70 th anniversary of Gandhi’s heroic efforts in Noakhali for peace and harmony

6 th November 2016 :- Day -1

70 th anniversary of Gandhi’s heroic efforts in Noakhali for peace and harmony                                                                      Prof.Neelakanta Radhakrishnan
6 th November 2016 :

It was this day, seventy years ago, Gandhi left Sodepur Ashram which is  on the outskirts of Kolkata to restore peace and confidence in people  in the Noakhali region ( now in  Bangladesh)which at that time had witnessed one of the worst massacres in history. As a shantisainik and prophet of harmony Gandhi  displayed remarkable leadership in healing the wounds and took humanity by surprise as he emerged as one of the most successful champions of  dialogue, harmony,reconciliation and forgiveness in human affairs.

One of the least highlighted and perhaps neglected aspects of MAHATMA GANDHI’S striving for confidence and community building is the supreme importance Gandhi accorded to Dialogue, Reconciliation and Forgiveness as evidenced in what is known in history, “THE MIRACLE OF CALCUTTA, THE NOAKHALI PILGRIMAGE and the magic touches of Gandhi to most of the tense and violence-ravaging hearts in the wake of the Calcutta carnage and the Noakhali killings. Besides uncommon courage to court death so that others might live in peace, these strivings of Gandhi  brought to fore powerfully and very evocatively the Gandhian vision of the ideal of Shantisena and every individual readying himself into a Shantisainik demonstrating  his/her readiness to die for peace and harmony.

From a historical perspective, ‘Noakhali’ brings to one’s mind the twin images in modern peace parlance: senseless killings, man’s brutality to fellow human beings and communal hatred.

While on the positive and spiritual side it represents thanks to Gandhi, the highest point of man’s ability to resurrect, recreate, dialogue, forgive, reconciliation and promote human brotherhood and peace.

From Gandhi’s strivings during the most tumultuous period in Indian history particularly in Noakhali, Calcutta and Bihar the world also witnessed with disbelief  and consternation his  heroic  and matchless  plunge in to the  scene of world’s  worst internecine  killings  and bloodbath with stern resolve even  to die in order to persuade people to  search collectively  and individually ways and means to forge unity.

Every human being has something to learn from these heroic strivings of Gandhi and I would like to invite the learned readers to follow Gandhi as he faced the storm every day.

Every day from today we will examine briefly how Gandhi barefooted walked to move the hearts of people and persuade them to sit together and strive for peaceful settlement of disputes.