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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:40 am 
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First ill post the good:

Looking up quotes, I found something surprising about him.

"But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbors violence and hatred in his heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to nonviolence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature.

Before he can understand nonviolence, he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him further away from nonviolence." -

Mahatma Gandhi

or

"where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence."

Mahatma Ghandi

His writings and his views, his version of Jainist Hinduism was never black and white, and you read about his life, he lived by such a strict code, hard not to admire the guy.


But a friend of mine who is half sikh and half hindu(well one parent is sikh the other is hindu, he just hasn't identified as either) and my parents, with their pakistani background and bias have other opinions of him


Both talk about figures in south asian history that have been greatly ignored for achieving great things:

My friend said in an e-mail:"he(Ganhdi) controlled the heartbeat of India, even the warlike Pathans turned to non-violence for this man. All that, so he could ##### it all up in 1947. Basically Nehru wanted to be the PM, muslim league has never got proper political power in India so they wanted a separate enclave (they might have had some genuine fear of discrimination as well). And Gandhi got manipulated. All he had to do was to step down hard on congress leadership and this issue could have been resolved. Indian constitution was written in 1950, so there was no way they could alledge discrimination if Gandhi had put appropriate clauses in for their fears. He might have been a good man, but he suffered cowardice at the most critical juncture in his life."

he added by saying: "Gandhi could have stirred the masses and all the Brits in India could have been burnt alive right after the Jullianwalla bagh genocide. But, he was so used to british empire, he could not envision India without the white man. I dunno how his psyche worked, but praising white man's empire and calling black south africans, lazy niggers is far from saintly. Under Gandhi we continued to be slaves, until british were so weak they couldnt enforce the empire in India (see bombay naval rebellion, army mutinies in central India etc after ww2). Gandhi won us freedom is a giant myth that we need to get rid of. He kept us slaves as long as he was praised by the brits.

one thing that I dont like about Pakistani education system is that they dont teach the kinds about the pre partition era, how the revolutionaries fought them and sacrificed their lives. When I came to Canada and made Pakistani friends, I was shocked that they didnt know about Bhagat Singh. But, this is the world we deal with, it will all end pretty soon anyways, end cant be too far haha

Seriously, read about the guy, he died for us all. there have been 3 movies made by bollywood if thats ur thing. Him and Subhash Chandra Bose, iwould highly recommend"

on pakistan and india: Obviously the ideological differences will remain between India and Pakistan bro. But, we should learn from that sad past and not let that happen again. India need to focus in its north eastern states and pakistan in balochistan and NWFP. we should stop any further divisions. It leads nowhere.


. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagat_Singh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subhash_Chandra_Bose

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahid_Ashfaqallah_Khan


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:44 am 
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I believe he is worth talking about in a martial arts forum because of two reasons:

Non-violence vs violence.

He himself clearly knew thigns were not so black and white. And thus, in a forum full of people who like to practice hand to hand combat....IS a time ever right to face physical violence with non-violent resistence? If so...when?



And secondly, the critique many folks have about the G man is based on what they percieve is his FAILURE at certain times, or rather times when non-violent resistence should have been applied DIFFERENTLY....or not at all.


Again, do you all think there was a time wher Gandhi either should have abandoned non-violent resistence, applied it different....or simply have taken another concept in his nationalist struggle?


As practitioners of personal protection(and as many of you are soldiers) and warriors.....what is your impressions and analysis of how Gandhi, the most celebrated Jain non-violent resistent pacifist conducted himself?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Well my first reaction is not to pay much attention to armchair naysayers who claim to have a corner on the history of heroism and character. They're entitled to their opinions of course. That doesn't mean they're worth paying attention to. Particularly when you consider the political and religious hatred found in India and Pakistan, one has to take any passionate statements emanating from that region with a grain of salt.

It's also much easier to judge another from the comfort of one's own point in history than to have lived those times and have made many of the critical decisions and choices.

As to some of your quoted sayings...

Quote:
But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbors violence and hatred in his heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to nonviolence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature.

Before he can understand nonviolence, he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him further away from nonviolence.

Well the point here is any damn fool can be nonviolent. Most cowards are nonviolent.

Gandhi was special because he put himself in the path of danger and stood up for his beliefs. He confronted violence with nonviolence. There's a difference between such an individual and one who runs in the face of violence.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:41 pm 
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India has a history of non-violence far before Gandhi. Ashoka for example.
In his case his non-violence ocurred after witnessing the horror of war.
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/people/p/Ashoka.htm
India should be discussed a lot more on martial arts forums since this is where martial arts likely originated.

I can't help with Gandhi much, I studied ancient India. It is a fascinating study, and so much technology and discovery that should be attributed to India, especially in mathmatics, isn't.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Yeah, Jainist hinduism damn well predates Gandhi.

I bring him up for Jainists because he's the most direct in applying the Jainist philsoophy.

I just find him a fascinating man, and after reading his views on violence, I can't help but get irritated when people treat Jainism as black and white. CLearly, Jainism DOES have a self defense doctrine, not just by Gandhi but others too! I doubt the many years jainist ideas have been spinning around it's just been so black and whtie as 'violence bad! Non-violence good!'


Yeah alot of greek, Persian, Arab, and ancient Egyption discoveries/achievements can be traced back to Hindustan and science from that area.

It IS surprising how much of it's history is ignored.



As for arm chair critics, the ones frim india and pakistan and bangladesh are living in the realities and consequences of what the men in the past did. It's not wise to ignore any critique from people living the reality, even if it's against a man you respect. And I respect Gandhi, he had the flaws of a man of his time, but hardly there is a historical figure where we know so many details of their personal life that will come across as perfect. He was born and raised in a time that was racist, and other flaws he had were flaws any man could have. Hard to judge past historical figures.
That said, there are some pretty detailed critiques of Gandhi, i have to read them, right now i only have superficial understands of what people didn't like about him.
Either way, not my place to pass a moral judgement on Gandhi.
My friend was too harsh on him, againg judging a man he never met, judging his actions when he was not in his shoes, judging opinions he had in time when unacceptable opinions today were acceptable back then.


It's just very hard to judge.

That said, nothing wrong with looking at critiques or entertaining the POSSIBILITY that maybe he was a huge douche bag or more flawed than we thought.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:13 pm 
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AAAhmed46 wrote:
That said, nothing wrong with looking at critiques or entertaining the POSSIBILITY that maybe he was a huge douche bag or more flawed than we thought.

No man is as good as his most ardent admirers claim, and no man as flawed as his most severe critics make him out to be. Humans are after all human.

A good case in point is my hero Mr. Jefferson. DNA tests show that one genetic line from Sally Hemings shares major Y-chromosome features of the Jefferson line. While there's no way of knowing if TJ or brother Randolph planted the seed, the possibility of it being Thomas himself gets the mind wandering. Liberal apologists of Wild Bill Clinton used to wag their fingers at TJ and say 'See!!! See!!!' Well... maybe. So let's consider the scenario - if it is indeed true. Jefferson's wife dies, and he is alone. His favorite slave genetically is the half sister of the love of his life. So a lonely TJ develops a private romance with a mulatto at a time when such a thing would be met with higher society disapproval. TJ is accused, and denies it. And you know what? If it's true I say good for TJ and the rest of the gossipers can go to hell. And that's a far cry from a married president repeatedly getting his Willie waxed on the job in the Oval Office by one of his interns.

But if it makes the liberals feel better, what-ever...

It is what it is. We find out that a lonely widower may have been human, and looked beyond the strict rules of the social conservatives of his time. And that's very much the libertarian-minded man that we know TJ to be.

Gandhi I'm sure was no different. He was human. He was a brave and remarkable human, but he was human.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:14 pm 
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I had lunch with a man from India today and we were discussing Ashoka. He was a great leader developing roads etc... He was telling me southern India is very safe to visit but northern India is very dangerous. I suppose it is not far from the fighting. Fascinating country, I would love to visit.
In my undergrad I did a thesis on yoga and its early origins as a system for preparing men for martial arts training (far cry from the black tight wearing soccer moms of today). I went into kalaripayattu
http://www.kalaripayattu.org/ And the migration of Bodhi Dharma to China where he (according to tradition) taught the Shaolin monks.
Any Indian Buddhist monk travelling such a great distance would have to be able to protect himself, You could easily be killed for the clothes on your back then, if not now. Now whether Alexander the Great had introduced western Greek wrestling systems is also up for grabs, since he left a force of military soldiers in India when he attempted to return home. Martial arts have a long tradition of synthesis of other forms and traditions. I would say the block first before striking ideal that we were once taught in Uechi is descended from the non-violent ideals from the time of Ashoka and that survived into the time of Gandhi.

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