Thursday, May 7, 2009

Of the Business of Forgiveness...

Berate me for saying this, but I have this fascination for the Gandhi family- Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka ( not including that thug Varun Gandhi ). People love to hate the Gandhis but I feel the opposite. Whatever they say, makes headlines but they talk sense. They are very smart and genuine people.They have a charisma which makes them so popular.Anyway, Barkha Dutt had an interview with Priyanka Gandhi and I couldn't wait to watch it. In one of my earlier posts, I had written about Priyanka'a meeting with her father's killer Nalini and that she had forgiven them. In the interview, she told about how she felt at that time and this made me think.

Barkha:How many years did you live thinking that maybe you wanted to meet Nalini before it happened?

Priyanka: Not very long actually, maybe a year and a half and so on. In the beginning when my father was killed, I didn't realise it, but I was furious.I was absolutely furious inside.I was furious not with particular individuals who killed him but I was furious with the whole world.

Barkha: When did you learn to recognise that rage?

Priyanka: It was a very slow process. it was realising that you're angry.I think this whole business of forgiveness is really at some level, we all consider ourselves victims. Maybe it can be a case of someone being nasty to us, our someone would have done something like kill someone we love, which is a bigger thing and then we consider ourselves victims. But the minute you realise that you're not a victim and the other person is as much victim as the same circumstance as you, then you can't put yourself in a position where you are anyone to forgive someone else because your victim hood has disappeared. And to me, people ask about non violence, I think true non violence is the absence of victim hood.

This last line she spoke, made me think. Yes when we are victims, there is anger in us and we have this frustration and a feeling to take revenge for something terrible someone did to us. This feeling of vengenace sparks discontent and brings a violent streak in us. So true non violence is absence of the feeling of being a victim. But it requires strength to accept that you are not a victim. Mahatma Gandhi gave us our independence by non violence and Priyanka Gandhi has also given us our emotional independence by non violence......

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