The other 9/11


I did not know, shame on me, that satyagraha was founded on 11 September. I know of course that 11 of September is 9/11. Now, that is I guess the might of the mighty. But it seems that there are more co-incidences between these two symbolic events that share the same date. B. R. Nanda in his article in Express tells us about it.

 Soon after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing in 1945, the Mahatma had questioned Nehru on the atom bomb. In Nehru’s words, “with deep human compassion loading his gentle eyes,” he remarked that this wanton destruction had confirmed his faith in God and non-violence, and that “now he realised the full significance of the holy mission for which God had created him and armed him with the mantra of non-violence”. Nehru recalled later that, as Gandhi uttered these words, he had resolved then and there to make it his mission to fight and outlaw the bomb.(Ironic that his daughter should be the one to contradict such a mission.)

When Nehru visited the US he related his conversation with Gandhi to Albert Einstein. With a twinkle in his eyes, Einstein wrote down a number of dates on one side, and events on the other, to show the parallel evolution of the nuclear bomb and Gandhi’s satyagraha respectively — almost from decade to decade since the beginning of the 20th century. It turned out that by a strange coincidence that while Einstein and his fellow scientists were engaged in work which made the fission of the atom possible, Gandhi was embarking on his experiments in peaceful, non-violent satyagraha in South Africa.

“Peace will not come out of a clash of arms, but out of justice lived and done by unarmed nations in the face of odds”. — Mahatma Gandhi

Now we should take sides between the two. Rather, we should review on which side we are.

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