Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is Gandhi relevant in today's time

Still from Gandhi Museum, Pune

I felt like writing a blog on Gandhi not because he was assassinated 67 years ago on this same week and not because many people still justify his killing. I don’t think a deep repentance is done within the Indian Society after Gandhi’s murder but we can remember Gandhi after the numerous roads and buildings named after him. Otherwise the significance of numerous M.G. Roads and Gandhi buildings and bridges will be lost.

People of India have forgotten Gandhi from their lives but they also can’t live without Gandhi. Otherwise Prime Minister Modi’s campaign Swachch Bharat Abhiyan wouldn’t have been started from Valmiki Basti in Delhi where Gandhi lived for months to uproot Dalit’s condition in the society. Probably because still people feel it’s not their responsibility to clean their own shit but someone else should do it for them. There is a popular story about Gandhi in this regard that first time in his life he scolded Kasturba when she refused to clean the loo.

 In today’s time also every Government office has a Gandhi photograph because people should believe in the system and it is only Gandhi who can make people believe in them.

Daily some people try to kill Gandhi and there are some who tries to keep him alive. There is a report which I read few days ago and I think I should share it with you that a year ago, Assam was badly hit by Bodo-Muslims riots and at that time an NGO called Gandhi Shanti Pratisthan went to Kokrajhar, most badly hit part of Assam and created an atmosphere where people of all communities Bodo, Santhal and Muslims sat together and decided that no one will attack on any other person and slowly children started to go schools and life became normal. Gandhi worked as a bridge between the societies and salves the wounds. Gandhi became the solution of the violence.

In every TV debate if you can close up and see the faces of the panelist, you can’t find regret in any of their face. Each one is concerned about pulling leg of another person. My concern is not if we are failing as a Government of Congress, BJP or Samajwadi Party, but my concern is that why we are failing as a society. Why there is so intolerance in the hearts of the people and no one is doing anything for it. We are failing as a society and going to an extreme position from where it is very difficult to return. We have failed in Gandhi’s message and his teachings.

Gandhi has become a football and each one is using him as they want. They throw him to the public and show them as his real successor. Someday Anna Hazare comes and represents him as second Gandhi whereas someday Congress show Gandhi is his legacy and they have a copyright on him. Nowadays, BJP and Modi have grown their love towards Gandhi and it is them who are really remembering him and his values.

Gandhi was the first and biggest supporter of decentralization of power but each political party has became a centralized power nexus where the top leaders are the ones that decide what to do. Each one talks about governance but no one tells who will govern, will it be people or them. Each one has molded Gandhi in their own form but forgotten what Gandhi fought throughout his life.

 Is it true that we can remember and build idols of Gandhi but can’t follow his footsteps?

Image courtesy India Today

I don’t think so, again and again we have seen the biggest revolutions in the last century was done only after following the main weapons which Gandhi preached all his life, truth and Non-violence. Whether it was Nelson Mandela fighting apartheid in South Africa or Martin luthur king Jr. leading the African-American Civil Rights movement. Recently, president Obama mentioned how Gandhi has impacted his way of thinking.

The concept of India is incomplete without teachings of Gandhi and it can only survive till Gandhi is alive in hearts of people of this country.  On this day I pay my tribute to the man who played the leading role in our country’s freedom struggle and was more than just a freedom fighter. May the soul of Gandhi rest in peace and be happy by seeing the India he has left. Amen!!

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