Gandhi and his message
October 02, the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu, was observed worldwide 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 caste 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 religion, 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. It is the power of Gandhi’s message and his beliefs that his birthday is observed across the globe and even by those against whose rule he mobilized Indian masses. Acknowledging the message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Sunday said that Gandhi’s life and example reveal a timeless pathway to a more peaceful and tolerant world. Let us walk this path together, in solidarity, as one human family. He, however, regretted that the world is not living up to the values embodied by Mahatma Gandhi and urged nations to defeat the challenges of poverty, racism, and rising hate speech by embracing his values and working across borders to build a more peaceful future for all.
UN Secretary General’s remarks – “Sadly, our world is not living up to those values. We see this through growing conflicts and climate chaos. Poverty, hunger and deepening inequalities. Prejudice, racism and rising hate speech. And a morally bankrupt global financial system that entrenches poverty and stymies recovery for developing countries” – should be a wakeup call for the entire world particularly the people of India to whom Gandhi’s entire struggle was devoted to. Here in India, 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.