To the Mahatma, From a Stateless Indian

2nd April, 2011

Dear Mahatma

Today I witnessed the Indian team lift the cricket world cup for the first time in my life. I have never felt so proud.

The country you fathered for us has known many exceptionally joyous moments since we emerged from colonial rule. Today has been one of those moments.

We want you to know that the tricolour that we all rallied behind and the national anthem that we sang to keep our fans and players motivated would not have been possible without you.

-An overjoyed grandson

5th April, 2011

O Mahatma

This is turning out to be a great week for India. Anna Hazare, a Gandhian who has used your methods of peaceful resistance very successfully against corruption in Maharashtra, just launched a nationwide campaign to bring an end to corruption.

The 73-year old is on hunger strike. He has electrified the imagination of millions of Indians. Celebrities are converging on various public squares with candles. Parents are coming with their children. Members from all religions and socio-economic strata are coalescing in spontaneous demonstrations expressing their shared anger.

The country's yearning for a government with decency, politicians with integrity, and leaders with ideals seems to have found utterance. Mahatma, please wish the movement well.

-A hopeful grandson

9th April, 2011

Revered Mahatma

It seems that the Indian government has been caught off-guard. It has had to cave to Anna's demands, with a watchful eye on the upcoming elections. It has had to agree that it will bring forth the ombudsman bill to tackle the menace of corruption in India.

Whatever the government's calculus, I pray that Anna's movement will be shorter than your multi-decade struggle.

Stateless Indians can't wait decades to win back their country. The world can't wait that long for its largest democracy to reform. A sixth of mankind and her future can't be held hostage by the endless greed of a few.

Mahatma, I believe that this will lead us someplace great. Please give us strength.

-An optimistic grandson

5th June, 2011


Everything is going wrong!

Recently, Baba Ramdev had launched another peaceful protest against corruption.

Yesterday night, he and his co-protestors were sleeping at the Ramlila Ground in the heart of Delhi - less than 1 kilometer away from Raj Ghat. There, merely a stone's throw away from your resting ground, they were attacked with lathis (batons) and tear gas by 5,000 Delhi Policemen between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

I was reminded of your satyagraha, Mahatma. I was reminded how the British had killed freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai in a similar lathi charge. I was reminded also of the hundreds who were notoriously massacred at Jallianwala Bagh while participating in a peaceful demonstration.

Then, your party, the Congress, was the victim. Today, it is the aggressor.

I fear that your tools of non-violence won't work against the politicians of today. Please reassure me that they will. These people are evil.

The Ramlila Ground is where during Dashahara the victory of good over evil is staged annually. At that Ramlila Ground evil prevailed over good today. Irony chooses its moments with care, doesn't it?

Mahatma, tell us what to do. Stateless Indians are more stateless than ever before.

-A worried grandson

15th June, 2011

Dear Mahatma

Today is Anna Hazare's birthday. He turns 74. Please send him your good wishes. His struggle against the government continues, and we are all still hopeful.

-A loving grandson

26th June, 2011


My worst fears seem to be coming true. Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, and others are giving indications that talks have broken down between the government and the activists, and we are heading for another hunger strike.

There seems to be a non-impactful, inconsequential law that will be tabled as a political stunt. Mahatma, this is déjà vu. Like when the British used to come and negotiate with you. They said one thing, did another. I cannot tell the difference between the Sibal Commission of 2011 and the Simon Commission of 1928.

Nonetheless, you have shown us how to persevere. You have shown us how to prevail. I wish you were here with us today. Thankfully, I think you are.

-A stateless, but resolute, grandson

Dinkar Jain holds a Bachelors in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an MBA from Harvard Business School. To read more articles by Dinkar, click here.