Sunday, 1 October 2017

BAPU








Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or BAPU as he is reverently referred to by countless people in India and abroad celebrates his birthday on 2nd October as Gandhi Jayanti. It is also celebrated as the International Day of Non Violence as declared by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution adopted on 15th June 2007.

Bapu was instrumental in getting us our freedom from the Colonialism of the British and the methods he adopted were Satya and Ahinsa - truth and non violence. His dogged perseverance, non co-operation movement, countless fasts, simple lifestyle and several non violent movements forced the British to finally let the Indians replace the Union Jack with their Tricolor and let them run the Country as free citizens of Free India - this happened on 15th August 1947. 

Since then India has moved on and progressed with leaps and bounds, but the ideals propagated by the Mahatma as Bapu was referred to are more relevant today than ever before. Bapu stood for simplicity and equality for all. So anyone who wishes to follow Bapu has to start with this. There can't be discrimination between two set of Indians and that's what Bapu stood for. Of course he stood for cleanliness and self reliance but that was to inculcate in his Ashram the habit of self reliance and cleanliness amongst his disciples. Obviously he wanted this habit to spread all over but then why pick and choose. He also wanted simplicity to be adopted. Bapu himself was an epitome of simplicity. All he had in his possession was a dhoti and a lathi and a pair of spectacles. He used his Charkha to genuinely spin his own clothes as well as spread awareness about Khadi among the masses, as he believed that wearing home spun khadi was promoting India. He didn't spin khadi to show himself off as the promoter of his image rather he did it as it was one of his daily routine. So whoever wishes to emulate the Mahatma has to start from his simple lifestyle. He mostly traveled on foot with just his lathi to give him company and that automatically triggered off a revolution. He commanded respect not demanded it, and of course he was amenable to all, meeting world leaders to journalists to the common man. Dalits were very dear to him as he believed that they were God's favorite and he didn't do it as a matter of hypocrisy or to promote himself or his party but because he was genuinely fond of them and wanted to uplift them.

We need more people like Bapu today as simplicity, truth and ahinsa has all but vanished - lets build an India which Bapu wanted where all people are treated equal, there are no discrimination based on religion caste or creed.

Those indulging in huge shows to showcase Bapu need to pause, are they doing it for him or for them? Depending on the answers they have to modify accordingly.

Cheers!