This article is dedicated to the personage who immortalized himself with his grand deeds – the hero for today’s generation, The father of our nation and The Mahatma.
In his poem ‘The Psalm Of Life', Longfellow says,
“And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.”
The above written lines aptly describe the sublimity of Bapu's life. He left us seventy two years ago. Those who could not bear the truth and considered satyagraha as an emasculating act, took him from us. But even after seventy two years, they have not succeeded in their agenda. They do not understand that ideas are immortal. They think that once people die, ideas also die. Former US President John F Kennedy said, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall but an idea lives on.”
Bapu’s life has been an inspiration not only for Indians but for people from all other countries as well. He was surely an epitome of many virtues, selfless actions and peace spreading thoughts. No wonder he is called Mahatma (The Great Soul) by the entire world. “People are born, people die; but some people after they are gone, leave behind
them a trail of light that illuminies the path for the striving followers.” Bapu was one such soul. His philosophy and ideology were adopted by Leo Tolstoy, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and many other great leaders of the world.
We, the youth, are the beneficiary of Bapu's struggle to free India. We have interacted with him ever since our childhood. It started with “Ek rupaya chandi ka, saara desh Gandhi ka.” Then he is always with us through our currency notes. But did we really understand him despite having a close association? It is shameful that to this day we are unable to understand the father of our nation. We don’t know about his life. How did he live? How did he address problems in his life? How did he overcome failures? We are only aware of some facts about his life not his ideas or the principles based on which he fought.
And this is due to our education system which only taught us that he was the 'father of the nation’ but never tried to teach us how he earned that title.
Our society is becoming averse to criticism. If someone opposes the majority view point, he/she would be labelled as ‘anti-national’. Bapu was criticized by almost all of his contemporaries like B R Ambedkar, Subhash Chandra Bose, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and even by Nehru and Patel sometimes. Despite having the support of the masses, he never called
these people anti national. Sometimes he even reconciled with their view point. Dr. Ambedkar, one
of the greatest critics of Gandhiji's ideology, became a member of the constituent assembly and rest is the history. It shows us that for our honorable Bapu, the nation came first and not petty grudges. Today we do need this behavior. The journey of Bapu’s life was an indication of truth. The aim of his life was to acquire truth. But today’s leaders are constructing truths for their own gains.
Unfortunately they do not understand the implications of this and we are living in a post truth society.
The most important event was Bapu’s struggle for Swadeshi. He started Khadi as a symbol of the Swadeshi Movement years ago. Interestingly, khadi has become a fashion statement in India and is gradually becoming popular across the globe.
Gandhiji’s last satyagraha was for the peaceful coexistence of different communities. But regrettably the minorities for whom Bapu performed his last satyagraha, still live in fear. They fear for their dignity and the security of their loved ones.
Bapu’s birth anniversary marked the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. But the question is, what are we supposed to clean? Until our mindset doesn’t change, how can we become ‘Swachh’? We need to clean our prejudiced minds. Henceforth let us pledge to abide by and spread the following teachings of our immortal Bapu. That will be a real gratitude to him.
were to live forever.”
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“Yes, I am. I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist
and a Jew.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the
attribute of the strong.”
“Nobody can hurt me, without my permission.”