Tuesday, 2 October 2012

2nd October...The Mahatma's Birthday

Its 2nd October again.  Since childhood I've been knowing that this day is celebrated as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, many times referred as the 'Father of nation' of the great land called India.  In school, kids are being made aware about how this skinny man lead India to freedom from the British rule in 1947.  Kids are taught about the various ways and the various struggles he lead to finally kick British out of India.  The whole country will remain immensely indebted to this man for the gift of freedom that has been bestowed on us.  

Along with freedom Mahatma Gandhi also gave the world some very very important ways to live life.  The principle's of life that he preached were not only followed by him in his own life but he strongly believed in them too. Principle's of Non-violence, Non-cooperation, Tolerance, Equality, Truth, Honesty are some that he immensely believed in and strongly followed in his own life.  While fighting for the freedom of India, he also fought against the social evils that had penetrated in the Indian society.  

Unfortunately, many of those social evils are still not eradicated from our society even after more than 60 years of independence.  And it seems the principle's that this great man taught us are all getting evaporated from our lives.  Gandhian Philosophy's existence seems to be getting extinct except in the school text books. We Indians just don't care about this treasure that is there with us.  A treasure which if incorporated in our daily life's can take us to the new heights of peace, prosperity and humanity.  

Every 2nd Oct. we observe a holiday, we observe it as a dry day across the country, politicians pay homage to the Mahatma, but than what ?  The very next day he is forgotten and so is the Gandhian Philosophy.  I still remember talking to a young guy in his early twenties and telling him that dude the changes that you want to see in this country will come only after you incorporate those in yourself, like Mahatma Gandhi has said once, 'Be the change you want to see in the world'.  And the response I got was, that this is not a Gandhi Era.  Mahatma's principle's no longer work in today's world.  So first let the world change and then I'll follow.  What a shame ? Mahatma Gandhi today is just limited to the currency notes that run this country.  

When people talk about preserving the ancient heritage and culture of India, why do they forget that preserving and following the Gandhian Philosophy is our responsibility too.  And its no bull-shit.  Its a tried and tested way of living which gave us our freedom.  And if we still are not able to value it and preserve and follow it, do we deserve the freedom that the Mahatma gave us ? Do we really deserve to live a free live ?  Better live under the rule of a dictator who knows how to keep more than a billion people in strict discipline.  

Gujarat Vidyapeeth which is the only university that provides courses on Gandhian Philosophy since last few years have not got a single Indian student who has enrolled to learn it and on the other side students from all over the world are increasingly enrolling themselves in this course.  Even they learn the Gujarati language to understand Gandhian Philosophy in a much better way.  Even the current President of America, Barrack Obama has the photo of Mahatma in his office to remind himself of the Mahatma's principle's.  

And look at us, we have almost all cities of India with a Mahatma Gandhi road, we have him on our currency notes, we teach the kids how he lead India to freedom, we make films on his ideology and give that film national awards but we laugh on the one who wants to follow the Gandhian Philosophy.  Have we become so sick, coward and shameless to follow those principles which gave us our freedom ?  

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