Is Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi, that is) relevant today? To that clichéd question that pops up twice a year, Narayan Desai’s answer is: he remains as relevant as you want him to be. Last year, there were reports from West Bank, which has been witnessing one of the most violent conflicts of our times, that Palestinians were trying out Gandhian protests (read a BBC report here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
A New York Times report of Feb 16, Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution, also reproduced in several Indian newspapers today, profiles this unlikely agent provocateur whose pamphlets, available in dozens of languages including Tamil, have helped people across the world topple tyrants and shift from dictatorship to democracy. They can be freely downloaded from here: http://www.aeinstein.org/
By the way, a crucial point needs to be made. For Sharp (as also for fellow gadfly Noam Chomsky), Gandhi’s pacifist strategies are preferred for pragmatic reasons as opposed to principled reasons. That either ignores the moral aspect of Gandhi’s life and works, or creatively interprets non-violence for today’s troubled times, depending on your viewpoint.