With the loss of our dear friend, Garda Ghista, the world has lost one of its great revolutionaries and saints. Garda struggled, against the tremendous odds of an evil world system, on behalf of a decent future for us all. She did it with all the passion that flowed through her as a child of God and servant of humanity. My life will feel much lonelier and more diminished in the future knowing that Garda, such an inspiring and amazing person and friend, is no longer with us. Yet her memory for me is also a source of pride and honor: to have known and loved her.
She administered the beautiful World PROUT Assembly website, full of wonderful articles and photos, and supported so many progressive causes directed toward not merely modifying our horrific world disorder but transforming it. In this, Garda and I were one as we worked together to organize the PROUT conference called “Building a New World” at Radford University that took place in May 2008. With her unbounded commitment and passion, Garda put a great deal of her own limited funds into the conference and ended up losing a great deal. After that time, for the rest of her life, she and her son teetered on the verge of destitution.
But her revolutionary spirit was undiminished. With little or no funds that were coming in from PROUT donations and those of a few friends, she dedicated her life to doing what seemed most important and crucial in the service of God and humanity. She and her son moved to West Bengal in India and began simply to feed hungry people.
At the same time she worked to organize a PROUT conference in India and other socially transformative initiatives, but her heart was all the time focused on saving the lives of hungry, starving people. Garda understood that every person is a child of God with absolute value. She understood the issues and the dilemma that we all face, as we must choose between using our limited resources for social change or directly giving them to the destitute and shattered victims of this heartless world system. After moving to India, she wrote to me the following:
Regarding revolution, my thinking is to keep putting the word revolution out there, Glen. People are so afraid of that word. They can only think in terms of violent revolution. North Bengal, for example, needs an industrial revolution. I want to popularize that word revolution. But then there has to be lots of discussion about that word and what it means because, without spiritual moralists leading it and ready to take the helm afterwards, the revolution will fail as I think I mentioned….
Several people tell me that feeding the hungry will not change the system. I realize that. But what I also realize is that UNTIL we change the system, people are hungry and somebody should consider to feed those hungry people. Really, it's that simple. In the interim, in the gap, between the present immoral or exploitative society and the future society without exploitation, somebody or some persons have to feed the hungry. The hungry people do not understand regarding exploitation or future paradise. They only understand that they are hungry and also cold now.
This statement to me reflects Garda’s great, compassionate heart, and her revolutionary insight into the horrific nature of our world anti-system. It has been a privilege and honor to know her. I am mourning her death, but remembering, with common human pride, her successful and inspiring life. She will remain an inspiration to me as long as I live.
Glen T. Martin, Ph.D.
The World Constitution and Parliament Center