Relevance of Gandhi in the contemporary world (Gandhian Philosophy)

Nivedita Roy

Our beloved Bapu has left behind a legacy for us Indians to be proud of. He campaigned for the rights of Indians in South Africa.

The iconic leaders Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr accepted him as an inspiration in their continued struggle towards apartheid and discrimination.

Upon returning to India, Gandhi’s involvement in the Indian freedom movement catapulted him to be addressed as the Father of the Nation.

The ironic part is this Noble saint whose popularity and principles are quoted as  reference on many Peace oriented events and write ups, was never bestowed with the Nobel peace prize. Yet, he is the best personification of peace.

Albert Einstein said, "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.”

Woefully, we are witnessing a scenario where the scientist’s prophesy rings true.

The moral values and brotherhood are reaching a nadir in the society. The violent ridden new articles, propaganda, entertainment content distastefully flavoured with unnecessary violence and barbaric acts as it appeals to the audience and subscribers.

Bapu’s ideals have turned archaic or dismissed as it does not suit the ambitions of a segment of society. But are we ready to acknowledge that the tenets, teachings, and his humble efforts towards humanity are tremendously relevant NOW!

"Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear."

This Mahatma (a great soul) clad in a loin cloth, wooden slippers, and Satyagraha (holding on to truth) as his line of action, led our country towards independence from the British rule. Bapu’s approach to social change was unique, as he believed and preached nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience, and the power of love and compassion. His philosophy of Satyagraha or truth as an armour, was based on the idea that individuals could achieve social and political change through nonviolent means, even in the face of violence and oppression.

The power in nonviolence movement was visible when his Salt March began from Sabarmati Ashram in March 1930 with a handful and ended in tens of thousands joining him towards the end of the march at Dandi near the Arabian Sea.

We are witnessing residues of atrocities towards minorities as a sequel to the 200-year long slavery. We are muted once again while witnessing the divide and rule policy filtering through the tattered fabric of our society.

 "Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men."(Bapu)

I wonder how Bapu would have used his social media presence to appeal for nonviolent means to attain at least a hearing from the government if not a solution. I assume he would have sat next to farmers in Delhi or fasted to support the Indian women wrestlers while they demanded justice.

His struggle towards freedom was for us Indians, the results are documented in history. His teachings, his life struggles, the pursuit to follow truth are for all times.

Denial and defiance to his utmost sacrifice for the nation is an act of disrespect and ungratefulness.

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary. The evil it does is permanent."

Today we need to practice nonviolence to avoid a burning broken Manipur, we need Satyagraha as truth is being shielded, and we need to raise our voices for the minorities and discriminated sections of society.

This fragile frame with his iron will, had the forbearance to bear jail terms and yet continued his steps towards gaining independence for our country which was dealing with socio economic divides, fractured unity and few incidents of rebellion that were curbed immediately by the British.

The python of similar kind has risen again in our society and if we still doubt the relevance of Gandhian principles, we shall tumble further downwards.

Quoting him

"Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."

The time to imbibe Gandhian principle is now, the time to revive faith in humanity is now, so our country may arise from the broken remnants and loss of faith in the constitution.

"Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment."


Bio:Award winning author and poetess, Nivedita Roy is a teacher by profession. She resides in the Kingdom of Bahrain and belongs to Lucknow. She is the author of 2 poetry books and 1 short story collection. She has co-authored 26 anthologies till now. Her poems/articles are published in many newspapers and sites in various global magazines and newspapers. She often hosts author interviews and poetry sessions on virtual platforms.

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