After "India shining" till it shone too bright and people incredulously visiting "Incredible India" guess wats in the line next for branding? Its our very own father of the nation - Mr.M.K.Gandhi who needs an image booster amongst the present generation. Businessweek states that "Gandhi" as a brand is among the top selling export merchandise....and they are making a kill as we celebrate the centenary of satyagraha today!!! But wat is the scenario within India?
Economic times conducted a survey among CEOs and MBA students on who their role model was and Bill Gates beat Gandhi by a cool 20% if I remember it right...But is it surprising that the given sample set chose Gates over Gandhi?!! Not to me...But it was heartening that majority of them thoguht Gandhi was not a mere fad, he had some substance. Though it is true that most of us in this generation (and that includes me) do not relate to Gandhi or his principles, it does not justify making over Gandhi as a jean-clad modern avatar (which was one of the sugessitons offered in the survey)...that would be blasphemy!!! After all Gandhi is not spiderman or batman, he a was a REAL hero who has survived the vagaries of time and even today recognised across the world...
But if we dont brand him and make him "cool" enough for this and coming generations he would become confined to framed pictures in government offices (and that has happend already)...Having said that, I really doubt if ahimsa or any of his other principles of simple living would be worth a try in today's world - I guess not. However, there is something about him that overwhelms me - his determination. I dont think it was his principles that got the British, but it was his focus towards his goal and his fanatic determination to achieve it that is scary and intmidating.....and that is wat I admire in him - His courage, focus and determination and he surely is my role model when it comes to that. I read that an animation movie about his life is on its way....now, that is something good and will help revive his image, just like it helped hanuman and krishna (those are the latest animation movies and children of all ages are ga-ga abt it).....But I really do hope a personality like him does not get lost in the hype, but remains special to Indians (atleast) over several generations to come.
Anyways, as we revel in the freedom that we so take for granted, today on the 100th anniversary of the first satyagraha let us take a minute to salute the hero who made it possible!!!
"Be the change you want to see in the world"- Mahatma Gandhi