In its wider socio-economic implications, Ahimsa, means critical thinking, constructive criticism and defending the oppressed, downtrodden. Whilst defending the oppressed and downtrodden, Ahimsa may require the use of force and armed resistance to the imperial, draconian exploiters. The colonialists who narrate history to suit their predisposition, will wittingly skew the meaning of indigenous languages to facilitate their agenda. And hereby translate Ahimsa only in its religious, spiritual meaning as non-violence, non-injury and pacifism.
This was how Edwin Arnold gerrymandered the meaning in his translation of Bhagavad Gita and is the interpretation favored by Mohan Karamchand Gandhi aka Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was after all educated in the British Universities, been and Jain and was also sympathetic to Christian missionaries who were ‘helping’ the untouchables with induced conversions.
Had this rendition of Ahimsa been the singular dictum, then all our Puranam and Itihaasa would effectively be null and void, which is the intention of the English translators in the first place. In our epic scriptures, God Himself comes to the deliverance of His people oppressed by tyrants.
So, to suit their agenda, the British foisted Mahatma Gandhi as the poster boy for their ploys. They have made him (Gandhi) an iconic ideal. This docile, servile and English bred Bapu became the much-needed distraction. Under Gandhi’s political campaign, Indian became divided, raped of its resources and stunted in its economic growth.
The English saw to it that Gandhi be immortalized in history as a bastion of peaceful resistance – pacifism. All who would come to Britain to be ‘properly’ educated would undoubtedly be mesmerized by this paragon of virtue. One of sons of the Indian Diaspora and former Prime Minister (now deceased) boldly described himself as a Gandhian politician without fully realizing the devasting implications of this British trap. And like Gandhi’s reign, our infamous Gandhian politician also saw a 17 – 17 (2) divide, an 18 – 18 divide; and inevitably the collapse of law and order, the still birth of accountability, and total flagrant disregard for transparency.
Trinidad, since Independence is still not self-sufficient, not self-reliant; its constitution favors the wealthy financiers; protects the criminally associated; and denies the voting public any rights to recall corrupt government officials. When the self-proclaimed Gandhian politicians assumes Office, the British brainwashing and indoctrination steps out of the shadows and we are back to being docile, servile complaint plantation workers.
advocate for socio-religious reform,
freelance writer, author and mythology researcher.