Monday, December 17, 2007

Off to India

Today I leave for India to return on February 12Th. The itinerary is established for several events and contacts with room in the middle for development. I have the opportunity to get a good overview of key developments: nuclear weapons, poverty, agriculture, violence and nonviolence, international relationships for justice and peace, natural resources, destructive forces and constructive work, etc. I appreciate all the contributions enabling me to make the trip. People have given me a sense of mission, rooted in bringing Gandhi to India! I feel well prepared and well stocked with insight and understanding and expect to receive much from the Indian experiences.

At a recent Gandhi presentation someone recommended that I read Freedom At Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. I will complete the reading today. This covered the period from April 1947 to January 1948, the pre and post August 15th 1947 Independence of India and Pakistan from the English Empire. It is an emotional read because of the violence during the period. It is emotional because of Gandhi's "defeat" at the independence (opposed to dividing India, the rejection of his constructive program, and the horrendous slaughter and uprooting). To see how Gandhi responded and was successful in Calcutta and Delhi in stopping killing with two "fasts to the death" is to see how in defeat he found victory, to see how one man could intervene in stopping social violence. For me this is a study in human violence and in human potential.

The Walk in the UK last summer showed the violence of global climate change in its incipience and the violence of nuclear radiation. The flooding last week in western Washington and the continued efforts of the United States to maintain dominance with nuclear weapons and nuclear power show the same realities in the United States and make all the connections. The effects of these on people, most prominently the poor of the world, intensify my motivation for this journey. I hope to share experiences and insights along the way with this blog.


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