V.I Lenin, The Awakening of Asia

Was it so long ago that China was considered typical of the lands that had been standing still for centuries? Today China is a land of seething political activity, the scene of a virile social movement and of a democratic upsurge. Following the 1905 movement in Russia, the democratic revolution spread to the whole of Asia—to Turkey, Persia, China. Ferment is growing in British India.  A significant development is the spread of the revolutionary democratic movement to the Dutch East Indies, to Java and the other Dutch colonies, with a population of some forty million.  First, the democratic movement is developing among the … Continue reading V.I Lenin, The Awakening of Asia

Swami Vivekananda in Egypt

“The Egyptians entered into Egypt from a southern country called Punt, across the seas. Some say that that Punt is the modern Malabar, and that the Egyptians and Dravidians belong to the same race. “ — “The ship is steadily sailing north. The borders of this Red Sea were a great centre of ancient civilisation. There, on the other side, are the deserts of Arabia, and on this — Egypt. This is that ancient Egypt. Thousands of years ago, these Egyptians starting from Punt (probably Malabar) crossed the Red Sea, and steadily extended their kingdom till they reached Egypt. Wonderful was … Continue reading Swami Vivekananda in Egypt

Karenge Ya Marenge (Do or Die) by Countee Cullen

Dark Rapture, Beauford Delaney Wherein are words sublime or noble? What  Invests one speech with haloed eminence,  Makes it the sesame for all doors shut,  Yet in its like sees but impertinence?  Is it the hue? Is it the cast of eye,  The curve of lip or Asiatic breath,  Which mark a lesser place for Gandhi’s cry  Than “Give me liberty or give me death!” Is Indian speech so quaint, so weak, so rude,  So like its land enslaved, denied, and crude,  That men who claim they fight for liberty  Can hear this battle-shout impassively,  Yet to their arms with high … Continue reading Karenge Ya Marenge (Do or Die) by Countee Cullen

Howard Thurman – A Meditation on Thanksgiving

For all these I make an act of Thanksgiving this day. I pass before me the mainsprings of my heritage: The fruits of the labors of countless generations who lived before me, without whom my own life would have no meaning; The seers who saw visions and dreamed dreams; The prophets who sensed a truth greater than the mind could grasp and whose words could only find fulfillment in the years which they would never see; The workers whose sweat has watered the trees, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations; … The restlessness which bottoms … Continue reading Howard Thurman – A Meditation on Thanksgiving

The Moral Government of the World: On Faith, Reason, and Truth

I. THE SOUL-FORCE IN HISTORY In his spiritual message to the world, notable because it is one of the rare extant speeches Mohandas K. Gandhi gave in English, the satygrahi remarked that There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything, I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses. God is indescribable and ominpresent for Gandhi, capable of being sensed without manifesting physically. Love is perhaps the most important … Continue reading The Moral Government of the World: On Faith, Reason, and Truth

The Indian Press Defended Paul Robeson in 1947

As revolutionary India entered the world stage as a free nation in 1947, The Hindu, a widely read Indian newspaper, condemned the banning of Paul Robeson’s public performance in Peoria, Illinois as a consequence for his agitation for world peace and the freedom of oppressed peoples everywhere. “If Paul Robeson is un-American, so much the worse for America,” declared the writer of the piece. The article was republished on the first page of The Baltimore Afro-American on May 24, 1947 In 1956, Robeson would be viciously targeted for his support of the erstwhile Soviet Union and his lifelong admiration for … Continue reading The Indian Press Defended Paul Robeson in 1947

Dandi Satyagraha

In early March of 1930, Gandhiji began his padayatra to mine salt from the brackish waters lapping the coastal village of Dandi in northwestern India. Britishers had declared Indian production of salt illegal and foisted an imperial tax on the necessity, rendering it a commodity and thus alienating the substance from the common Indian laborer, who was starving and physically ill as a result of the abuses inflicted upon him by the white man. Witnessing the suffering of his people, Gandhiji said, “Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life” and marched hundreds of miles … Continue reading Dandi Satyagraha

Gandhi’s Views on War and Peace

Being a confirmed war resister, I have never given myself training in the use of destructive weapons in spite of opportunities to take such training. It was perhaps thus that I escaped direct destruction of human life. But so long as I lived under a system of Government based on force and voluntarily partook of the many facilities and privileges it created for me, I was bound to help that Government to the extent of my ability when it was engaged in a war, unless I non-co-operated with the Government and renounced to the utmost of my capacity the privileges … Continue reading Gandhi’s Views on War and Peace

The Patriot by Rabindranath Tagore

“He’s a sweeper!” She said decisively. Then she called to the chauffeur, ‘Gangadin, drive on’.

I was defeated. It was my cowardice.

Nayanmohan, I am told, brought out some very profound sociological arguments, at the tea-table, specially dealing with the inevitable inequality imposed upon men by their profession and the natural humiliation which is inherent in the scheme of things. But his words did not reach my ears, and I sat silent all through the evening. Continue reading The Patriot by Rabindranath Tagore

The Garland March: From Selma to Montgomery, 1965

The flash and flutter of a lens can capture a moment in eternity. In the photograph below, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., second from left, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, second from right, wear garlands in the Hindu tradition. It is 1965 and they are marching from Selma to Montgomery. I am unsure which of three marches this photo is taken from. Protestors marched 87 kilometers to the state capital, where King delivered his speech “Our God is Matching On.” In the sermon, he reaffirms the people’s faith in God as love, truth, and peace, compelling them to test their … Continue reading The Garland March: From Selma to Montgomery, 1965