Gandhian Activism in Modern India- 150th Birth Anniversary of Bapu

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Gandhi ji with Paramhansa Yoanand ji at the Sabarmati Ashram, 1932.

One of the most charismatic personalities that the world will ever see in these materialistic times, yes, the one soul, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, it is his 150th birthday today.

We all know a variety of aspects of his personality and some of us choose to dislike him, while most of us still believe in him. There was a charisma to his personality  that came with time, and the ideals that he cherished changed the future for us. 

He is rightly known as the parens-patriae. We all know how interested in justice was he, and how he had the guts to fight for it. It is known to the world when he sent jitters in the English establishment in South Africa, he was just a young man, who cherished certain principles.

When he came back to India, and began his social movement, he chose to be the monk, who sold not his ferrari, but yes, all that exists of this material world, for the causes of the Indian people.

His activism circulated around oneness of all, and he preached the ideals that Hindutva stands for. Hindu practices of untouchability, ostracisation of the lower castes, and intoxication, were a few while the economic initiatives took a wider shape when he promoted Swadeshi and Charkha for spinning. Yes, we agree those were different times when we were not interested in the Levi’s and the Zara, but were more interested in nourishing our own roots. The roots that helped us live through the past. 

The Hindutva roots are the ones that nourished our government machinery right from 1947 till the time Indira Gandhi started manipulating things to serve her own ends.

Gandhian socialism that defined the our course of lives, is still the greater ordeal of successive governments which have tried to dole out successive policies aimed at uplifting those who are poor and promoting the downtrodden. The industrial policies have also been governed by the Gandhian impact, though there is something that the society has missed considerably since the times progressed to the internet-era.

There is a dissociation of the people from the Gandhian values which has led to a chaotic order influenced by the Western way of life. The Gandhian activism though relied heavily on the roots (Hindutva) it had a psychoanalytical approach of shaping lives, and avoided blase rabble-rousing propaganda and tried to create a balance by introducing self-restraint and self-control in the social intercourse. There was the concept of ownership of the citizens in the state, and he stressed that there will be no change till the people change their attitude while bargaining with the State.

This year, the Supreme Court ruled decriminalisation of homosexual relations and adultery. These are good moves (that are not appreciated by the author who is against such moves), but they are a proof of how far have we come since 1947, and how tough it is to commemorate the birth anniversary of a man who would have dealt with these things in a very different manner.

If there is Gandhian activism involved in these matters, then they will call for very humanist and psychoanalytical means to treat the matters at hand. The first target of the Gandhian would be to help the humans deal with issues with a human touch, and love. There are better means of changing things in lives when we actually uprade to Gandhian philosophy, but how many of us are willing to change ourselves today?

The mere war of intellectual arbitrariness will meddle with the fabric of the society and Gandhi would feel irrelevant and repent what were his struggles for!

I an attempt to commemorate the birth anniversary of a great soul, it will be wise for Indians to not to stock liquor on the 1st of October, because the 2nd is a dry day, but must actually devote some time to think about what are the challenges we as Indians face, and what is the way forward.

The Gandhian Intellectual is the man of the future, while the modern man, is a man without intellectual substance, therefore, let us choose to live with responsibility for our lives and our conduct.
Happy Birthday Gandhi Ji. 🙂

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