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A Call to Youth
My hope lies in the youth the country. Such of them as are prey to vice are not vicious by nature. They are helplessly and thoughtlessly drawn to it. They must realize the harm that it has done them and society. They must understand too that nothing but a rigorously disciplined life will save them and the country form utter ruin.
Young India, 9-7-‘25
Above all, unless they visualize God and seek His aid in keeping them from temptation, no amount of dry discipline will do them much good. Seeing God face to face is to feel that He is enthroned in our hearts even as a child feels a mother’s affection without needing any demonstration.
Young India, 9-7-‘25
Young men… claiming…to be the fathers for tomorrow, should be the salt of the nation. If the slat loses its flavour wherewith shall it be salted?
Young India, 22-12-‘27
Youth will be emotional all the world over. Hence the utter necessity of preconceived and deliberate brahmacharya during the study period, i.e. at least 25 years.
Innocent youth is priceless possession not to be squandered away for the sale of momentary excitement miscalled pleasure.
Put all your knowledge, learning and scholarship in one scale and truth and purity in the other and the latter will be far outweigh to other. The miasma of moral impurity has today spread among our school-going children and like a hidden epidemic is working have among them. I therefore appeal to you, boys and girls, to keep your mind and bodies pure. All your scholarship, all your study of the scriptures will be in vain if you fail to translate their teachings into your daily life. I know that some of the teachers too do not lead pure and clean lives. To them I say that even if they impart all the knowledge in the world to their students but inculcate not truth and purity among them, they will have betrayed them and instead of raising them set them on the downward road to perdition. Knowledge with-out character is a power for evil only, as seen in the instances of so many ‘talented thieves’ and ‘gentlemen rascals’ in the world.
Young India, 21-2-‘29
I ask you (young men) to go to the villages and bury yourselves there, not as their masters or benefactors, but as their humble servants. Let them know what to do and how to change their modes of living from our daily conduct and way of living. Only feeling will be of no use just like stream which by itself is of no account unless it is kept under proper control –when it becomes a mighty force. I ask you to go forth as it becomes a mighty force. I ask you to go forth as messengers of God carrying balm for the wounded soul of India.
Young India, 29-12-‘27
As father of, you might say, many boys and girls, you might almost say of thousands of boys and girls, I want to tell you, boys, that after all you hold your destiny in your own hands. I do not care what you learn or what you do not learn in your school, if you will observe two conditions. One condition is that you must be fearlessly truthful against the heaviest odds under every circumstance imaginable. A truthful boy, a brave boy will never think of hurting even a fly. He will defend all the weak boys in his school and help, whether inside school or outside, all those who need his help. A boy who does no observe personal purity of mind and body and action is a boy would always keep his mind pure, his eyes straight and his hands unpolluted. You do not need to go to any school to learn these fundamental maxims of life, and if you will have this triple character with you, you will build on a solid foundation.
With Gandhiji in Ceylon, p.109
We are inheritors of a rural civilization. The vastness of our country, the vastness of the population, the situation and the climate of the country have, in my opinion, destined it for a rural civilization. Its defects are well known, but not one of them is irremediable. To uproot it and substitute, unless we are prepared by some drastic means to reduce the population from three hundred million to three or say even thirty. I can therefore suggest remedies on the assumption that we must perpetuate the present rural civilization and endeavour to rid it of its acknowledged defects. This can only be done if the youth of the country will settle down the village life. And if they will do this, they must reconstruct their life and pass every day of their vacation in the villages surrounding their college of high schools, and those who have finished their education or are not receiving any should think of settling down in villages.
Young India, 7-11-‘29
If the sense of shame that wrongly attaches to physical labour could be got rid of, there is enough work and to spare for young men and women of average intelligence.
No labour is too mean for one who wants to earn an honest penny. The only thing is the readiness to use the hands and feet that God has given us.