ago today?

ARUN GANDHI: Well, as you said, he met in the theater with more than 3,000 Indian people, because they were victims of prejudices in South Africa and all kinds of unjust laws were enacted to oppress them and suppress them. And he realized that this was not right and that we should not submit to these things and should not live with this. And so he got the people together and explained to them that we have to resist this kind of injustice, and we have to do something about it. We should not just submit to it and live with it.

And people were wondering, how can we resist with the state so powerful, and we don’t have any weapons, you know, because every time, even today, when somebody talks about resistance, everybody thinks in terms of weapons and war and fighting. And that’s when grandfather explained to them that we don’t need any weapons of mass destruction. We have the ability to respond to this nonviolently and with self-suffering. And that’s what he encouraged the people to do. And they came out into the streets with love for the enemy. You know, grandfather didn’t tolerate any hate for the enemy or any anger for the enemy. He said nonviolence has to be complete nonviolence. We have to have love and respect for the enemy, and that is the only way we can overcome them. And that’s what he showed in his work.

And I am amazed that the prime minister of South Africa, General J.C. Smuts, later on he admitted that grandfather was the greatest. He called him a saint, and he said, “It was my misfortune that I had to be against him,” you know. And it was that kind of feeling of reverence and awe that he inspired even in his opponents. And I think that’s what we have to remember and try to make it a part of our lives . . .


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Written by Monte

September 10, 2006 at 10:45 pm

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