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Vol. 1 #4

The Yellow Issue 1/4/2011


The Yellow Issue

Epigram Salutes

EPIGRAM SALUTES

Epigram Salutes Person : Swetha Vasu Epigram Salutes Phenomenon : Sushrut Munje

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Epigram Salutes

Epigram Salutes: Mahatma Gandhi - Swetha Vasu “Be the change you wish to see in the world”- M.K.Gandhi Ever complained about the fat history textbooks? This man is probably the reason behind it. No kidding here, but, the history of the “Indian Independence Movement” would be incomplete without the legacy of this man, even if it runs to a thousand pages. Which it does. He gifted our nation with its most precious gift: the gift of Swaraj. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, well known as the father of our nation, was born on October 2nd 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town, now in Gujarat. Even as a child, he was deeply intrigued by the stories of Raja Harishchandra and Shravana, characters in the Indian epics who epitomised qualities of truth and love. These stories left an indelible impression on Gandhi’s mind who later propounded his own theories of Satyagraha and Ahimsa. He used his ideologies as effective tools of resistance against the British. Gandhi’s foray into politics began in South Africa where he practised as a lawyer. If circumstances play a crucial role in bringing out the best within a man, it certainly did in Gandhi’s case. During those days, South Africa was entangled in the web of racism and, Gandhi experienced it first hand during a train journey. He was asked to move over to a third class compartment though he had the tickets for the first class one. He was subjected to further ill-treatment and was even banned from entering certain hotels. Armed with his doctrine of non violence and determination to bring justice to the Indian community, Gandhi led the Indians in the civil rights movement. He also started his experiments with “Satyagraha” during his stay there. After spending nearly 21 years in South Africa, Gandhi returned to India to join the freedom struggle. There was no looking back for Gandhi after his return. He was initiated into Indian politics by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a congress honcho and slowly, Gandhi rose to become a man of the masses. After spending nearly a year studying the polity of India, he chose to settle down in Sabarmati, on the outskirts of Ahmadabad. He experimented with Satyagraha for the first time in India when he spear-

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headed the struggle for justice in Champaran. The farmers were subject to torture and unjust rules by the landlords. Gandhi succeeded in persuading the government to establish an enquiry committee which passed a judgement in favour of the peasants. After tasting success in Champaran, Gandhi led the no-tax campaign in support of the farmers in Kheda. One event followed the other and soon Gandhi was seen as the harbinger of Indian independence. The political movement in India reached a high with the Dandi March which spanned about 450 Km. It was Gandhi’s attempt in defying the British and the tax laws imposed by them. The parade which started on the 12th of March and ended on the 6th of April was met with an overwhelming response from people who supported Gandhiji in all possible ways that they could. The British were awed by the response and retaliated by imprisoning thousands of Indians. However, nothing could deter Gandhi from his mission. He was not only instrumental in winning India its independence but also in enlightening the people with his high ideals and morals, in the process.

There are some things you don’t joke about. Gandhi became the byword for truth, non-violence and simplicity. He raised the Indians from the confines of discrimination based on caste, creed, sex, colour and religion. Gandhiji left his footprints in the sands of time for the generations to follow. His ideals were simple and straightforward. He had the courage to stand firmly by his beliefs even during the tough times. The road to Indian independence was laid with hurdles, and Gandhi overcame them with resoluteness. It would be an exaggeration to credit Gandhi alone for India’s victory over the British. However, he should be credited for


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his role in transforming India’s destiny which eventually led to its independence. As a political leader, he was unparalleled. He struck chord with the conscience of man and his teachings influenced millions of people all over the world. Gandhi unceasingly championed the cause for Hindu-Muslim unity. The days which preceded and succeeded the Indian Independence were marked with violence in the form of religious riots which were instigated by misplaced ideologies. Gandhi was deeply hurt by the orgy committed by people of one community against the other and shot his bolt trying to bring peace between the two communities. This action of Gandhi angered many religious fanatics. The Hindu extremists saw him as an impediment in their quest for supremacy over the Muslims. On Jan 30th 1948, the great man fell prey to the bullet shots fired by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu from Poona. His last words were ‘Hey Ram.’ October 2nd is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanthi, every year as a tribute to the Gandhi, who continues to reside in our hearts though his imperishable deeds. And though we might move on, an Indian must never forget that he owes his freedom, the most sacred of things, to Mahatma Gandhi.

Swetha is also the author of http://www.apeironinfinity.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Epigram Salutes

Epigram Salutes: Discovery of Fire

- Sushrut Munje

This article was supposed to be written when I’m my funniest. It ended up being written when I’m my caffeine-fuelled sleepiest. This light-headed feeling reminds me of my engineering years. Boy was my backside often on fire. Boy those were the times. The utterly pointless academic years. It was like sitting beside a blacksmith who doesn’t know what he’s doing. And the one who keeps tossing hot coals at you for fun. Frigging bonehead-ness, I tell you. The word limit of this article is unknown to me. So I believe you will have to walk a winding path in a forest of random thoughts and observations with me as a guide. Gets sappy, yeah. Forests have sticks strewn around by jobless winds. Sticks can be rubbed together for resultant obscene pleasure by over-enthusiastic campers. If adequately dry, we have sparks flying around. If given direction, these sparks help us light a fire. And fire is something truly phenomenal. Truly phenomenal

Before After Bimbos did not like ‘that fire thing’. But men did. It all happened on one stormy night when a certain nondescript someone ventured out of the cave. He was, archaeological evidence says, kicked out because of his stubborn refusal to sleep on the couch. “We have no couch!” was his argument but in

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vain. Anyhow, this fella witnessed dry foliage rubbing against each other, to his obscene pleasure. It soon caused them to become ‘red’ [our fella-on-thescene struggled with words then] and catch fire. He, lets call him ‘he’, stuck his finger in it and the act caused him agony. Next, he put a leaf in it and that caused the leaf to shrivel up. His brain kept itching all night long as he tried to run around with the spreading forest fire burning stuff for the heck of it. Finally logic hit his mighty pin head and he brought a burning stick home. He had to burn something specific, he had realized. He had to burn the witch who kept on mentioning some darn thing called ‘couch’. She didn’t belong here. Not in ‘stone age’. Not in his age. Ahem. Leaving aside the first wife-burning incident, we will venture into the huge abyss that was his mind. He had recently understood that this flickering thing burned things, caused pain and consumed forests. It scared animals, Bimbos, made him run around and killed irritating folks. However, it did not last long enough to help him rule the world. While carving all this on a cave wall, he died of exhaustion. And we’re left with lack of facts. We know what fire actually is, right? It is a violent reaction of a substance when it starts losing its particles. The process is called ‘oxidation’, the subatomic particles are ‘electrons’ and what we get to see is what is known as ‘fire’. It is a mixture of heat and light. So every time there is a fire, understand that something is being converted into heat and light simultaneously. It gives warmth, looks wonderful, if not controlled- kills and is often related to human passion- ‘fiery’ passion. Because ‘fiery’ is what we humans are. Its uses developed over the years. From marshmallow roasting, we molded metal. From use as protection from animals, we turned to cocaine-melting. Wonderful world. It gave us an edge over the dimmer living beings and the non-living, of course. And gave us cooked food. Fire spilt milk. And left us to clean up the mess. It made us scamper around while seizing hold of and burning ships to the ground. And gave us that sense of irresistible romance on lighting the fragrant candles when our date comes over. Holy Cow, yes. Too much to say about the element, but not much will to put it into words. They don’t pay us writers well, these days. Not enough to pump our veins with coffee. Hell yeah, fire gave us coffee! It roasts, grills, bakes buns, helped make a Nazi Bonn, burnt Joan and Knights Templar, coordinated with Satan and the Church while dutifully baking cakes instead of bread in


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France. Then helped Bastille burn. Fire helped King Shivaji get away once. Fire was what the Peshwa Palace, Pune was consumed with for at least 2-3 days. It helped Archimedes burn hostile Roman naval ships. It helps Kalmadi prepare his morning tea. And aided Genghis burn an entire Chinese town to the ground. Exhausting bloody history. People burn with jealousy, they say. When the glowing golden spear of an angel struck Saint Theresa, she burnt with ecstasy, they say. Her whole body was aflame, they say. What incredible humans can fail to understand the stark naked analogy here. And in case you didn’t know, fire helps give us electricity in thermal power plants. No, we don’t plant them. We are introduced to fire at a very young age. Usually when we place our tender hands on a hot pan. Or when we step on a burning cracker. Reasons for silly inquisitiveness can be many, but fire burns. And it glows. It bites. But it doesn’t bleed. Some say that ‘Fire’ is alive. These are the people who deserve the ‘stare’. A dumb, what-the-ef-are-you-who-the-heck-are-you stare that enables them to shut their trap and walk away down the cliff. Yes. We don’t need folks with creepy ideas. Got enough of them already. V for Victory, not Vendetta. S for some awesome, fiery Sleep. Sushrut is also the author of http://sushrutmunje.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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