October 02, the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu, is every year observed as the International Day of non-violence to pay tributes to the great leader who amid violent wars of that age promoted and practiced the non-violent struggle to achieve political and economical rights. Born on October 2, 1869, Gandhi mobilized Indian masses against the colonial rulers purely on the principles of non-violence and communal harmony thus inspiring people from all communities, religious groups and sects. A die-heard opponent of castes system and religious divisions, Gandhi himself being a pious and practicing Hindu believed that India belonged to everyone and each one living here irrespective of caste, creed and colour. Irony is that such a saintly leader fell to the bullets of those who believed in exclusiveness and hated Gandhi for his inclusive philosophy.
While India is celebrating 75th year of her independence, the leaders from all walks of life – politics, economy, religion, society – need to revisit Gandhi’s philosophies. Those who are running this country on all these fronts need to look inwards and see whether today’s India is carrying along the principals of the country’s founding father or not. Modern day world, despite tremendous achievements in almost all fields, is plagued with violence, communal strife, regional divided and politics of hatred. Gandhi would have never dreamt of this kind of the world, not at least his country.
Those who think that Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence is no more relevant in the wake of nuclear armaments and cyber wars miss the point that if it could have been relevant during World War II, why not today. Gandhi’s message is an all time relevant message and its standing proof is that even today, this great leader inspires millions in the world and while discussing top world leaders, who made some positive changes in the world, Gandhi’s name figures prominently.
Fact of the matter is that Gandhi’s political philosophy is more relevant today than ever. In an atmosphere of intolerance, religious divisions and hate-mongering, need is to listen to the Gandhi’s voice, the voice that calls for inclusiveness and communal harmony. More than anybody else, it is the people of India who should embrace the message of Gandhi wholeheartedly. United Nation pays tributes to this great leader on his birth anniversary by observing the day as the International Day of Non-Violence “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness” and if his own countrymen distance from his political philosophy, it surely would be a great injustice to that great soul.