The Inconsequential One Man

by - November 24, 2015


"One man alone cannot make a difference. " his friends warned him.
He smiled, determined to prove them wrong. This one man was an NRI - a non-resident Indian - who found himself disillusioned with the ruling government of his home country. Angry with the way they were treating his fellow Indians, he chose to return back to India and take on the system. He wanted to ensure that every Indian was treated equally and given their rights, something that he felt was not happening.
One man could make a difference and kick-start a revolution, he believed.

He found the land he returned to far more complex than the white and black image of right and wrong he had envisioned. His efforts to point out the flaws of the ruling government were mocked not just by the leaders but even by his fellow Indians who were loyal to the government. He tried to engage them in a debate but found no takers, people choosing to insult and accuse instead.

They questioned the sincerity and motives behind his effort.
They trolled him in newspaper articles and social media, asking him why he had sat cozily abroad when other events of differential treatment had taken place earlier in India.
They dragged out every photo from his past, analyzing every tilt of his body in each frame.
Neither his old fashioned dressing sense nor his crinkly features were spared as caricatures painted him a buffoon and a cheat.
If you don't like it here, get lost, they told him.






Ripped apart from within without ever a single physical blow landing upon his person, this disillusioned One Man gave up the dream of being a voice of change within his country.

He packed his bags and left the land of his birth, choosing to lead an inconsequential life abroad practicing law. He became a husband and later on a father too to two young boys.
But he did not become the father of the nation. Because Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi made no difference to India. He was noone.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was noone.
And India never knew what it lost as it stayed loyal to the British government that ruled it.

Authors note -
The prompt of "One" by Blog-a-rhythm got me thinking of power and how different things could be if power did not originate from the source we are familiar with. 
In an alternate timeline, if an NRI who dressed in unusual attire and had in his Facebook & Twitter friends list, anarchists and men who had been imprisoned for going against the government, were to return today to India and try to be a voice of change against what he felt were flawed national policies, would you stand by him?
Or would you retweet the caricatures and mock him?
Do you think a Gandhi of 2015 could survive the battle of social media, armed only with his convictions? Would you see such a man as a voice of change or ridicule? 


Epilogue:

"Damn that Yorkshireman, Grandpa! Look at how confident he is. He is the only one capable of winning it for England."
As he sat with his grandchildren in Cape Town, Mohandas watched the shaggy haired new English batting sensation hammer his home team's best bowler Alan 'White Lightning' Donald through the covers. A queer expression appeared on his face as he shook his head and perhaps it was the sun shining brightly down upon them but for a brief moment, it almost looked to the elder child as though their grandfather was going to cry. When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi finally spoke, his old voice trembled.

"No, my child. This Tendulkar chap can threaten us but he cannot win it for England. As my friends warned me a long time ago, one man alone cannot make a difference."


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21 comments

  1. This is brilliant - absolutely wonderful! What a fascinating way to gain perspective, by turning things completely around so that you look at a situation in a totally different way. Thank you for sharing this post - loved it. :)

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  2. This is brilliant, Roshan! I love how you are able to weave in historical fiction and give it a contemporary twist so effortlessly! So thrilled to see what the prompt gave you!

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  3. Darla M SandsJuly 03, 2018

    Powerful piece! It follows nicely upon some hair raising tails I recently read of social media ruining peoples' lives.

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  4. Woah! WOAH! Honestly, I did not see that coming - I thought it was set in the present! What a tweak you've given to history. Absolutely brilliant stuff!

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  5. Thanks Laurel. Yes, I wanted to give a "What if" scenario and get people thinking a bit. Hoepfully have succeeded to some extent.

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  6. Thanks Shailaja... I often need a kick in the backside to start writing on various themes... thanks for tagging me.

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  7. Darla, it has stopped becoming a question of opinion and become a sort of menacing invisible entity these days, hounding people for being different or having a different opinion.

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  8. Thanks Sreesha... glad I could provide the twist in the tale...

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  9. usha menonJuly 03, 2018

    This is amazing.The way you have handled this is unique.

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  10. Thank you so much... I am glad you liked it.

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  11. This is awesome! Brought tears to my eyes by the time I read the epilogue. Too good!!

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  12. I haven't been reading godyears for a long time, but I'm glad I came back. *Salute*

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  13. Wings of HarmonyJuly 03, 2018

    Whoa! This needs to be read by everyone!

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  14. Thanks Ruchi... glad you liked it. It was a thought that has been in my head awhile... would Gandhi have survived today? And I know in my heart he wouldn't.

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  15. Nice to see you back... the blog's 11th year is starting this month end and it had actually got me thinking to the old days when the blogging family was entirely different. Everyone has left... I seem like a relic of the past now..

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  16. Thanks :) That can be achieved only when "we" (looking at you) share it on social media so others see it :D

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  17. Poweful read, Roshan!

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  18. Haha, quite the opposite, I see you are going strong and unshakable. 11 years eh? Man.. thats a long time. Congrats!


    I don't even know where to start if I get back to blogging, as I would strongly contradict with myself on many of my old blog posts. Do you ever feel like that?

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  19. So many times... I think my whole view on life has changed over the decade... I barely recognize the early posts and the Roshan who had written them

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  20. Sad but true. I do wonder what Gandhi would have felt/done in today's times. Probably fasted unto death and nobody would have cared.. rather everyone would have tried to get something out of it. As wonderful reading you as ever.

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