This was supposed to go up on the Mutiny, but their editors seem a trifle busy at the moment (with more contributors than they can handle!).
I sometimes wonder why we don't celebrate World Martyrs. We speak in glowing terms about Gandhiji (and we should!); there was recently a post on Bhagat Singh (and a well deserved one!). There was a wonderful live-blogging experiment to commemorate the martyrs in India's first war of Independence!
If this is so because the Mutiny intends to focus only on issues that concern India & Indians, maybe I have my answer; but the kind of people that started & run the Mutiny, and my conversations with them, makes me believe that they don't intend to limit the remit of the Mutiny to only what happens in India.
So again, are only our martyrs deserving of remembrance? Not to me. Those kind souls who have been reading my comments, posts and blog will know that national boundaries, concepts of race, birth, origin etc. mean nothing to me. So here's remembering one of the world's foremost men, on the day he was martyred.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 to April 15, 1865):
Anyone who has read anything about the man cannot help being inspired by Lincoln. He was a colossus who strode through the consciousness of the American public then & continues to inspire thousands more today. (Thankfully, no imbecile can blame this on Macaulay!). He is remembered primarily for his abolishment of slavery in America, (and as it often happens to people who fight for equal rights for the underdog) for being the first American President to be assassinated. He is remembered for his leadership during the Civil War, despite his thorough dislike of of the ills of war. Quite a contrast from his trigger happy current day counterparts. One can't even speak of them in the same breath!
I present a few links that will give an insight into the mind of a man of strong values, a leader of men who fought when the cause was right, a man who believed in the equality of man irrespective of colour, region (among other bullshit) etc., and a man of immense humility:
Lincoln's letter to the Headmaster of the school his son went to.
Lincoln's letter to a lady who lost her sons in the Civil War. What other man would do/has done something like this?
Not many people know that Abe was not formally schooled as a young boy. He educated himself & went on to qualify as a lawyer. Not many people know that he single-handedly & successfully defended himself against a band of robbers once. The attack left a telltale scar that is visible in his photos. Not many people are aware that he had a string of failures (as a lawyer, as a businessman, as a Vice-Presidential candidate) before he finally made it as President, and the most respected President in America's history ever! Very few people realize that often it takes time to realize one's true potential, but when one does...
Don't we too need a leader like him that does away with the differences in our society? Even at the cost of a civil war? Maybe not, then again maybe...