When Gandhiji fought for independence….he really meant people should be independent of MANY things…not just from the English:

From Disease and Illness: Gandhiji is the only person in the world who said ‘you should be ashamed to say you are ill…see what YOU have done to your body that YOU became ill’. I did not understand this concept till my homeopathy doctor told me that 90% of illness is because of food – over eating, under eating, wrong food, too hot, too cold, too spicy, too early, too late…I just stopped being foolish with my food.

From servants: How many of us can live without any help? He did. He could cook, clean his room, clean his toilet – unlike some jokers- this was not a political statement. It was freedom from needing help. Charka was a part of this independence – I can sew my own clothes. So was the Dandi march…”I can make my own salt’

From needs: another brilliant Gandhian concept ‘I am rich by the things that I can live without’ ..he had minimalist needs, and he ate a ball made of neem leaves..which told him how tasty the food was, and I guess it killed the germs in his body!

From the British of course: We think this was his only fight.

From Ignorance:

From Darkness

…..remember when he said ‘Independence’ he meant all that.

How many of us have even ATTEMPTED..forget reached. Most people go for bigger cars, bigger houses, more servants,…..Independence day? Lets drive down to Mahableshwar..thats the thought, right? L O L

Long live Gandhiji.

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  1. @Khan,
    If I am articulate enough to keep with you, I am perceptive enough to understand “reality”. Realities are just that… an individual’s respond-react mechanism based around the World he moves in (Kiyosaki had an excellent discussion in one of his books, forget where). I certainly don’t have any rose-tinted specs.

    What I am trying to get across is some of the myths that cocoon us because of the very (relative) short term boom that we have been seeing in our lives….
    Read this essay which expands on some of the “myths” in this post, written by a good acquaintance and a fellow scientist.

    OK, regarding medicine itself, the birthplace of Western medicine, i.e., the West is itself in crossroads regarding how long this juggernaut will roll. Please read the latest Archdruid report. Some excerpts:

    On the one hand, I’m alive today because of modern medicine. At the age of seven, I came down with a serious case of scarlet fever. That’s a disease that used to kill children quite regularly, and in a premodern setting, it almost certainly would have killed me. As it was, I spent two weeks flat on my back, and pulled through mostly because of horse doctor’s doses of penicillin, administered first with syringes that to my seven-year-old eyes looked better suited for young elephants, and thereafter in oral form, made palatable with an imitation banana flavoring I can still call instantly to mind.

    then he lays out the flip side

    My wife has lifelong birth defects in her legs and feet, because her mother’s obstetrician prescribed a drug that was contraindicated for pregnant women because it causes abnormalities in fetal limb development. My only child died at birth because my wife’s obstetrician did exactly the same thing, this time with a drug that was well known to cause fatal lung abnormalities. Several years later we found out by way of a media exposé that the latter doctor had done the same thing to quite a few other women, leaving a string of dead babies in his wake. The response of the medical board, once the media exposure forced them to do something, was quite standard; they administered a mild reprimand. If this reminds you of the Vatican’s handling of pedophile priests, well, let’s just say the comparison has occurred to me as well.

    Going forward:

    if I could find a competent, affordable general practitioner to give me annual checkups and help me deal with the ordinary health issues middle-aged men tend to encounter, I’d be happy to do so. The catch here is that little word “affordable.” Along with those birth defects, my wife has celiac disease, a couple of food allergies, and a family history with some chronic health problems in it; for that matter, my family history is by no means squeaky clean; we’re both self-employed, and so health insurance would cost us substantially more than our mortgage. That’s money we simply don’t have. Like a large and growing fraction of Americans, therefore, we’ve turned to alternative medicine for our health care.

    The more dogmatic end of the mainstream medical industry tends to dismiss all alternative healing methods as ineffective by definition. That’s self-serving nonsense; the core alternative healing modalities, after all, are precisely the methods of health care that were known and practiced in the late 19th century, before today’s chemical and surgical medicine came on the scene, and they embody decades or centuries of careful study of health and illness. There are things that alternative health methods can’t treat as effectively as the current mainstream, of course, but the reverse is also true.

    Still, behind the rhetoric of the medical industry lies a fact worth noting: alternative medical methods are almost all much less intensive than today’s chemical and surgical medicine. The best way to grasp the difference is to compare it to other differences between life in the late 19th century and life today—say, the difference between walking and driving a car. Like alternative medicine, walking is much slower, it requires more personal effort, and there are destinations that, realistically speaking, are out of its reach; on the other hand, it has fewer negative side effects, costs a lot less, and dramatically cuts your risk of ending up buttered across the grill of a semi because somebody else made a mistake.

    Before you dismiss him as a nobody, please count the number of comments for any of his post (150-200+ comments for every post and still counting). In other words, he has more readers than our own Subra 😉 and he is also influential.

    From the comments of that post in question, here’s a medical doctor:

    As a Family Physician in a small town, I can readily see the de-industrialization, and de-“everything else” happening in America right now. Being “inside the loop” of Medicine, I can also see that upstream, the Medical Powers That Be are not aware and have no desire to become aware. I am actively integrating Alternative Medicine and true Preventative Medicine into my practice, but I see no danger of Modern Medicine doing like-wise…

    I fear the only “solution” that will turn Modern Medicine around is the societal pain coming from these two very large objects (Modern Medicine going one way vs. Modern American Society going the other) grinding against each other. Some would call this a crash, but I’m afraid that word (crash) is deceptive to most.

    As a economic system we are mostly propped up by FIIs (yes we are hovering in the 17,000+ number not because of local investment but because of those robber barons). Be very aware that the modern life we are taking for granted is courtesy of some very hard nosed crooks. I vividly remember the 1997 Asian paper tigers crisis (collapse?) for I was personally affected by it very badly. Hence my warnings about cutting back and becoming an independent generalist rather than some totally dependent-on-the-propped-system specialist. Truth might be bitter, but in the end it makes you better (i.e., sets you free)

    Have a nice day.

  2. Thought provoking arguments and counter arguments. However, i feel they(both arguments) are going on parallel and opposite lanes and truth lies somewhere in the middle. This reminds me of the illusion of young lady /old lady, where one understands and argues for what he sees first.

    To me Gandhi’s philosophy is improving oneself by making one less dependent. Theoretically when one tries hard enough, he can learn some things what ever the difficulties/obstructions may be. In this i agrees with one line of thinking outlined above. However this simply does not do away with the specialists, who are required anyway. Thus i agree with the second line of thinking.

    However, one cannot argue for pure independence or pure dependence in exclusivity. Neither ideal is practicable as man is a social animal. Also, independence works for one or small groups. However independence cannot hold when one works in big groups. It will not be sufficient for getting great things done. If Gandhi alone sat in the beach doing satyagraha, will not be able to achieve what he had done.

    In this situation, one can look at the concept of interdependence. Actually this is used by Gandhi throughout. This is best of both worlds(Independence and dependence) and better than either. At a personal level, it empowers you a lot, to be independent. I experienced this in the past few years. For 15 years of my working life, i was practically afraid of finance. At the time of IT returns, used to submit the required docs and pay his fees and be happy. Happy?????? This is a good state right. I thought so for 10 years.

    Then one fine day, i had a strong desire to improve my financial knowledge and started working on that. I feel i improved quite a lot. Last three years i am filing my own returns and can understand basics of what is happening around. However, i will not be able to file my returns i start a business or anything like that. That is for the specialists to do. However, i can reasonably understand what is going on. Now i am learning many things in many fields. This does not make specialists in that field redundant. It simply improves me, and that matters to me most.

    As the name of Gandhi auto biography suggest, his actions were his experiments with worldly things. Some of which he could learn to do. Common thread among all those experiments is his trial to surpass himself and his ego. However, one stark point that comes out in this pursuit is the pressure he exerted on others to follow a things which he felt correct. This alienated many to him. However, the strength of his character and single mindedness towards his goal(independence) made him dear to masses.

    As anything else, his philosophy also can be used for improving oneself. Rather than blindly following, one can check the philosophy with the current reality and make a course correction when he feels the need. As per me simple living is highly satisfying. However, this does not do away with the progress man is achieving, which is obviously the work of experts.

  3. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    @Srinvas
    Thanks for finding the middle ground between us.
    @ Surio
    Thanks for debating with me. I really learnt a lot. Thank you

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