Wednesday, 3 October 2007

The spirit of Gandhi

2 October was Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday in India to mark the birthday of the father of the nation. It is one of a very small number of holidays observed in all states and union territories.

The holiday, also called the International Day of Non-Violence, sees prayer services and tributes all over India, especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi's memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated.

On this day, due to Gandhi's abstinence, alcohol cannot be bought anywhere in India.

So, the day before Gandhi Jayanti most Indians go out and stock up on the stuff so they have something to drink on their day off.

In the spirit of Gandhi, India's shopkeepers duly double the price of all the Kingfisher beer they sell.

Well, I guess it's a form on non-cooperation.

In the Political Compass self quiz I was quite proud to find myself sitting right next to Gandhi on the axis, firmly in the area of left libertarianism.

I don't think I'd have survived his fasting, vegetarianism and abhorrence of alcohol though. So, whilst wanting to celebrate his legacy and the many things he achieved through non-violence, I'd be in the queue with the rest of the country buying double-priced Kingfisher to toast the spirit of Gandhi.

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