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How relevant is Gandhi today?

Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, gandhi Jayanti, Mahatma, Father of nation, Bapu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly said that the world has celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whose message of truth and non-violence is “very relevant for us even today, for peace, development and progress in the world.”

All over India in order to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated with great enthusiasm to pay honour to Mahatma Gandhi who struggled a lot for the Indian independence from the British rule. We all know that the name of Mahatma Gandhi now transcends the bounds of race, religion and nation- states, and has appeared as the visionary voice of the 21st century.

Gandhiji has become a role model and an inspirational leader for the youth now. Other great leaders like Nelson Mandela, James Lawson also admired Gandhi’s theory of non-violence for the freedom and liberty. Gandhi did a great work to achieve Swaraj. More than ever before, Gandhiji’s teachings are valid today, when people are trying to find solutions to the rampant greed, widespread violence, and runaway consumptive style of living. His ideology is admired throughout the world for its universal and spiritual appeal.

The Gandhian technique of mobilising people has been successfully employed by many oppressed societies around the world under the leadership of people like Martin Luther King Nelson Mandela and many others. Barack Obama sees Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration and has a portrait of the apostle of peace in his office. Gandhi had ideas on every subject, from hygiene and nutrition to education and labour, and he relentlessly pursued his ideas in newspaper. He would still be remembered as one of the principal figures in the history of Indian journalism. Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology is universal which is relevant for all times. People know very little about his subtly powerful and pragmatic ideology.

Though Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas and principles are appraised and accepted by many, they are not free from criticisms. The teachings of Gandhiji are true to the soul and the morality of honesty is to be preached throughout. Whether the teachings are used in present day or not, does not imply that his teachings are irrelevant. The Indian education gives importance to theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge takes a back seat. Gandhiji stressed upon giving practical lessons to the students as he believed that this helps in active participation of the students in the class. We need to make our priority and path clear to march forward.  Gandhism is a way of living with simplicity and non-violence. The new generation is waiting for a leader who will make it relearn the moral values, and who will inculcate in the people, as Gandhi did, a sense of the responsibilities which fall on every citizen of a free society. The aim of celebrating Gandhi Jayanti is to distribute Gandhi’s philosophy, principles and thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi and believe in non-violence around the World. Gandhi’s ultimate search was for righteous conduct. The means are more important than the end, he maintained; with the right means, desired ends will follow. He also emphasized on the life and teachings of Lord Krishna saying that everyone can find solutions to present-day problems from his life.

Today communal amity has become essential for national integration and hence Gandhi gave it the highest priority. He wanted to take the country from areas of hostility into areas of harmony of faiths through tolerance, so that we could work towards understanding each other. Generations to come will scarce believe that such a man as this ever walked this earth in flesh and blood. This was the tribute paid by Albert Einstein to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi when the latter was struck down by an assassin’s bullet on January 30, 1948. The whole world was shocked, feeling as if another Christ had been nailed to the cross. Such was the impact of Gandhi on the times in which he lived. The immortal tribute of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, at the time of Gandhi’s passing said, “The light has gone out of our lives”.

He inspired millions of people through his work and became a legacy of greatness, idealness, and noble life. Gandhi was a social reformer who died after completing the aim of his life. One should remember that he not only gave freedom to his country, but also brought about a great moral regeneration over his countrymen. Men like Gandhi are born once in an age. Mahatma Gandhi while leading the struggle of the Indian people for independence from the British rule repeatedly emphasised that his ultimate aim was not merely the overthrow of alien rule, but the establishment of swaraj in India.

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