Monday, October 2, 2006


On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh envisioned what the world might be like if India and South Africa took the lead in invoking the witness and principles of Mahatma Gandhi among nations. Singh is visiting South Africa for talks with South African leader Thambo Mbeki. Singh suggested India and South Africa lead the way into such a future.

FREE OF WAR, WANT AND EXPLOITATION. Reuters reports Singh's comments on Sunday: '"The best tribute we can make to Mahatma Gandhi is to remain steadfast in our commitment to build a world order free of war, want and exploitation,' Singh said after touring a house in Durban where Gandhi lived and worked in the early 20th century." Read the full article .

FRUIT AND FALLOUT. Before we dismiss Singh's vision as utopic and unrealistic, let us consider the unsatisfying fruit and fallout the current world order, led by the United States and European powers, is producing.

FREE DEMOCRACIES, GROWING ECONOMIES. Before we dismiss India and South Africa as able to establish an alternative world order, consider their emerging influence as two of the world's largest free democracies and growing economies. Did I mention these are also nuclear powers?

REGIME CHANGE WITHOUT WAR. Before we dismiss these second-tier nations as naive, consider their similar journies from rapacious colonialism, apartheid and human rights abuses as the hands of Western democracies via predominantly non-violent "regime change."

LAMENT OUR ARROGANCE AND PRIDE. Before we laugh, perhaps we should weep in lament over the kind of arrogance, pride, and consequent ignorance that would immediately dismiss India, South Africa, and the witness and work of Mahatma Gandhi as "naive" and "impractical" in the 21st century.

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