Thoughts on Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

In my recent visit to Ahmedabad, I visited “Sabarmati Ashram”, the place where Gandhi spent his time during the changing years of British Raj and lead the famous Dandi March. It again made me thoughtful about our county, how unique we are and how we have become a different India today. Gandhi always had an influence on me and my decisions. I guess the photos of him on every NCERT book, his talisman and his simple quotes were important factors for the deep impact on me. When you read about Gandhi, it’s not just history, it is the history that changed our civics, but more so our life, culture and humanity.

Gandhi’s talisman

Initial India

I always believe that Gandhi was the one who set the tone for what today India as a country is. I still admire him for his unique PR. Creating his presence and travelling all over India in the ’30s. Supporting every struggle, something parties all over the world can’t do even today. There was no one in the world before him who had acquired respect and admiration among groups of people this large and culturally diverse, but with a non-assertive and peaceful will to fight for a common cause. This became an important part of what India is and will be: moving people, not by fear but by calling their inner conscience. Show of strength, not by violence but by willpower and the sense of equality and humility, above religion and caste.

During Independence, the major problem of India was largely social, as it is till now. This I believe, will always be the prime fact in the comparison between Indian and other nations of the same age. Israel, Singapore, and Korea have grown a lot from the same time. But looking closely, we find that we too have been successful in overcoming our own problems of social evil and are now recognised as an important country in the world map.

Connection

My penchant for Gandhi has stayed unwavering since childhood. You connect with someone, happens when you see them as a part of yourself: the simple abiding guy with a sense of rebellion, my belief of Jainism, vegetarianism and non-violence made him a role model in my formative years. As adolescence approached, all my role models had a strong Gandhian influence: be it APJ, Obama, or Jobs, this only reinforced my belief in his teachings.

Critique of Gandhi

A great man will always have critiques. I am a big critic of Modi, but we cannot counter what he has accomplished. Also, it is not helpful for me (an engineer, a normal citizen) criticising someone, it will only inflate my ego. Maybe for an activist, historian, people with larger goals it makes sense. All I can and should do is to learn from them and make small changes in my life, focusing more on positives will bring good for all of us.

I wish we try to make India, what the father of the nation envisioned it to be.

Be the change you wish to see in the world

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Siddharth Lahri

Siddharth Lahri

Space for me to share, create and off-load stuff (read crap) from my mind!