The Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi’s Views

• Gandhian process of change was ethical, nonviolent and democratic giving rights to all minorities • When the Mahatma died, PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “the light has gone out of our lives”

Dr. Hari Desai Tuesday 21st January 2020 15:03 EST

Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation for the Indians and a global messenger of peace, had intuition that he would be killed. The extremist Hindu forces tried to kill him more than five times but like the French President Charles de Gaulle every times the assassin failed. Unfortunately, Naturam Godse’s last attempt on 30 January 1948 could eliminate Gandhi physically but as the Mahatma used to say that he would continue to speak from his grave, even today he continues to be most relevant globally. Truth was God for Gandhi. Ahimsa (non-violence), his tool for the Satyagraha, has been universally accepted as an important path for conflict resolution. Even the views of Gandhiji are most relevant so far as the environment preservation is concerned.

As Rajen Baura from Texas who rightly compares Gandhi’s views and actions with those of Buddha, states: In real world, Gandhi was a politician, a shrewd politician, who was trying to bring peace and harmony to India on one hand while trying to bring her independence at the same time. For Gandhi, the process of change was very important which must be ethical, nonviolent and democratic giving rights to all minorities. In this respect, he resembles the Buddha for whom the noble eightfold path (of right wisdom, right conduct and right effort), itself is the goal and essence of life. Once we realize this, we realize the essence of Gandhism and realize that it would be wrong to premise that Gandhism is dead in the world. Like Buddhism, which is mostly prevalent now-a-days outside India, the country of its birth, Gandhism today is alive and active outside India. Of course, the phrase Gandhism is still is disputed since the Mahatma did not prefer it.

Today there is hardly any country in the world where some activities are not going on along Gandhian lines. There are very few countries in the world where something or the other is not being done, achieved or organized in the name of Gandhi. There is a global non-violent awakening and awareness after Gandhi. The name of Mahatma Gandhi transcends the bounds of race, religion and nation-states, and has emerged as the prophetic voice of the twenty-first century. Today, Gandhi is remembered for his passionate adherence to the practice of non-violence and his supreme humanism, in every corner of the world. Fortunately, the Indian Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in India and abroad. Like the Statue of Unity in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel creates curiosity about the Rashtranayak of India, the 150th Birth Anniversary of his Guru definitely attracts more attention since he has been inspiration even for western personalities and rulers.

Gandhi successfully demonstrated to a world, weary with wars and continuing destruction that adherence to Truth and Non-violence is not meant for individual behaviour alone but can be applied in global affairs too, writes Ravi Kumar in his paper “The Relevance of Gandhi For All Times”. Pandit Nehru, at the time of Gandhi's passing, "The light has gone out of our lives". Now we have to try and see what we can do with our limitations to overcome what Gandhiji described as the seven social sins:

Politics Without Principles.

Wealth Without Work.

Commerce Without Morality

Education Without Character

Pleasure Without Conscience.

Science Without Humanity.

Worship Without Sacrifice.

We can sum it all up by saying that it was Gandhi who, through his dedication, lifted the country from the British policy of 'divide and rule' and let the Indian masses form rivalries to reconciliation and from hostility to harmony. And in this the Mahatma was ably supported by his great disciples- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and many others.

Next Column: Political significance of Chhatrapati Shivaji


Mahatma Gandhi who was called the Father of the Nation for the first time by Netaji Bose despite differences

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