How India as a Great Nation of Gandhi should celebrate 150th birthday of Gandhi?
The whole world is going to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on 2nd October, 2018. Obviously it would look for creative and constructive ideas from India, the land of the Mahatma!
Here are a few for the people of India to consider:
Number One: It’s high time the world became one. Only then the earth would be saved from nuclear war, pollution and poverty. So alternative and sustainable solutions to these global issues must be explored.
The golden way to achieve this according to Mahatma is “to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family like members of one family. He who distinguishes between one family and another’s, miseducates the members of his own and opens the way for discord and irreligion.” (Harijan: Nov.17, 1946)
So global peace can be attained only by establishing global justice, the seeds for which have to be sown in individual families. Indians first have to be taught to accept and appreciate each other and spread the same to the whole world by example.
Number Two: To achieve this, Gandhiji visualised a mission for children. He said:” If we are to reach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence,we won’t have to struggle, we won’t have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering.(Young India:Nov.19, 1931)
So children should be helped to grow first in character and not exploited in the money-making educational machinery. India has to at one stroke scrap the present system of education and evolve Peace Education that suits a child and a place appropriately. Children should be connected to the villages and learn through self-reliant crafts.
Number Three: To evolve and execute such an innovative educational system, independent and transparent tiny groups of honest villagers in every village should be empowered by decentralising the State and Central powers. Obviously these groups would have more and intimate relationship with the local villagers and evolve and execute people based self-reliant micro level production-distributon and govern themselves. Greater space for the individual to rule over himself and becoming more responsive is thus provided.
Gandhiji said: “I look upon increase of the power of the State with the greatest fear, because, although while apparently doing good by minimising exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality, which lies at the root of all progress.” (Wit and Wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi:p96)
Before decentralising the power, people must be empowered to empower themselves. It implies that people must be educated to earn their food only by self-reliant employment and that means everyone earning one’s food by one’s manual labour. That’s the real power of the Nation.
If that culture of basic dignity is promoted, Gandhiji thought that all humans would be equal, none would starve and the world would be saved from many a sin.
Appropriate rules and regulations have to be made to help people to select their leaders only from the lot of manual labourers by which the dignity for manual work is promoted. Those who try to obtain a living or amass a fortune by exercising one’s intellectual faculties must be discouraged and instead directed to use them in service of mankind.
All these changes must be brought in a nonviolent way as a culture for peace. Setting examples by the socio, economic, religious and political leaders would make miracles.
Number four: Gandhi on his 150th birthday demands from the people worldwide this one thing atleast. Erase hatred and promote love and goodwill for all creations and this he likes to implant in children. Systematic orientation to children in the following six rules may be the starting point.
1. Listen absolutely when one talks to us.
2. Seek permission and then talk.
3. Instead of complaining, resolve directly.
4. Not to blame that cannot be changed.
5. Not to gossip in one’s absence.
6. Not to escape but voluntarily accept one’s mistakes.
Gandhiji wanted us to ” karo pahale, kaho piche.” So let’s first change and tell others later.
Let’s remember this of Gandhiji: It is a hallmark of gentlemanliness that one should make a clean breast of one’s mistakes before the whole world.” (BAPU- Vol.IV, p.240)
Gandhi Peace Foundation, Madras
332, Ambujammal Street, Alwarpet, Chennai-18

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