We need an indigenous African Gandhi

2014-02-09 09:44

We need an indigenous African Gandhi to make us step away from the abyss now that Mamphela Ramphele has become tainted and has thrown the gates wide open encouraging the barbarians to continue to rape and pillage our developmental state.

An indigenous African Gandhi is informed by the spirituality of Ubuntu and coupled with Satyagraha he can take to the stage as a potent unifier of the diversity that informs the body politic very much like Nkosi Albert John Luthuli and Nelson Mandela.

Let me clarify that satyagraha is not to be pigeonholed in the English dictum of 'passive resistance'.It is much more than that. Mahatma Gandhi explains that it means truth (sat) and firmness (agraha) and entails a continuing and enduring struggle that is timeless.

Its trite that South African society has been characterised by moral degeneracy.We have a ethically lapsed system of governance that leaves beneficiaries of our constitutional democracy with hardly any choice but to man the barricades and storm the ramparts as recent bloody skirmishes signify. Look up the map of South Africa, for places like Hebron, Mothutlung,Mmakau and Damonsville that are singeing the beard of the ruling party.

Astutely the mainstream media is downplaying this with distracting side bar issues like the aborted tryst between Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele and who got what from Mandela's estate. If you scoured the printed and the electronic media news of a people in ferment were relegated to the bowels and entrails of newspapers. Whether this has anything to do with the Sekunjalo Group led by Iqbal Surve taking over IOL stable of printed newspapers and cracking the whip at editors is a matter for another time and commentator to take up.

People are in ferment,period and we need someone, an African Gandhi, if you will, to stop us from sliding into the abyss.

I watched a full 2.5 hour movie entitled "Satyagraha" in which the hero Daduji portrayed by Amitab Bachan saw what corrupt officials were doing to democracy in the 21st century ,through service delivery failure,graft and incompetence. You can watch it on YouTube for free.It was one person's fight against corruption , service delivery and incompetence using gandhian principles of Satyagraha. With parallels of Gandhi's principled stance our hero Daduji brings down a corrupt government official . This led to the formation of a new political party the 'Aam Aadmi Party' which relegated the arrogant ruling Indian Congress Party into third place in recent bye elections in New Delhi and is facing tremendous pressure at the hands of that party in the run up to that country's forthcoming general elections.I see parallels here and though it will not be possible in 2014 it is possible in local elections in 2016.

As an alternative there must be a grass roots party, let's call it the Satyagraha Party, that will fill the void left by Mamphela Ramphele to support our African Gandhi .

Arundathi Roy authoress of,inter alia,"The God of Small Things" and "The Algebra of Infinite Justice "wrote way back in 2003 , about how the vision of Mandela was betrayed. Nothing has changed since then for as South Africans we watch how the rainbow miracle has been sectioned off and auctioned to the highest bidders.

Yes,It is my opinion that the time is ripe for an indigenous African Gandhi to rise and to rescue us from the abyss now that Mamphela Ramphele has thrown the gates wide open leaving people in despair.

Saber Ahmed Jazbhay



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