Non-violence was a political tool that Gandhi used to perfection in our long fight to gain independence. If he had chosen violent means like many others before him, he too would now be just another name in the list of martyrs, with no results to show for their efforts. In war as in love, it is the end that matters and not the means. Gandhi’s tactics completely bemused the British authorities. They didn’t know how to respond to it. Non-violence and fasting were the two techniques that Gandhi employed to emotionally manipulate the British and he succeeded hugely in this. Gandhi was a complex person, yet he was simplicity personified. Gandhi was many things - master strategist, shrewd tactician, role model for the masses. He was a leader of the masses, yet a loner. Most importantly he had the courage of conviction to plough a lonely furrow. In many respects, he was a man far ahead of his time. For all this he will be an icon not only for Indians, but the entire world for a long time to come. Non-violent response might be an anachronism in today’s violence ridden society, but that doesn’t make Gandhi irrelevant.
Relevance of Gandhism Today
No. 1: In today’s world where a nuclear attack is just a button away, the threat of which does not necessitate any reason, generations have sure forgotten the man who gave up his entire life, struggling for the cause of non-violence. The man who according to Nehru, strived throughout to wipe a tear from every human eye, now remains confined to pages of history textbooks. But for Gandhi Jayanti and Martyr’s Day, Mahatma Gandhi would have almost been a distant past, for many, considering that his ideals of ahimsa have long been buried as outmoded philosophies that have no relevance whatsoever to present-day India. If not, would there have been so much hatred and bloodbaths? Religious intolerance, parochialism, communal disharmony, unabated corruption and all other modern-Indian vices which Gandhiji foresaw and categorically voiced against, have lacerated the country’s unity and its divine sanctity. Therefore in my opinion, there is no relevance of Gandhism today.
No. 2: I fully agree with the views of No. 1 Gandhiji’s preaching’s of non-violence seem to have no impact whatsoever, as violence and religious intolerance, gain more grounds in his own land. It is happening not only in Gujarat but everywhere in the country. Gandhiji’s ideals have become quite irrelevant now. The emerging social and economic scenario in India demands much more than what Gandhiji could have possibly offered if he were alive now. The philosophies and working strategies have long been changed after Gandhiji. And Gandhiji himself had to pay the price with his life, as his ideals were getting redundant, then. No. 3: I had to interfere with you my friend No. 2, as the younger generation need to revive him from the textbooks and follow his ideals. They need to observe his sense of organization and duty, to usher in a better tomorrow. And youngsters, whose minds can only conjure up images of Ben Kingsley when Gandhiji is... [continues]