When it comes to Mahatma Gandhi, his teachings are largely confined to text books these days. Orissa POST asked a few homemakers about his relevance in their daily life. They all agree that Gandhi is remembered in India mostly on his birthday, a national holiday, which is celebrated as a ritual.
Souyma Mishra, a Puri-based homemaker, says, “Gandhi is rightly called the Father of the Nation because he single handedly stood up against the mighty British empire without any weapons. He brought us independence through the weapon of non-violence. Gandhism stands fora way of living based on simplicity and non-violence. Though it is difficult to stick to his ideology in this dog-eat-dog world, I must say that Gandhi’s ideology can never be outdated no matter what people may say or believe. Or else, Gandhi’s teachings would not be taught in schools to inculcate good values in students. I try my best to say the truth all the time but sometimes situations force you not to speak the truth.”
Pabitra Mallick, a Singapore-based homemaker, says that Gandhian principles stirred all of India at one point of time and ignited a revolution across the nation. “Gandhi’s principle of non-violence forced the British to leave India. His principles of truth and non-violence found a place in the people’s hearts. Besides, he endorsed simple living and high thinking and practiced it. Though I reside in Singapore, I teach my kids to follow the ideology of Gandhiji as far as possible.”
“You may have read that Barack Obama sees Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration and has a portrait of the apostle of peace in his office. I read that in a newspaper where he stated, ‘In my life, I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things.’ Does that not show the relevance of Gandhi and his teachings in the present day scenario,” she asks.
“If the question is asked whether Gandhian principles are relevant today,my answer would be yes, to some extent they are relevant and are followed,” says Banita Palai. “It would be wise to say that some Gandhian teachings are relevant in today’s world while some are not. Gandhiji’s views about sanitation or decentralisation of power or women empowerment or need for basic education for all, these are views that hold good and are followed,if not by not all,at least by a few people including me. ‘Make in India’ is nothing but self-sufficiency as emphasised by Gandhiji. But if you follow the principle of non-violence in this 21st century, you cannot survive. Gandhi inspired many political, social and religious leaders across the world. Whether it is former US President Barack Obama or Mubarak Awad, the Palestinian leader, they see Gandhi as an inspiration. It is a matter of regret that only a few people of his motherland stick to his principles.”
Homemaker Baisakhi Hazara says, “In my opinion,not all of Gandhi’s teachings are relevant in today’s world, because this world is filled with violence and intolerance. Gandhi’s view was that if someone hits you then we should talk to him and teach them with the power of ahimsa. If you follow such principles, you will be beaten today. But this does not mean that all his teachings are irrelevant today. But first we need to believe in these principles if we want to make others understand their relevance and importance.”
RASHMI REKHA DAS, OP