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Only Mahatma Gandhi and Technology can make India a world leader

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Soru Kumar
Soru Kumar
Product and Technology Leader based out San Francisco

Musing on Gandhi from San Francisco

After centuries of ignominy, IT services export is the ‘thing’ that has put India into the world map again, I thought as a young man. I am no more young and dumb, and know that the biggest Indian exports are: Mahathma Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, and Yoga.

Buddha, Yoga and Indian cultural knowledge are our contribution to the global society that we must always be proud of, and educate the world on. However, those gifts are thousands of years old. In recent time, in the last hundred years, arguably, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi is our gift, our biggest contribution, and our value-add to the global society.

Mohandas K. Gandhi at Ferry Building, San Francisco, California

The bottom of the statue reads:

“Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”

Albert Einstein on Gandhi

Where there is a love, there is a criticism. Some Indians don’t like to give all the credit to Gandhi for independence. The arguments are mostly valid. Some criticize him for partition, resulting in riots and blood. With the benefit of hindsight, they may have arguments that are worth consideration. However, even the moon has some black spots; even Bhagwan Ram made a mistake and banished Sita. On that note, on his anniversary, we should full heartedly celebrate the man – Mahatma Gandhi.

Why is Mahatma Gandhi such a big deal?

I’ll not go in any detail for what he meant and what he means for India. The inspiration that he was and the inspiration that he is for Indians. We all know it, more or less.

Gandhi was a role model for several world leaders of the twentieth century. His fanboys included Martin Luther King (MLK) in north America, Che Guevara in Latin America, and Nelson Mandela in Africa.

In American context, Gandhi was an inspiration of MLK, and I’m sure he would have loved to be called American Gandhi. MLK was the force behind the civil rights movement of sixties in America. MLK was the leader who had a dream and had the courage to dream it with open eyes — that Black and white are equal. Some Indian-Americans like to talk about Black-White issue in America and the caste system in India in the same breath. I’ll like to counter that it is not same at all. If Indian caste system is a crime of degree 1, American black-white issue is a crime of degree 10. MLK did bring a significant positive change in American society.

Like MLK, other fan boys of Gandhi brought positive changes in their home country. Thanks to them, and thanks to Gandhi that we live in the most peaceful time of world history. Gandhi is not just father of the nation, India.

If there is a man worthy of being called Father of the world. It is Mahatma Gandhi.

Did Gandhi invent non-violence?

Gandhi built non-violence movement. India built Gandhi. Nonviolence is part of India’s culture and teachings. Gandhi was merely the genius saint who applied old teachings for the independence movement.

  • If someone slaps you on one side of your face, turn the other one to him — Gandhi
  • I’ve stopped, when will you stop. (Mein to Thahar Gaya, Tum kab Thahroge) — Buddha

Do you see from where Gandhi may have got his inspiration? Nothing to take away from Mahatma Gandhi, father of our nation, but I believe and postulate that:

in no other country of the world, Gandhi could have BEEN born.

The environment, the culture and the philosophical undercurrent which was needed to make a Gandhi only existed in India.

Fortunately, the philosophical undercurrent is still there. Along with technology, this is what India will need to lead the world in coming decades.

Two Words: Technology and Gandhi

Software is eating the world. Luckily, India has a good head start here. No doubt a lot of work is needed, but with inspired leadership and good governance, India can become number one in technology. However, merely a superiority in technology will not make India a world leader.

To become a world leader, we’ll need a couple of Gandhis to Inspire the world. India has produced a Gandhi in the past and can do it again. India needs it, and the divided and polarized world needs it, too.

Last words

Before you get back to your life, don’t forget to listen to a song that Gandhi Loved. Remember, technology coupled with Gandhian leadership is what India needs.

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Soru Kumar
Soru Kumar
Product and Technology Leader based out San Francisco
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