BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF MAHATMA GANDHI (GANDHI JYANTI)
Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – also called with love Bapu Gandhi (Gandhi Jyanti) is celebrated in India as a Father of Nation. Gandhiji’s contribution for the independence struggle, through non-violence is well-known to us all.
On this day, an Inter-Faith Prayer is being held at Gandhi Smriti, Tees January Marg, New Delhi. Prayers and floral tributes will also be conducted for him at Raj Ghat where Gandhiji was cremated. In various colleges and schools various competitions in the form of debates on Gandhian Thoughts and painting competitions too are held. While I was studying in a village school, I also used to take part in Inter-District debates etc.
Even UNGA (United National General Assembly), in its resolution on 15th June 2007 adopted a resolution, declaring this day as the International Day of Non-Violence- a rightful and justifiable tribute to a great personality known for his simple living and high thinking.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND GANDHI JI’S PHILOSOPHY
This year, the birth anniversary is being celebrated in an atmosphere of fear psychosis caused by Covid-10 pandemic. The best tribute for him would be to remember his visionary thoughts and also pray for those who have lost their love ones due to Coronavirus infection besides rendering helping hand to those who has lost the only earning hand with this vicious infection. My thoughts also go to the work-force who have lost their businesses and jobs due to this cruel infection. Sure enough, we should do whatever we can to lift them from the financial stringency. It may be in the form of paying the school fees of wards or in the best way possible that we can render. This would be the best tribute for the great visionary, a great thinker and a leader who is known for his inclusive philosophy. Gandhiji, during his lifetime, he fought for the rights of dalits and down-trodden besides he was a man of masses who had a vision for all of them. When Covid-10 pandemic infection is still creating havoc around the world, Babu Gandhi Ji’s thoughts and philosophy of life could guide us.
DIFFERENT FIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD AND THE GANDHIAN THOUGHTS
The hall-mark of Gandhian philosophy centered around non-violence or non-use of force to settle boundary issues. He was against the thought of settling issues by killing others or browbeating smaller countries and grab their land by transgression. The role of China, exhibiting impatience and creating problems for its neighbours by grabbing their lands by force is the case in point.. The ongoing geopolitics of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armania is a pointer that any time local conflicts could involve other countries too including extremist elements killing thousands of people. This fight may spin out of control in the days to come. Then there are conflicts in other parts of the world which are proving that violence could prove counter-productive for the peace and prosperity of the world at large. All these are against the principles of Gandhi’s philosophy; the ongoing fights could be settled by mutual consultation on the basis of give and take and not with use of force and non-violence.
PRINCIPLES WHICH ENDEARED HIM TO THE PEOPLE
He firmly believed that hatred should not be met with hatred, violence with violence, greed with greed, evil with evil, but should love even our enemies. For, in real sense, they were not our enemies. He was opposed to use of force, hatred and vindictiveness. He was a great innovative and a visionary, a great fighter for cause of poor masses. He believed that no tangible solutions could be brought about by. On the other hand, through violence we complicate the problem, he asserted. That is why he was loved by all.
GANDHIAN RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY
The world have only a few chosen few who have made their mark to change the destinies of general masses through their thoughts and actions. The Gandhian thoughts based on the universal love and tolerance, entirely on profound love and affection without regard to any religion, caste, creed, colour or any other narrow-minded considerations.
GANDHIAN PHILOSOPY OF RELIGION
It would be in the fitness of things to infer that distinctions based on race, caste, creed, colour, region etc have no place in Gandhian thoughts. He admired and respected all the religions of the world. He did not like racism, fanaticism, intolerance, selfishness, etc. He propounded God consciousness, religious minded without any discrimination for other religions.
According to him, God was kind, just and loving and always responded to prayers and love. Gandhiji was influenced immensely by Bhagwad Gita and its preaching contained in it. For him, God was truth and love. His faith in God was not shaken. He thoroughly believed in principle of Karma and believed that we get reward for our good karmic deeds and punishment for the bad deeds. He believed in the percept that man was responsible for his own destiny which could be shaped by an individual.
Essentially, humanity was the foundation or cornerstone of his philosophy.
UNIVERSAL LOVE AND BROTHERHOOD
Gandhian philosophy is based on the universal love and tolerance including reverence for all the religions. He disliked any distinction based on race, colour, nationality and sect. While following his own religious beliefs to the hilt, he respected all religions equally. His belief in the secularism was unparalleled. He considered humans of all hues the same and saw untouchbility as the sin as he thought that God has created man without any bias.
TEACHING OF SATYAGRAH (NON-USE OF FORCE)
He always preached the policy of non-use-of-force (Satyagrah, non-violence). He firmly believed that non-violence is not a weapon of weak but of the strong men who would not tolerate any manifestation of evil or injustice and would reasonably suffer while fighting non-violently. He was of the view that man was a spiritual being, and love and non-violence were the part of his life. It is a lofty weapon. It is considered as a morally superior weapon but through its use, it could do wonders when used judiciously. Even Nehru agreed that this weapon could do great service if used sensibly.
A REALIST ALONG WITH IDEALIST
Gandhiji was a great realist with idealistic mindset. His thoughts were always on the higher plane. He believed that Satyagrah was possible – with the power of which he made heroes out of men of no consequence in real life that is the reason that we call him as a great reformer with vision.
IDEA OF WORLD GOVERNMENT
Ganghiji was of the view that World Government could eliminate injustice and oppression prevalent in all the societies of the world. This type of Government could establish the rule of law among nations and exploit world resource on a scientific basis for the use of mankind. It could have armed forces to control the law and order problem, if and when required.
GANDHI BELIEVED IN SIMPLE LIVING AND HIGH THINKING
Gandhiji was in favour of simple and noble way of living and lauded the role of cottage and small scale industries, village and self-sufficiency, respect for manual labour and self-labour. He was not for materialism as a way of living but simple way of living through richness in thoughts.
HE WANTED THAT ALL SHOULD EARN HIS/HER EARNINGS WITH SELF RESPECT
He wanted everybody to be employed and assured of the basic conditions of good life. He viewed that everybody should get food, clothing and shelter as per his/her needs. He was not opposed to the use of machinery to serve man but this machinery should not enslave man to the machine. He loved and respected manual labour. He opined that everybody should be self-reliant in the moral and spiritual sense of terms.
PLACE OF WOMEN IN GANDHIAN THOUGHTS
He never subscribed to the idea that women were in any way inferior to men or less intelligent or less in her wisdom in comparison with men folks. He opined that widows have as much right to marry again as the widowers. He was the proponent of education of girl-child. He was against child marriage. He did not like the use of intoxicants and drugs because these weaken humans.
GANDHIAN THOUGHT ON EDUCATION AND CASTE SYSTEM
Gandhiji’s views on education were also inspired by the consideration for forming a sound character based on simplicity and high thinking. He rejected the caste system based on birth as morally wrong. He was strongly against exploitation of the labour class but he was against strikes and unrest for getting their demands fulfilled.
GANDHIAN THOUGHTS ON VILLAGE LIFE
He was aware that 70 percent of the population lived in the villages. He advocated village autonomy, independent and self-governing through panchayati system (choosing their own Surpanchs and Panchs through voting and a loose federation of villages for the satisfaction of their daily needs. He opined that the general masses should be free and not slaves of a centralized authority.
We should consider Gandhi views on autonomous village, his advocacy of cottage industries, charkha and khaddi, his general opposition to mass production are worth emulation for raising the standard of the village life. He opined that we cannot ignore the villages for inclusive /holistic development of India.
The main ideas of Gandhian philosophy are given below:-
- Simple living and high thinking was the core of his philosophy.
- Non-use of force or violence to get things in our favour.
- Adoption of non-violence in getting things in our favour.
- Villages are the mainstay of India because more than 70% of people lived in villages only therefore we have to raise the standard of villagers through Panchayati Raj and giving autonomy to the villagers to form their own methodology of governance. For this, cottage and small scale industries are to be given fillip.
- Non-use of force or violence (Satyagrah) could make difference in our life.
- If India’s development is to be ensured then villages development should be done with concerted efforts.
- He believed that man was responsible for his own destiny through his work ethics.
- Gandhiji believed in Hindu religious philosophy without any discrimination to other religions. He respected all the great religions of the world.
- In his scheme of things, women should be given a high pedestal as they are not less in any sphere. They should be given equal opportunity in education for their upliftment and growth and development.
- He was realist and idealistic in real sense of terms.
- He disliked any distinction based on race, colour, nationality and sect.
- He did not like racism, fanaticism, intolerance, selfishness, etc.
- He propounded God consciousness, religious minded without any discrimination for other religions.
- He believed in the philosophy of non-violence for getting things done.
- He thoroughly believed in principle of Karma and believed that we get reward for our good karmic deeds and punishment for the bad deeds.