70 years ago today, on his way to evening prayers, Mahatma Gandhi was shot and point bland range and died almost immediately. Having led India to independence, he continued campaigning to ensure that the new country would embrace multiculturalism and respect all of the religious communities with its new borders.
Gandhi's experiment with truth ended in a violent death. Like many before and since, those who embrace non-violence are often the targets of the anger of others. For peacemakers and justice-seekers are dangerous people who see the world as it is and believe it can be different, better. They refuse to buy into the pessimism that this is as good as it gets or the optimism that all is well. Gandhi was a practical realist who saw within the heart of India, a compassion and courage that had helped a subjugated people live under colonial rule with dignity and honour. We are fearfully and wonderfully made ....
For those who today still believe the world can be a better place, Gandhi's life and death is an inspiration and a challenge. He renews the faith of those of us who continue to believe that religion can be a force for good in the world, whose faith compels us to acts of love. He also reminds us that doing the right thing has never been that popular and therefore we must not be surprised when we are constantly faced with opposition and resistance.
Dr King, Gandhi's disciple, spoke of the moral arc of the universe as one that is long, but not unbending. We honour Gandhi by continuing satyagraha, engaging in truth-telling, reality-living, peacemaking and justice-seeking. It is the way of love:
Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable.