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BK Blog Post
Posted by Michael Nagler.
Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.
“In battling against untouchability, and in dedicating myself to that battle, I have no less an ambition than to see a full regeneration of humanity.”
~ Gandhi, Mahatma, p. 126
Untouchability is, or was, perhaps the most extreme example of racism and dehumanization still existing in a modern society. Gandhi knew that India could claim no right to be free of British rule while it was holding a section of its own under such a cloud of intolerance; that’s the law of karma. Had he not actually said that the Indians were in effect “the panchamas (outcastes) of the Transvaal”? He also knew that his was not a local or even a national struggle but a struggle against “man’s inhumanity to man,” and that if he could reawaken the humanity of caste Hindus toward the former asparshas (untouchables) he could awaken anyone; or at least, in his own time, create an ocular demonstration that would resonate around the world.
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Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.
Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.