Ghandi’s Final Days

Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi

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Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, the “Father of India,” was cremated on this day in 1948, one day after he was assassinated on his way to daily prayer. “Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe“, wrote Einstein, “that such a one as this, ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

Photo Gallery:  Ghandi’s Last Days

BIOGRAPHIC NOTES:

From: B. R. Nanda, 1953.

I. Introduction

WHEN GANDHI was born British rule had been established in India.  The uprising of 1857, known as the Mutiny, had merely served to consolidate the British adventure into an empire. India had effectively passed under British tutelage, so effectively indeed, that instead of resenting alien rule the generation of educated Indians were eager to submit to the “Civilizing mission” of their foreign masters.  Political subjection had been reinforced by intellectual and moral servility.  It seemed that the British empire in India was safe for centuries.

When Gandhi died it was India, a free nation that mourned his loss.  The disinherited had recovered their heritage and the “dumb millions” had found their voice.  The disarmed had won a great battle and had in the process evolved a moral force such as to compel the attention, and to some degree, the admiration, of the world.  The story of this miracle is also the story of Gandhi’s life, for he, more than any other was the architect of this miracle.  Ever since his grateful countrymen call him the Father of the Nation.

And yet it would be an exaggeration to say that Gandhi alone wrought this miracle.  No single individual, however great and wonderful, can be the sole engineer of a historical process.  A succession of remarkable predecessors and elder contemporaries had quarried and broken the stones which helped Gandhi to pave the way for India’s independence.  They had set in motion various trends in the intellectual, social and moral consciousness of the people which the genius Gandhi mobilized and directed in a grand march.  Raja Rammohan Roy, Ramkrishna Paramhamsa and his great disciple, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Dadabhai Navroji, Badruddin Tyabji, Syed Ahmed Khan, Ranade, Gokhale, Tilak, Aurobindo Ghosh and Rabindranath Tagore, to name only a few.  Each one of them, had in his own, field created a consciousness of India’s destiny and helped to generate a spirit of sacrifice which, in Gandhi’s hands, became the instruments of a vast political-cum-moral upheaval.  Had Gandhi been born hundred years earlier he could hardly have achieved what he did.  Nevertheless, it is true, that, but for Gandhi, India’s political destiny would have been vastly different and her moral stature vastly inferior.

But though Gandhi lived, suffered and died in India for Indians, it is not in relation to India’s destiny alone that his life has significance.  Future generations will not only remember him as a patriot, politician and nation-builder but much more.  He was essentially a moral force, whose appeal is to the conscience of man and therefore universal.  He was the servant and friend of man as man and not as belonging to this or that nation, religion or race.  If he worked for Indians only, it was because he was born among them and because their humiliation and suffering supplied the necessary incentives to his moral sensibility.  The lesson of his life therefore is for all to read.  He founded no church and though he lived by faith he left behind no dogma for the faithful to quarrel over.  He gave no attributes to God save Truth and prescribed no path for attaining it save honest and relentless search through means that injure no living thing.  Who dare therefore claim Gandhi for his own except by claiming him for all?

Another lesson of his life which should be of universal interest is that he was not born a genius and did not exhibit in early life any extraordinary faculty that is not shared by the common run of men.  He was no inspired bard like Rabindranath Tagore, he had no mystic visions like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, he was no child prodigy like Shankara or Vivekananda.  He was just an ordinary child like most of us.  If there was anything extraordinary about him as a child, it was his shyness, a handicap from which he suffered for a long time.  No doubt, something very extraordinary must have been latent in his spirit which later developed into an iron will and combined with a moral sensibility made him what he became, but there was little evidence of it in his childhood.  We may therefore derive courage and inspiration from the knowledge that if he made himself what he was, there is no visible reason why we should not be able to do the same.

His genius, so to speak, was an infinite capacity for taking pains in fulfillment of a restless moral urge.  His life was one continuous striving, an unremitting sadhana, a relentless search for truth, not abstract or metaphysical truth, but such truth as can be realized in human relations.  He climbed step by step, each step no bigger than a man’s, till when we saw him at the height he seemed more than a man.    “Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe“, wrote Einstein, “that such a one as this, ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”  If at the end he seemed like no other man, it is good to remember that when he began he was like any other man.

Such is the great lesson of his life. Fortunately, he has himself recorded for us the main incidents of his life till 1921 and described with scrupulous veracity the evolution of his moral and intellectual consciousness. Had he not done so, there would have been in India no dearth of devout chroniclers who would have invented divine portents at his birth and invested him with a halo from his childhood.

The complete bibliography continues here.

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The Meme

THE MEME: CULTURE AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM

THE MEME AND LIMINAL SPACE

Donald Winnicott once described one of the most important aspects of the “meme” as its capacity to represent or convey a sense of relational liminal space.  Further, when a person has or developes the capacity to engage in co-constructed interpersonal relational liminal spaces, one is able to become involved in an exciting “interplay between separateness and union.”  In Winnicott’s words:

“It is the self that must precede the self’s use of instinct; the rider must ride the horse, not be run away with.  I could use Buffon’s saying: ‘Le style est l’homme même.’  When one speaks of a man one speaks of him along with the summation of his cultural experiences.  The whole forms a unit.

I have used the term cultural experience as an extension of the idea of transitional phenomena and of play without being certain that I can define the word ‘culture’.  The accent indeed is on experience.  In using the word culture I am thinking of the inherited tradition.  I am thinking of something that is in the common pool of humanity, into which individuals and groups of people may contribute, and from which we may all draw if we have somewhere to put what we find.

There is a dependence here on some kind of recording method.  No doubt a very great deal was lost of the early civilizations, but in the myths that were a product of oral tradition there could be said to be a cultural pool giving the history of human culture spanning six thousand years.  This history through myth persists to the present time in spite of the efforts of historians to be objective, which they can never be, though they must try.

Perhaps I have said enough to show both what I know and what I do not know about the meaning of the word culture.  It interests me, however, as a side issue, that in any cultural field it is not possible to be original except on a basis of tradition.  Conversely, no one in the line of cultural contributors repeats except as a deliberate quotation, and the unforgivable sin in the cultural field is plagiarism.  The interplay between originality and the acceptance of tradition as the basis for inventiveness seems to me to be just one more example, and a very exciting one, of the interplay between separateness and union.”

Playing and Reality (1971)

2000 BLOGGERS: AND NOW HE’S ONE TOO!

TOP 2000 BLOGGERS

 

ET CETERA’S “DISEMBEDDED”

As a symbolic metaphor, this posting has implications that include the website “2000 Bloggers,” blogging, writing, electronic communication, and gay issues.  It may be of note to those who have social, political and/or cultural concerns, as well as interests in life, art and music.

A man might actually succeed in journalism by writing articles exactly appropriate to all the journals, and then putting them all into the wrong envelopes.”

Chesterton, G. K., The Illustrated London News, August 21, 1909

 

2000 Bloggers

OPEN UP:  2,000 BLOGGERS EXPANDABLE CONTENT BOX

Tino Buntic recently started an unusual project called 2000 Bloggers, in which this site, Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities, has just been included.  Buntic describes this new and innovative blogger social-network project:

“55,000,000 blogs…I’d like to showcase all of them, but I’ve settled on just 2000 bloggers.  Bloggers come from all walks of life!  Some are SEO experts.  Some are writers.  Some are sports enthusiasts.  Some are affiliate marketers.  Some are business professionals.  Some are political.  ALL HAVE OPINIONS!!!

Some bloggers blog to make money.  Some do it for fun.  There are dozens of social networks that bring the blogosphere together, with Technorati and MyBlogLog being two of the biggest.  I wanted to bring a whole bunch of bloggers together on one page.  2000 bloggers to be exact!  As I write this there have been over 1,200 bloggers accepted onto the site.  I won’t judge your blog.  I’ll link to all bloggers, A-List Bloggers, C-List Bloggers, All Blogs in between, and some that nobody has ever seen.  I don’t care if you have a daily readership of 100,000 people or if you have a daily readership of a dozen people, I’ll link to you.”

A generous kind of guy!!

SELF PORTRAIT

SELF PORTRAIT: FRED MANDELL

A SELF PORTRAIT OF MY SELF

My Self,
The self,
How many selves do we have?
How many selves do we need?

This piece of sculpture begs such public and private curiosities.  It is, in this way, a “model scene.”

Jennifer Hudson Continues Oscar Race: Wins Screen Actors Guild Award

JENNIFER HUDSON WINS THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARD

JENNIFER HUDSON: THE DREAMGIRL

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS AWARD

JENNIFER HUDSON’S SCREEN ACTORS GUILD ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

PHOTOGRAPHIC SLIDESHOW: JENNIFER HUDSON AND HER DREAM LIFE

Jennifer Hudson won The Screen Actors Guild Best Supporting Actress honors on Saturday night as the soulful singer in the movie Dreamgirls, reinforcing her status as an Academy Award Oscar front-runner as well. As the powerhouse vocalist in Dreamgirls, Hudson continued the breakneck pace of her rise to movie stardom after first becoming famous as an American Idol contender just two years ago.

In her acceptance speech, Hudson thanked her co-stars, who included Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx and Beyonce Knowles. ”Because of you, I was able to work and learn from the best. Yes, you are the best,” said Hudson, who added thanks to the Actors Guild. ”Just thank you for noticing little old me and accepting me.”

The awards, which were telecast simultaneously on TNT and TBS from the Shrine Exposition Hall in Hollywood, is the only televised awards show that exclusively honors performances in both movies and television. Two randomly chosen panels, each with 2,100 SAG members from across the country, selected the nominees; then, the entire active membership of the guild, approximately 98,000 members, voted.

Three of last year’s SAG award movie winners, Best Male Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote, Best Female Actor Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line and Best Supporting Female Actor Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardner, all went on to receive an Academy Award. Of the last 24 winners in the Guild’s Leading Actor categories, 17 have won Oscar gold.

No Academy Award Oscar has ever gone to a performer who had not previously been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

JENNIFER HUDSON AND JAMIE FOXX: DREAMGIRLS

JENNIFER HUDSON SINGS: “AND I AM TELLING YOU, I’M NOT GOING”

JENNIFER HUDSON SINGS: “I AM CHANGING”

JENNIFER HUDSON SINGS: “ONE NIGHT ONLY”

JENNIFER HUDSON SINGS: “I NEVER LOVED A MAN”

(Performed at This Year’s UNCF Benefit: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin)

Oscar Critics: Discussing the Supporting Actor and Actress Nominees

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“God Hates Fags” Pastor Releases New Video

JOEY OGLESBY: A.K.A., DONNIE DAVIES, THE “I HATE FAGS” PASTOR

Last week, I posted an article about the God Hates Fags preacher.  Yesterday, I announced that he had been exposed as a hoax….that this pastor was actualy a professional actor, named Joey Oglesby!!  If you’d like to see his God Hates Fags music video again, you can view it here:

Incidentally, doing a little more sleuthing, I discovered that just a few months ago Oglesby starred as a “redneck racist” in a play entitled Jesus Hates Me, which was performed in Dallas.  Now, doesn’t it take just one tiny step to go from Jesus Hates Me to God Hates Fags? Certainly seems to be the case to me!

“THE PASTOR’S” NEW VIDEO

Today, Joe My God passed along this reference to a new video (C.H.O.P.S: DISTURBED) in Davies’ (actually, Oglesby’s) overly drawn-out dramatic piece:

I’m getting a bit tired of this drawn out drama.  Here’s Davies’ third performance.  He cries about being mocked for his weight again, “I can dunk a basketball!”  Still, his acting continues to be flawless and the logo is damn funny.  Check out the crane shot at the end.  This ain’t no cheap production.

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“Et Cetera” Is Chosen for The 2007 Weblog Award

2007 Weblog Awards – Blog Of The Day Awards – Top Blog Awards

Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

Blog of the Day Awards for Sunday January 28, 2007:

“The Blog of the Day Award goes to Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities. The website presents interesting news and cultural postings, as well as photography, slideshows and video. There is a whole series on Jennifer Hudson and The Golden Globes.”

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