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What Made Mahatma Gandhi The Supreme Artist Of Disobedience

For the Mahatma, the 'small, still voice' inside demanding disobedience can be acted upon only by submission to truth, writes author Tridip Suhrud

What Made Mahatma Gandhi The Supreme Artist Of Disobedience
What Made Mahatma Gandhi The Supreme Artist Of Disobedience
outlookindia.com
2019-09-27T15:27:21+05:30

In November 1936, Basil Mathews asked M.K. Gandhi, “Where do you find the seat of author­ity?” Gandhi pointed to his breast, probably to the very same spot through which one of the bullets entered and lodged itself in his body, and replied, “It lies here. I exercise my judgement about every scripture, including the Gita.” What Gandhi was pointing out was what Soc­rates called his daimon/ daemon, his inner voice. If the inner voice or the conscience is the source of authority, it is the source of all judgement of truth; if it is the measure of things, then disobedience of what is repugnant to it becomes not only an imperative, but that capacity defines for such an individual the very idea of human vocation.

Gandhi was a supreme artist of disobedience. He disobeyed the empire, authorities of scriptures, injunctions of ­traditions, ‘laws’ of economic behaviour, gendered notions of work and action, even the ­political movement and party he led and helped shape. He disregarded the notion that politics was a zero sum game. His...

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