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Aslooking At The Present State Of Affairs In India, The Birthplace Of Gandhi, One Would Probably Surmise That Gandhism, Whatever The Term May Mean, Cannot Have Any Relevance In This Twenty First Century. Gandhi Is

2176 words - 9 pages

Looking at the present state of affairs in India, the birthplace of Gandhi, one would probably surmise that Gandhism, whatever the term may mean, cannot have any relevance in this twenty-first century. Gandhi is rightly called the Father of the Nation because he single handedly stood up against the mighty British Empire, without any arms, and brought her independence. However, today, just after 60 years of his assassination by a fellow Indian, Gandhi is mostly forgotten and his relevance questioned even by his ardent devotees. Today Gandhi is remembered in India mostly on his birthday which is celebrated as a national holiday rather as a ritual.

As a matter of fact, India is not following ...view middle of the document...

To say the least, Gandhism is under severe test in India if not already dead. If one takes a survey, most Indians would probably say that Gandhism is a flop ideology just like communism and it is, at best, not practical in this twenty-first century India.

The above shows that today, Gandhism is a very confused ‘ism’ in India. Today many politicians in India use the term merely as a slogan and the common man make Gandhi almost out of reach of the younger groups by making Gandhi an unwilling ‘avatara’. That may be one reason why the only photo we see of Gandhi in India is always that of an old man which brings the image of a very simple and pious man who was meek and mild like Jesus Christ. While Gandhi was not a simple man to say the least, the above does not gives the right image of Gandhi and does not bring any inspiration to the younger group, the group most relevant for Gandhi. In real world, Gandhi was a politician, a shrewd politician, who was trying to bring peace and harmony to India on one hand while trying to bring her independence at the same time. He was trying to change the world. In this regard, he was like Karl Marx who said, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it”. While agreeing with Karl Marx that we all need to try to change the world for the better, he was completely opposed with Karl Marx regarding how to do that change and what we really try to achieve. For Gandhi, the process of change was very important which must be ethical, nonviolent and democratic giving rights to all minorities. For Gandhi the process was very important and often times the process itself was the goal. In this respect, he resembles the Buddha for whom the noble eightfold path (of right wisdom, right conduct and right effort), itself is the goal and essence of life.

Once we realize this, we realize the essence of Gandhism and realize that it would be wrong to premise that Gandhism is dead in the world. Like Buddhism, which is mostly prevalent now-a-days outside India, the country of its birth, Gandhism today is alive and active outside India. In fact today there is hardly any country in the world where some activities are not going on along Gandhian lines. There are very few countries in the world where something or the other is not being done, achieved or organized in the name of Gandhi. In short, there is a global non-violent awakening and awareness after Gandhi. The name of Mahatma Gandhi transcends the bounds of race, religion and nation-states, and has emerged as the prophetic voice of the twenty-first century. Today, Gandhi is remembered for his passionate adherence to the practice of non-violence and his supreme humanism, in every corner of the world.

One would wonder, what may be the relevance of Gandhi in this all-pervading materialistic, agnostic and consumerist culture? What is the significance of Gandhi to the modern world and what is the secret of his success? Gandhi has been a...

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