Gandhian system – Truth was the central axis of the Gandhian system of thought and practice. He called his religion as ‘religion of truth’. Gandhi preferred to say that truth is God rather than God is truth, because the former proposition expresses a belief that even the atheists share.
Let’s learn from Life of Mahatma Gandhi on the Martyr’s Day
…I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills…
About Gandhian Ethics:
• Truth and Non-violence:
- Truth was the central axis of the Gandhian system of thought and practice. He called his religion as ‘religion of truth’.
- Gandhi preferred to say that truth is God rather than God is truth, because the former proposition expresses a belief that even the atheists share.
• Swaraj and Decentralisation of Power: He emphasized for the three-tier system of Panchayati Raj based on the decentralized theory of democracy.
• Sarvodaya: The good of the individual is contained in the welfare of all. This is the core idea behind inclusive development.
• Cleanliness: He emphasized upon cleanliness in the heart as well as cleanliness in the physical surroundings. He believed in the adage “Cleanliness is next to godliness”.
• End and Means: He believed that end and means are one and same things and one can’t achieve noble ends by following evil means.
• Seven Sins: Gandhi warned people of seven sins which has potential to destroy the life.
- Wealth Without Work
- Pleasure Without Conscience
- Knowledge without Character
- Commerce Without Morality
- Science Without Humanity
- Religion Without Sacrifice
- Politics Without Principle
Relevance of Gandhian Ideas in Modern Times:
• Social Sphere:
- Inclusive development of India is possible only by realization of Gandhi’s idea of Sarvodaya.
- In Indian context, principle of Satyagraha still holds good. Example is Jessica Lal’s case. Through peaceful protest in the form of candle march almost all over the country justice was delivered.
- Gandhi’s views about sanitation is seen today in Swachh Bharat Mission.
- Striving for upliftment of Depressed Classes is still as relevant as was during Gandhi’s times.
• Political Sphere:
- Gandhi’s weapon of non-violence has been used by leaders from across the world.
- Some of the example of such leaders are Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi.
- There is great resonance of the historic salt march at Dandi with the way Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese leader, brought peace and reconciliation to be all the darkness and loneliness against a brutal and hostile regime.
- Gandhi was a strategist, a genius and he molded his movement according to the situation. He could visualize the mood of the nation and strategically took each step in a well defined way. So our politicians can learn a lot about strategisation from Gandhi
• Economic Sphere:
- Make in India is manifestation of Gandhi’s ideals of self sufficiency.
- Gandhi’s philosophy of inclusive growth is fundamental to the building of a resurgent rural India.
- He believed in “production by the masses” rather than in mass production, a distinctive feature of the industrial revolution.
- Gandhi warned the country for unrestricted industrialism and exploitation of nature for human greed.
- Serious environmental pollution and non-sustainable nature of development are consequence of not aligning with Gandhian environmentalism.
• Administration Sphere: Internal affairs like insurgency issues in Kashmir, central India or in the North Eastern states could be managed is much better way by following Gandhi’s ideals of non-violence and Satyagraha.
• International Sphere: Even India’s foreign policy is based on peaceful co-existence and it is reflected in not indulging in aggression first though India remains prepared as the security threats accumulate.
• To conclude we can say that most of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi hold relevance even in today’s world.
• In today’s world, ‘Eye for an Eye’ is no solution as it only aggravates the situation.
• Peaceful coexistence, economic independence, respect for women, child centered education and basic education for everyone, universal brotherhood-all these principles should serve as a beacon of light to guide humanity to a better world.