Friday, March 6, 2015

To Judge or Not?

How do i know when to judge? Can I even judge people? Do I have the right to judge people based on this inferior life of mine? What do I do when I feel people are judging someone they have no right to judge? I confess. I am upset. Last evening we had a discussion in our PG. It was based on Subhash Chandra Bose. Aditya Guha says that attacking Imphal was a stupid thing for Bose to do. If the intent was to raise morale then it was a "Commendable effort" but if the aim was to take back India from the british then the move was a stupid one. He should have waited as England was stretched thin at the time and would have withdrawn from India on their own.
I cannot see his view. During that time how does one know what Subhash and his army had to go through?How can I judge someone so obviously superior than me? I have never been to war. I have never even given thought to the freedom fighters. This discussion left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. We who are living in a free India. We who have never even faced a tenth of the pain those people had to face. How can we so blatantly pass judgements on those men? How can we deem ourselves worthy enough to declare their actions stupid. To have the audacity to say that the plan of attacking Imphal was not the best one. Bose was more experienced than any of us in that room; more intelligent than any of us might I add. To say that given the circumstances Bose should have waited. I suddenly feel wrong. I feel people like Aditya have no right to live in this free India. To belittle the work of men like Bose. To say that the work they did was "insignificant" towards the freeing of this land. Even if Bose knew he would fail, it was a volunteer army. The people came together and decided that they would fight for the country. The people decided to die if needed. Who is Aditya to say that they died for nothing. How can one judge so easily? I would be shaken for weeks after saying something like that.
Like the man he is, Tuneer picked apart Aditya's logic like an anthill takes apart a dead insect.The only thing he asked was assuming that attacking Imphal was not the best thing to do, give one course of action which was. All Aditya could say was that Bose should have joined Gandhi. That is not an option. Gandhi is a first in history. It is easy to say in hindsight that what Gandhi did bore fruit. That was a first in history, which is why Gandhi is famous. There was absolutely nothing to prove Gandhi would win that struggle against the British. However winning back a country via war was backed by a thousand examples in history.Be it Scotland or America.I would say Bose had every right to think of war as the only tool to win India back. Aditya failed to understand that Gandhi was not an option. When he did accept that Gandhi was not an option, he said that Bose should have raised an army of "spies or something like that in India" to fight the British. Of course. Like creating a spy or a soldier is as easy as it seems in Age of empires. They are people. The people chose to fight with Bose. Bose did not convert any Gandhi followers as far as I know. He did not force enlistment. All he did was ask people to give their life for the country and promised freedom in return. Even a douche like me can see the logic. Convince enough people in India to become soldiers and you could flush the British simply with the manpower.But people must choose and you do not exactly go about doing campaigns to recruit spies. I am not even sure how spies are recruited. It might be safe to think that spies are only there for information. Without an acting army the spies have no use. Gandhi certaily could not use spies. Also I thin that an army always does have spies. If I am not wrong Bose had a spy network.
The problem I face is such. The British were winning the world war. India wanted freedom. Bose had an army but knew it would not be sufficient to entirely route the British.(Another thing I assume is that Bose was smarter than me and so could predict simple things.)The problem is: if you know you are up against a stronger opponent and you know that you will lose the fight, do you still fight? I would fight, for as long as I fight, there is a chance I might win, but if I do not fight there is no such chance. What Aditya says is that Bose should not have fought and hsould have instead waited it out. I cannot wrap my head around that. How do you convince an army, who have all come to fight for India, that we just have to wait and India will gain independence. Whos to say that it was Bose who got us our freedom and not Gandhi. Gandhi was simply there when it happened. That does not mean that the ones who died fighting did nothing significant. I in fact hold that a sacrifice is weighed by how much you lose. Getting beat up is less sacrifice any day than torture which is still far less than death.

Death is the ultimate sacrifice.In death one chooses to leave all behind. To say that one is willing to give up family, friends posessions and all memory of them. To give up the potential life one is promised. To give up all the things one could do. To die for a cause is what marks the greatest men. To die for a cause is a statement that you believed in the importance of that cause more than anything else. That you valued that one thing above everything else you posessed. That you were willing to leave behind everything else for that one ideal. To even leave the pleasure of seeing the sacrifice coming to fruit. All for something one believes in. To die for a cause is the ultimate sacrifice. Not I, nor anyone alive can judge this act. It is above us living people because none of us have sacrificed anything which even compares with the act of death.
I left the room feeling angry. How did people like Aditya come to be. They live in a free country, with parents who provide everything. They study the subject they love. They are free to do what they want within the law. If they do not like the law they are free to file a complaint which will be listened to. They are from a family which is able to support them beyond the basic food,shelter cloth requirement. Even to a level of educated life. They have read about the freedom struggle. They have learnt names of the major figures. How can such people, those who sit on the high chairs of society say such things. How can they forget that every act of free will that they do was bought and paid for in blood, pain and life. That people died so that we could do what we want. For an uneducated man to say such things is bearable because he does not appreciate the subtle freedoms that have been won for us. But for a man pursuing a B.Sc. from a college like St. Stephen's in the capital of the nation. I cannot stand that. The very act of education is a statement of freedom. To be able to learn anything one wants is what was paid for by people like Bose.
Sure Gandhi and the others were important. They were there on the forefront. So was the cobbler who was beaten to death for not polishing British shoes. So was the waiter refusing to serve the British. The all were significant. They all paid for my free life today.I stand in no place to judge them. To judge is a big task. While doing it you say that you understand what the person went through. You say that from experience. Nothing else. Only when you have experienced what the other person has. Ony then can you judge him. That is why sometimes they have a jury. One man is not enough. Then how dare Aditya say that what Bose did was stupid. He has no right.
According to him "Gandhi was a shrewd man who knew politics", "the Chanakya of his time" and "Nehru was smart". I cannot judge any of them but none of them died for freedom. They were willing enough I am sure. Yet they did not. That is the difference between Bose and the others. He died. And as to Gandhi being a shrewed politician, he was nowhere close to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel if what I have read is all that there is to it. The History people would know better. We who live in free India can only speculate on what the people of Gandhi's time did. We cannot know the complete circumstances and most certainly have no right to judge those men and women who died. Certainly not with our painless lives.