Editorial

Editorial: Gandhi’s Ideals

Year after year there’s a repetition of identical messages on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary with emphasis on his ideals like non-violence, truth and commitment to the service of people and country. This 140th birth anniversary is a little different. Amid floral tributes to Mahatma, there’s a striking message from the US President Barack Obama and a revolutionary twitter from Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor.

Tharoor, in his recent twitting adventure, opines that holiday on Gandhi Jayanti should be done away with, for Mahatma equated work with worship. His message breaks free of old Indian way of paying tribute to some great personality in that what he opines is in fact the pursuance of some one’s ideals, not merely a hypocritical commemoration which practically does nothing to promote the dead great ideals. Hopefully, like ‘cattle class’ remarks, this one wouldn’t draw flak from his party men.

Here is a lesson in Tharoor’s twitter. Young generation is getting disconnected with Gandhi due to his difficult to follow ideals, highlighted by our netas every now and then. Instead of stressing too much on these, politicians should pick up Mahatma’s principles that a majority can follow like doing one’s work oneself. If that is achieved, people can then be expected of perusing harder things.

Tharoor, in his twitter, leaves a unique impression in that he has come out with an ideal that is easy to follow practically. Government can abolish the holiday and people will work as they do on other working days. He has not talked about non-violence, truth, and all such great stuffs, perusing which is not exactly a common man’s cup of tea.

Here is a lesson in that. Young generation is getting disconnected with Gandhi due to his difficult to follow ideals, highlighted by our netas every now and then. Instead of stressing too much on these, politicians should pick up Mahatma’s principles that a majority can follow like doing one’s work oneself. If that is achieved, people can then be expected of perusing harder things.

US President Barack Obama’s message on the occasion that America of today has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi is also in the same spirit. The entire Civil Rights Movement of America that transformed the society there was a result of inspiration from ideals of Gandhi. For eliminating casteism and class struggle in India, lessons can be drawn from the US which is more Gandhian on certain counts than Indians.

Perhaps, people are listening to Tharoor and Obama.

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