Purushottam Aggarwal on 2nd October 2005, delivered a lecture on “ Majbooti ka naam Mahatma Gandhi” meaning Mahatma Gandhi, is a synonym of strength. Excerpts...
After Gandhi, ‘Gandhi Peace Foundation’ has emerged as a hotbed of Gandhian ideas and programes. Especially in the 60’s and 70’s when it was the regulatory body for various Gandhian activities. In this New Delhi situated facility, senior critic Purushottam Aggarwal on 2nd October 2005 delivered a lecture on Gandhi. The topic was, Majbooti ka naam Mahatma Gandhi meaning Mahatma Gandhi, a synonym to strength. In his address, he especially highlighted that between all the ethical inflation and dilemmas Gandhi’s life is an example for the rest. It has played a crucial role in keeping the people of the country and the world, be it a politician or a common man connected to humanity for the past century. Presently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former American President Barack Obama are the two world leaders mostly linked to Mahatma Gandhi. However, those interested in participating in this debate only because it contains the names of the two world leaders, it must be hard for them to understand if we try to introspect life, development and nation building through it. When the prominent environmentalist Anupam Mishra died a few days ago, senior Hindi critic paid him a tribute in his writing speaking of his Gandhian aesthetics. There is hardly any issue of concern in human life that Gandhi haven’t already touched in his lifetime or one that we don’t have dated context of consideration program. Hence, Gandhi’s life and his ideology naturally attract the positive people or the ones associated with social or national welfare.
When Narendra Modi visited America after becoming the Prime Minister of India, he took Gandhi’s ‘Geeta Bhasya’ for President Obama. Interestingly, Obama also didn’t forget to express his affection for Gandhi on his visit to India.
However, the reason why the two world leaders like Modi and Obama don’t forget Gandhi is because they realize his ability motivate something ordinary to transform into extraordinary and his lessons of decisive awareness for peacefully co-existing world. In the beginning of his presidential candidacy in year 2008, Obama in a statement said, “I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration because he is a symbol of change that indicates that together common people can do extraordinary things.”
Then again in 2015 he called Mahatma Gandhi a hero not only for India but the world. If we talk about the country’s current Prime Minister, then Narendra Modi also come from a place where Gandhi’s ideas and values have been in question from the beginning. But it’s appreciable how this leader has been constantly supporting his beliefs with Gandhian values for the last three years. From Khadi to sanitation there are a lot of programs and ideas Narendra Modi has progressed upon after becoming the Prime Minister. In this new generation of branding and image marketing, his initiatives have provided India a refreshing new identity in the world.
In the BRICS summit in South Africa last year, the picture of Modi and leaders of countries like China, Russia and Brazil wearing Khadi clothes went viral. The Gandhi ideology purist may believe it won’t help Gandhi’s khadi movement. But if Khadi were to rise above the pressure of sale and production in this time of market and consumerism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on the right track to do it. Those with fundamental objection with his methods must present the blueprint of policy and programmes to further the Gandhian ideology against the market.
Otherwise there will only be talks of Gandhism while his connection to our lives continues weakening every day. The good news is that the talks of Gandhi and associated programmes are only going to increase in the next two years. Gandhi’s first major breakthrough in the country’s freedom was the Champaran movement between 1917 and 1918. The movement is about to complete its centenary. Nitish Kumar has decided to celebrate it with a global event in Champaran and Patna on the occasion. Sources say the Bihar government is going to set up a committee to start the preparation of the global event. It is being said that it will the biggest event in the history of Bihar. Gandhian leaders around the world are supposed to be invited to the event. According to the sources, former president of the United States, Myanmar former President Aung San Suu Kyi and many South African leaders are some of the primary guests to be invited. The Modi government, like the Champaran Satyagraha, is also planning to celebrate the sesquicecntennial (150th anniversary) of Mahatma Gandhi between 2018 and 2019. Multiple committees have already been appointed for preparations of the event. The people who know NAMO’s working process know how the event will turn out.
In a time when the base of public acceptance of leadership, ideas and programmes has became a necessity, Gandhi’s presence in public life and question on cleanliness will not only help in human welfare but will also, to an extent, ensure its success.
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