The second day of the month of October presents yet another occasion to a grateful Nation to recall the teachings of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The advent of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the Indian political horizon posed enough reasons to excite as well as attract hundreds of Indians towards him and – more towards his ideology, which later came to be called the Gandhian Philosophy. It is indeed amazing that the personality of Gandhiji gripped the imagination of millions of his countrymen and in later stage an overwhelming number the world over.
It was to his unique credit that in a world marred by violence and
man-made hatred, Mahatma Gandhi stands firm as a man of
universal goodwill and a protagonist of peace. What is more
striking is that Gandhiji emerged during his life time as a
torchbearer of peace, even today he continues to surprise
mankind with his non-violent methods of resolving conflicts. To
many, it is not merely a strange phenomenon that a Nation
subjected to colonial rule put up a strong resistance against
the British hegemony with non-violence as a principal tool under
a frail looking leader like Gandhiji. What is stranger still is
the magic spell of success his methodology continues to have.
Can there be any denying the fact that ‘non-violence’ and the message of
peace is still a familiar catchword among the world leaders to
settle any international or bilateral dispute? It goes without
saying that it is never possible to evaluate how much India and
the world owes to Mahatma Gandhi, the holy mascot of peace.
A peace – however with a difference! This is what the protagonist was
himself to say: “I am a man of peace. But I do not want peace at
any price. I do not want the peace that you find in grave”. This
is precisely an element that gives a suitable clause about
Gandhi as a ‘man of peace’. This is only to underline that
despite being a crusader of peace, Mahatma Gandhi was not just
cut out to be someone who would or could accept anything or
everything in the name of a peace deal.
Gandhiji’s definition of peace was not without struggle. In fact, he had
led brilliantly in fight against apartheid in white-ruled South
Africa. Consequently on his return back home in 1915, Gandhiji
took on the mantle as a social reformer with campaign against
untouchability and other social vices. Later he extended this
yardstick to political sphere and in the long run took his
message of love, peace and mutual adjustment to the cause of
His ‘Ram dhun’, the popular devotion number, ‘Ishwar Allah tera naam’ is
still the nation’s best hymn for Hindu-Muslim peace. This brings
us into debate what was then ‘peace’ to Gandhiji. Well, one can
say that the highly upheld ‘Peace’ was not an end by itself to
him. Rather it was only a sort of a means to ensure better
welfare for the mankind.
Mahatma Gandhi in real sense was a harbinger of truth. In fact, he even
had said that ‘Truthfulness is more important than
peacefulness’. In this context, the following words of the
Mahatma, as quoted from ‘Young India’ newspaper are quite
relevant. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Though we sing – all glory to
God on high and on the earth be peace — there seems to be today
neither glory to God nor Peace on earth”. Mahatma Gandhi wrote
these words in December 1931. He died 17 years later in January
1948 to an assassin’s bullets. It indeed was tragic that a saint
of universal peace and non-violence fell a victim to violence
and hatred. But even today in the circa 2010, Mahatma Gandhi’s
words of 1931 holds true.
The world is today faced with plethora of conflicts – of all types.
Therefore, we see Gandhi’s emphasis on universal brotherhood and
peaceful co-existence has all time relevance. His teachings are
therefore the most upheld principles of patriotism as also on
ways and means to end various global conflicts. In fact, a true
testimony of Gandhij’s teaching lies in the fact that mere “good
ends” do not justify ‘bad’ means. The world over therefore,
today the emphasis is on human dignity and upholding the values
of natural justice.
It is obvious that in today’s world, nothing seems to be permanent
except the ‘crisis of peace’ – and nothing would be a better
tribute to this man than to re-dedicate ourselves towards the
cause of ‘peace’ and mutual tolerance. Here lies the relevance