daily-blog gandhi peace philosophy violence

What if Gandhi also supported violence?

Photo by Elias Arias on Unsplash

During India’s struggle for freedom, Gandhi played a pivotal role in galvanizing the Indian population to resist the British colonial rule. The central theme of his movement was the idea of non-violent resistance. Gandhi strongly believed — permanent social change, especially the independence of the country can be achieved only through ahimsa.

Gandhi has a global reputation of being a pacifist, and his birthday, October 2nd is celebrated as the international day of non-violence.

Gandhi- the embodiment of non-violence, wasn’t an idealist as he also touched upon the possibility of using violence.

In the 2010 movie, A-team, one of the characters- Baracus undergoes a transformation in prison and when his friends break him out of jail, he finds it difficult to go back to his old ways. Baracus is conflicted between adhering to his newfound principles of nonviolence and his need to help his team complete a dangerous mission.

Nevertheless, he agrees to join the team, and before they gear up, Baracus has a conversation with the team leader and decides to read a quote by Gandhi:

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

To which, the team leader, John Smith responds with another quote by Gandhi:

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.

Human beings harbor the idea of violence when they feel threatened or sense danger to their loved ones. When someone is cornered and their life is at stake, exercising non-violence isn’t going to help in any way. That’s cowardice and impotence at its peak.

Gandhi definitely propagated the idea of non-violent resistance. But, what happens when that resistance is broken by a violent force capable of decimating the person?

Every living being trembles while facing death. It is impossible to not be filled with violence in such a scenario, and Gandhi himself pushed the idea of acting on that violence. It is definitely not to be mistaken with filling oneself with violence and using that as the primary tool for fighting.

The sword should remain in the scabbard and should be unleashed only when the situation demands it. The shield can also reap desired results.

Thank you for reading.

What if Gandhi also supported violence? was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Ants invading my underwear

Ants Invading My Underwear

Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash

Did the title make you smile? If it did, I’m glad you are able to gloat. As you still linger on the pleasure of my misfortune this morning, let me make one thing clear: the only other group of creatures that drew pleasure out of this situation was a small army of ants that had made their way into my underpants from the laundry line.

Since they attacked a crucial area, panic buttons were pushed aggressively and I had to dive into damage control immediately. That meant stripping down everything. Even though I didn’t remove my shirt, I rolled up the sleeves for the obvious theatrics of going into war.

Yes, it was war!

I wiped the underpants with a wet towel and proceeded to wear it back. I was cocky about my intense wiping and didn’t bother to check if I had killed all of them.

Well, I immediately regretted not checking and instantly understood even ants have contingency plans. Took off my underwear, and I spotted one more ant that had survived. After ensuring the enemy was neutralized, I decided to wage chemical warfare, just to be sure. I took my grandmother’s direction of using her dusting powder.

I nursed the pain that was inflicted in a short period of time through breakfast, and I was immediately reminded of the time I had destroyed the habitat of a colony of ants recently while I was watering plants in my backyard.

I had karma for breakfast!

Ants invading my underwear was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Are you a contrarian?

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

John D Rockefeller was the business tycoon that started the Standard Oil Company in 1870. In 1916, he became the first person to amass a personal fortune of 1 billion USD. If inflation models are used, he would now be worth ~350 billion USD. During his peak, 90% of the oil in the US was controlled by Rockefeller’s organization.

When it came to investing, Rockefeller always ignored the “crowd” and market inclinations. Without a doubt, Rockefeller had the attitude of buying stocks when there was blood in the streets. This is commonly known as contrarian investing, and in a broad manner: contrarian thinking. Warren Buffet is considered a stalwart investor and he epitomizes contrarian investing.

Contrarians don’t respect the status quo, instead, they challenge it and use the underlying weaknesses to their own advantage. They tend to form their own principles and the idea of seeking permission is not in their dictionary.

Why are contrarians important to society?

Their life philosophies are usually formed in their own heads. It propels them to change their environment and have radically different visions. The actualization of a different vision means the possibility of a different and hopefully a better vision for society.

Contrarians don’t shy away from holding contrary opinions against the majority, and they manage to achieve it by questioning every opinion, especially their own belief system.

Rene Descartes- the French philosopher and mathematician, who is considered the first modern philosopher, devised the technique of cartesian doubt. The methodology involves stripping everything that is commonly considered to be true and subjecting it to careful scrutiny. This allows the practitioner to sieve out the false claims and build a mindset based on a belief system that is absolutely certain.

“Think different” was popularized by Apple’s advertising campaigns in the late 90s. When Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, “Think different” became the popular mantra and a lot of people felt compelled to think differently to achieve success.

The idea of contrarian thinking is not to think differently just for the sake of it. But, to develop a faculty of thinking that has the courage to challenge every belief system and absorb ideas and thoughts that can stand the test of time.

Thank you for reading!

Are you a contrarian? was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Let’s not forget the ground work

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Performance psychology 101

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Turning 28

Below are the 28 points I learnt from last year:

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bullying college daily-blog experience life

Dear sir! I failed you as a human.

In my 3rd semester of engineering, Material science and Metallurgy was one of my favorite subjects. Unfortunately, the faculty who was handling the subject left the institution abruptly for reasons I am not aware of.

The replacement was a relatively young M.Tech graduate from Kerala who had just a year of experience teaching.

The HOD introduced him to the class and left. I clearly remember sitting in the front row for his debut. He flipped through the textbook, checked the course progress with one of us, and proceeded to write the next topic on the board.

The moment he started speaking, the entire class started making fun of his thick accent. I remember how I looked at one of my friends and smiled. Well, you feel entitled to be able to make fun of people from your own ethnic group.

The fact that my entire class and I made him the laughing stock for the remainder of the session isn’t something I am proud of, but that’s the truth.

His lack of experience and general inability to manage a class was clearly visible and by the end of the first session, everyone knew he could be taken for a ride.

Things escalated quickly within the next few sessions. The majority of the class started coming late as attendance was given nevertheless, and some even started sneaking out after the attendance was marked.

In one of the sessions, someone threw chalk at him, and when the person realized he hadn’t noticed, he threw one more.

He ignored it and proceeded with the session. The moment he turned back, a paper plane came flying, followed by bits of paper from different spots in the classroom. Commotion filled the classroom and there was a short phase of absolute chaos.

I instantly knew this was wrong, but I consoled myself by convincing me how I wasn’t part of the group that was harassing him. In hindsight, even though I wasn’t directly part of it, when I decided to stay mum about the whole scenario and not intervene, I was inevitably partaking in one of the cruelest ways of oppressing another human being:


I don’t remember if he instantly left the class, but I do vaguely recollect him declaring that nobody was getting attendance for that session.

The video about a young Australian boy crying and requesting someone to kill him because of the amount of bullying he has been facing from his peers for dwarfism has gone viral. My obvious pondering over the subject of bullying is what probably took me 9 years back in time. The amount of shame and regret I experience when I look back is simply unfathomable.

He used to sit in the thermodynamics lab, and every time I saw him sitting alone, I used to wonder what must be going through his head considering the amount of mistreatment he has been getting. I feel ashamed that I didn’t even try talking to him outside class to offer any support.

I don’t think he stayed with us till the end of the semester, but somewhere deep down I was happy he chose self-respect over continuing. Until today, I don’t think I ever thought about him after that semester.

I might be overthinking and giving my anxiety a free pass to fill my head, but what if our acts as a class scarred a young man right at the beginning of his career?

What if we crushed whatever little acumen he had garnered for the art of teaching with our behavior?

What if he decided to completely give up on his teaching career because of a bunch of dominating hotheads?

The possibilities are immense and the more I think about it, shame seems to be brimming and oozing out of me.

I don’t want to close with a request or prayer for abstaining from bullying, instead, I want to leave a fact about how shame engulfs you like an inferno when you realize you were a bully!

Thank you for reading!

Dear sir! I failed you as a human. was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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