A Letter to Gandhi

Notes: This one is formatted a bit oddly – I wanted to give it the structure of a letter, but still write it with stanzas that flow well together. The prompt for today was to write a letter to a celebrity, so I decided to write to Gandhiji, a very real celebrity in my mind. The poem is a reflection of his life and ideology, but also extends into the modern day.

 

Porbandar, India

October 2nd, 1869

New Delhi, Delhi India

January 30th, 1948

 

Gandhiji,

 

Porbandar, an atypical breeding ground for warriors of your type

A quaint coastal town, tucked away and out of sight

You travelled across the water to South Africa

And there injustice struck its chord

Beat on the stagecoach, mistreated by the court, you were exposed to the sword

 

Armed with ink, a pen, the teachings of your mother tongue

Civil disobedience on the tip

Resistance in the pigment

You spoke with conviction, non-violence proud on your lips

A revolution had sprung

 

You had an arsenal so robust

Thousands closed their eyes and pressed their palms to the stars

They volunteered to be flogged, imprisoned and to suffer

And not once did they raise a blade to match those that were placed upon their necks

For faith drove them to trust and patience drove them to wait

 

With each unsurmountable loss to the sword, the rust on the arsenal diminished

Champaran, the Salt March, the Untouchables

1947, your teachings found a chapter in the books

The method was proven and finally understood

Peace was a solution, more violent, more effective than war

 

And yet there are battleships stationed around the globe

And yet there are school shootings, terrorists galore

And yet there are ruthless killings, subordinations, incivility if you might

And yet there are riots, endless clashes on the borders

And yet there are persecutions, expressions of intolerance never seen before

And yet there are discussions of deportation, barriers, isolations

And yet there are unfathomable technologies that can stir the whole globe

And yet there are missiles, there are targeted drones

And yet there are villages burned to ash along with children’s’ cries

And yet there are shrieks piled under the dust of misfits who have been ostracized

 

And so, Gandhiji, I write you for your wisdom transcends mine

If peace was a solution, more violent, more effective than war

Then why Gandhiji, why must they continue the gore?

 

Best regards, શુભકામના,

 

Rushil

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