Posts Tagged ‘Independent spirit’

Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience inspired MK Gandhi to hone his own idea of passive resistance into an effective weapon. His ‘Walden’, though were ignored by his contemporaries -only 2000 copies were sold during his lifetime, no other American books have been discovered into more languages. His books and essays which he wrote about his struggle to stay free became one of the world’s great testimonies to the values of personal independence.
His first book,’A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’ sold only 219 copies, and one day an express wagon drew up before his house with 706 unsold copies. Later Thoreau scribbled cheerfully in is journal ‘I have now a library of nearly 900 volumes, over 700 of which I wrote myself.” Each copy of the book published at just over a dollar is worth up to 600 dollars today.(this was written some 30 years ago.So the present exchange rate will vary. b)
In India Gandhi’s name is a cloak for politicians to fool the public. How many Indians do really care for his ideals or practice his homespun way of life? In this present day of market economy everybody has become a mountebank than march to his own beat. We wear Levis, Versace, Ralph Lauren or some other because these are famous brands. Many uphold their labels because themselves are zeroes.
There is one passage from Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac that I recall often:”…There is one crown I bear away with me,/
And to-night, when I enter before God,/My salute shall sweep all the stars away/From the blue threshold! One thing without stain,/Unspotted from the world, in spite of doom/Mine own!-
And that is /-That is…
My white plume…”

mon panache is what you and I have let drag through mud and for another to spit upon just because he has money to pay for the damages.
Isn’t time we stopped playing the fool and discovered afresh our heritage as shown by Gandhi and Thoreau?

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