Living the Gandhian Legacy

Today is the 2nd of October, 2007. As has been the ritual every
year, for the past few decades, reams of articles, lots of posts would have
been written. Newspapers would have made a killing with all those advertisements pouring in, most of them from government institutions - the best example of the very anti-thesis of Gandhian ideals. Even we, the general public, has taken it as just another public holiday. Many of us may actually thank him for the holiday, if not for the independence.

As a friend correctly said, most of our generation is not aware of what Mahatma Gandhi stood for. Are his ideals relevant in today's perspective, which is not the same as it was 50 years ago? Or do they need to be interpreted, mind you not suited, in light of the changed environment. Whatever be the case, to form an opinion, it is important that we have the relevant information. Once all of us are aware of the Gandhian way of living, we will not indulge in ostentatious celebration to commemorate the birth of the very man who was austerity personified. We may not need to spin Khadi everyday, but we could ensure that mill workers are paid well. We may not be required to chant hymns or psalms or suras everyday, but we should also not rake up religious issues for grinding our own axes.

It is ironical that everyone, even the politicians, recognize that essence of Gandhi's ideals are fading with every passing day. But they do nothing about it. As has been said "Those who do not learn from history, are condemned to repeat it". We can see a clear manifestation of this in the problem facing India. Naxalism is spreading like a disease through every state. Responding to it, one of the state governments has supported a people's movement, which relies on violence. Recently, one state has presented a brutal case wherein culprits are lynched or blinded to deliver instant justice.

One can not hide a sad smile on the irony that even 70 years back, in absence of most of the current day communication means (including this one), Gandhi was able to mobilize support on an unprecedented scale,whereas today, with so much of information available everywhere, most of us are ignorant of what Gandhism stood for.

Let us resolve to know about Gandhi, his life, his ideals, his shortcomings. Only then will we be able to imbibe them into our lives, find the interpretation of those ideals in today's world.

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  1. "I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country, in whose making they have an effective voice, an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people; an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability, or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men. We shall be at peace with all the rest of the world. This is the India of my dreams"

    This is the ad that the The Hindu published on behalf of the Prime Minister who pledged for this. Sixty years and we are still pledging. Not a single ideal is anywhere near fulfilment.

  2. On the Father of Nation, the great Mahatma..the man behind a major movement in India would be sad to see how all his legacy is being ruined day by day....by a handful of selfish politicians. They just work for self-development and not for people.

    I suggest today’s generation must see the movies based on Gandhiji..read several books on Gandhiji and other legends and motivate themselves to stir some positive revolution in the country to instigate another change that all of us dream about!!