India is celebrating its 65th Independence Day, but the person who gave us the opportunity to breathe free seems to have been forgotten by his own children. His basic principles which brought the world’s mightiest to its knees are almost lost in oblivion.
A new debate has arisen in modern day - whether in this nuclear-powered world, Gandhism is still relevant. Whether one can will attain his/her objective through Gandhiji’s principles or not?
Nothing has been achieved through violent means. There are numerous examples across the world which speak out aloud of how violence never brings peace, but only creates further conflict and hatred. Indo-Pak conflict, Lebanon-Israel crisis, Iraq war, and America’s war on terrorism are few examples which prove Gandhiji’s saying, “An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.”
The recent Egypt uprising saw decades of autocratic rule tumbling within days of peaceful protests by the people. But at the same time, u
prisings in Libya, Syria or Bahrain have not met the same fate, where hundreds of people have been killed in government and civilian clashes. This shows us that the violence doesn’t bring an end to a crisis, but it certainly aggravates the problem.
The war in Vietnam, Iraq, and the ongoing war on terrorism in Afghanistan has only earned the US criticism and hatred and made the Americans more vulnerable to terrorist strikes.
If Gandhism cannot withstand the new age scenario, then why have a number of universities and colleges in many countries including the US, started courses on ‘Gandhian Thought’. About 50 universities and colleges in the US have launched courses in Gandhism. This shows that the countries which are very well developed as well as militarily most powerful are trying to get back to simplicity and purity of thought and action.
Mahatma’s Gandhi’s ideology about patience, persuasion and perseverance being the three crucial elements for attainment of peace and harmony, have become the need of the hour. Truth and non-violence alone can fight the existing global intolerance and hatred.
Let’s take the example of India, where the ‘Mahatma’ was born. A nation which feels proud of giving the world this most revered and admired human being has itself forgotten the teachings of the great persona.
A reason why our ‘babus’ have sidelined Mahatma’s philosophy is because of greed while the two essential principles of Ganndhiji - 'satya' and 'ahimsa' seem dauntingly unreachable.
These days only Gandhiji’s photograph is seen in every government office, but not a single teaching of his is practised.
Gandhian faith in religious pluralism and non-violence holds much significance in the present scenario and if this was remembered by the people of his own motherland, the nation wouldn’t have witnessed the 1984 riots or the Babri demolition or even the 2002 Gujarat riots.
If his words were still followed, problems pertaining to terrorism, communalism, regionalism and problems relating to languages and castes wouldn’t have weakened the nation.
Corruption has seeped deep into every working system of India. In the British era, money was being looted from this nation. A similar thing is going on now too, but the dilemma is that the country is being robbed by its own people and the gap between the rich and poor is getting bigger.
At such a time, the policy of ‘non-violence’ and ‘satyagrah’ can indeed induce a spark of life in the corrupt democracy that needs to wipe-off the cobwebs of black money and deceit.
I sum it up with Gandhiji’s words, “Truth and Non-violence are two sides of the same coin. Both have same value. Difference consists in approach only. On one side there is non-violence, on other side is truth.”
(The views expressed by the author are personal)