Friday, June 1, 2018


The Indian freedom movement had many stalwarts whose intentions were single- achieving political freedom. The dawn of the twentieth century saw the entry of a new star on the horizon - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. His biggest virtue was he approached complex issues by identifying the simplest of all routes. His encounter with a bare breasted woman led him to choose the role of a half naked fakir. He understood that the backbone of the occupation was economic gain. He struck at it with a call for boycott of foreign goods. Easy for millions to adhere to considering the costs involved. The intelligentsia with a nudge understood the import of the move. Similarly, his travels gave him the insight to the power of passivity resulting in the birth of non cooperation movement. A chat by the seaside led him to confront the salt tax with salt pans. The complexity did not deter him to look into the simple solution.


A change in perspective. The British looked at his attire and laughed him away. The diversity of India had laid the foundations for simplistic methods of divide and rule but the simple methods to unite the millions in a non violent movement was beyond comprehension. The underestimation of the simple chess moves by this barrister put the British chess machine into a turmoil as these were not configured moves. The stop clock ticked and pointed to a disadvantage.

Image result for viceroy irwinImage result for gandhi v british chessgameImage result for gandhi v british chessgameImage result for viceroy irwin

The moral: Gandhi sought simplicity while the British failed to distrust it in time.

Let us go further back in time. 

In the outrage of being scorned King Shahryar decides to marry everyday to kill the new wife. The daughter of his advisor named Scheherazade walks into wedlock despite being aware of the conditions. She then opens a story which leads to many other stories which remain untold over a night. The simple task of crossing a few nights without any knights in shining armour spinning tale after tale gives us not only the fabled Arabian Nights but also the simple cue that to overcome an issue "Keep it simple" and also that "Killing being a king is also not that simple".

Not just that may be it was the inspiration for the famed Canterbury Tales too!!!

Though the venerable Alfred North Whitehead told to seek simplicity but to distrust it in the context mathematical and scientific problems, it is equally applicable to all as the above examples with that of the challenge between Ved Vyasa and Lord Ganesha or the Panchatantra being examples to lead more light!!!

Simple but complex eh!!!


Tomichan Matheikal said...

Whitehead's simplicity and the Mahatma's are quite different things even as you've pointed out. Both are necessary; one for happy life and the other for complex thinking about profound matters.

Pushpendra Dwivedi said...

thoughtful very interesting articles

aditya said...

Nice .