Consider religion as binding force: VK Singh to youth

Reflecting on the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi, Union Minister VK Singh on Wednesday said the "strategic politician" succeeded in getting everybody together, and appealed to the youth to rise above prejudices and consider religion as a "binding force" for the nation.

PTI| Updated: Jan 07, 2015, 19:54 PM IST

Gandhinagar: Reflecting on the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi, Union Minister VK Singh on Wednesday said the "strategic politician" succeeded in getting everybody together, and appealed to the youth to rise above prejudices and consider religion as a "binding force" for the nation.

Remarks of the Minister of State for External Affairs has come at a time when row surrounding religious conversions is grabbing the headlines in the country.

The former army chief described Gandhi as a "strategic politician" for using 'ahimsa' (non-violence) as a tool to take on the might of the British.

"Ahimsa is a tool that Gandhiji chose as a strategy to counter a power that was very powerful, I consider Gandhiji to be one of the greatest strategic politicians ever born," Singh said, reflecting on the relevance of Gandhi, one of the first and biggest proponents of non-violence in the world.

Gen Singh, the former chief of army, said Gandhi picked up issues which instantly made a connect with the masses in spite of the very evident mismatch in terms of capacities.

And due to this, he was able to garner support from the masses which helped in meeting the objectives.

"He chose issues and themes which gave him the advantage against strong British force.

"Everything that he chose, every agitation that he launched based on that theme, there was something behind it. That is why he succeeded in getting everybody together irrespective of the caste prejudices, irrespective of the religion or gender," he said speaking at the 13th Bhartiya Pravasi Divas here.

Gen Singh said Gandhi's strategy needs to be analysed and applied for the youth, while emphasising that the father of the nation's biggest teaching is that people from all walks of life should come together irrespective of their divisions.

"If you can forget your prejudices, if you can forget the divisions that have been created by people who wanted to lengthen their colonial rule, if you can forget what religion has been made to be today in terms of divisions that occur and consider religion as a binding force for the nation, I have got no doubt that we can become as powerful as he (Gandhi) thought we should be," Gen Singh said.

Gen Singh said all the objectives can be achieved within the parameters of ahimsa and also presented a libertarian argument, saying we should not "stifle" the thought processes among the people while we march towards our goals.