By: Dr. Aniruddha Babar
In the crucible of conviction, we find our might,
One soul’s fervor ignites the darkest night.
Heroes rise, their courage unyielding, firm,
With unwavering character, they reshape the world’s term.
Ambedkar, Gandhi, Bose, their stories resound,
Through trials and battles, their voices unbound.
In the heart of one person, the world can be spun,
Passion and purpose unite, a battle is won.
The annals of history are replete with instances of individuals who, through their unwavering determination and unyielding commitment, have managed to transcend the boundaries of their circumstances and effect profound changes in the world around them. The notion that “one man can change the world” is not merely a platitude, but a veritable reality that has been substantiated time and again. This truth finds its embodiment in the lives of stalwart figures like Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, and several others who demonstrated that transformational change can be initiated and sustained through the confluence of military-like discipline and character.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a luminary in the Indian independence movement and a champion of the oppressed, stands as a testament to the power of individual action. With relentless dedication to the cause of social justice, he endeavoured to eradicate the deeply entrenched caste system that had perpetuated inequality and injustice for centuries. Ambedkar’s disciplined approach to education, his intellectual prowess, his super-strong commitment to the cause of ‘Depressed Classes’ and desire to construct a ‘New World’ in rising Indian nation paved the way for his influential role in drafting the Indian Constitution, laying the foundation for a democratic, modern nation that upholds the principles of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity.
Likewise, Mahatma Gandhi often referred to as the “Father of the Nation,” wielded the weapon of nonviolent resistance to dismantle the chains of British colonial rule. His disciplined adherence to Satyagraha, or truth-force, exemplified a military-like strategy that defied conventional norms of resistance. Gandhi’s unwavering character and steadfast adherence to his principles galvanized the masses, proving that a single individual’s resolute stance could steer the trajectory of an entire nation.
Subhash Chandra Bose, a fervent nationalist and charismatic leader, demonstrated the fusion of military-like discipline with a tenacious spirit. Bose’s belief in a ‘direct’ approach to achieving independence led him to form the Indian National Army (INA), composed of soldiers who exhibited unwavering loyalty and dedication to the cause. Bose’s leadership, coupled with his ironclad determination, left an indelible mark on the struggle for freedom, showcasing the immense potential of a resolute individual to reshape the course of history.
These eminent figures, however, are not isolated instances. The world has witnessed numerous other examples of individuals who have harnessed their inherent potential to evoke change. The unassuming Rosa Parks, by refusing to surrender her seat on a bus, ignited the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Malala Yousafzai’s steadfastness in advocating for girls’ education, even after surviving a near-fatal attack by the Taliban, demonstrates the influence a single voice can wield in altering social norms.
The quintessential trait that distinguishes these agents of transformation is their embodiment of military-like discipline and character. Much like soldiers adhering to a strict regimen, these individuals maintained an unflinching commitment to their ideals and causes. Their actions were guided by an unyielding sense of purpose, compassion and unwavering self-belief. Just as a soldier faces adversity on the battlefield with unwavering determination, these trailblazers confronted obstacles with resilience, resilience born of a character forged in the crucible of conviction.
However, the notion that one man alone can impact global change requires a nuanced perspective. While individual actions can undoubtedly spark transformation, sustainable progress often demands collective efforts. Ambedkar’s quest for social justice was complemented by the tireless advocacy of countless others who rallied behind the cause. Gandhi’s nonviolent movement thrived on the participation of masses across the nation. Bose’s INA was a collaboration of dedicated soldiers united by a shared goal. The echoes of change resonate more resonantly when they are amplified by collective voices.
The idea that one individual can alter the world around them is not an idle fantasy but a reality realized through history. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, and other exemplars stand as beacons of how soldier-like discipline and character, fused with a profound commitment to their causes, can transform society. These individuals demonstrate that change is not a distant dream but an attainable reality when embraced with unwavering resolve. Their lives illuminate the potential within each of us to reshape the course of history, proving that even a single person, armed with unassailable conviction, can be the catalyst for monumental transformation.
The time has come for us to take inspiration from the ‘Great Mavericks of past and the present’ to awaken from our slumber, to rise as individuals with unwavering determination and collective strength. Even if you find yourself standing alone, remember that you are not truly alone- The Constitution-The Supreme Law of land is with all of us. Do not be discouraged by the seemingly insurmountable odds; your solitary voice for the ‘New World’ can spark a chorus of effective and positive change that can not only take your community, region, state of Nagaland on a forward march-but will also transform our nation and collective conscience. (The author is an academician in the Dept. of Political Science, Tetso College, Nagaland)