India remembers Gandhi
By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 03 October (Asiantribune.com): India Monday observed the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi amidst a renewed debate on the relevance of the Gandhian ideals and values. Gandhigiri as the subject has come to be known has come up front after a gangster comedy film 'Lage Raho (carry on) Munnabhai" which dwelt with the theme became a hit.
The film has been sent to the Oscar awards as an independent entry. Sanjay Dutt, a 'he-man' of Hindi silver screen played the lead role Munnabhai in the blockbuster.
The film has revived interest in Gandhian values and the TV channels are refreshing memories of the nation. Almost all channels have put out features on forgotten and often neglected institutions associated with Gandhiji.
The day's observance began with floral tributes at Rajghat, the final resting place of Gandhiji, just behind the historic Red Fort in the capital. President Kalam led the nation in offering the tributes.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed the day in far away Southern Africa, where Gandhiji evolved, tested and perfected his weapon of non violence â€“ Satyagraha to win over the adversary.
Manmohan Singh on Saturday visited Pietermaritzburg, the railway station, where Gandhiji was humiliated by the Whiteman 113 years ago and set him on the road to 'satyagraha' road. He said. "to breathe something of the air which transformed Mahatma Gandhi, and visit the place which in many ways laid the spiritual foundations of India's freedom struggle... is for me an act of great pilgrimage, a great emotional experience â€“ an experience which induces me to work harder and harder to realize the goals and objectives which were dear to Mahatma Gandhi."
Arjun Singh's Ode to Gandhi
Speaking at a seminar on 'Relevance of Gandhi Today' at the historic Kaisersaal in Frankfurt, Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Arjun Singh said Gandhiji preached and practiced universal values. Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi and the German Scholar, Dietmer Rothermund attended the seminar which was held in connection with the Frankfurt Book Fair. India is the Guest of Honour Country this year at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Gandhian philosophy, Arjun Singh said, is universal in nature and his commitment to civil liberties, humanitarianism and truth cut across boundaries.
Gandhiji fight, Arjun Singh said, was essentially against evil's whether that be in the form of colonial oppression and domination or in the form of social evils like untouchability and the low status of women.
In his view, Gandhi's greatest contribution was in making the Indian struggle for independence a mass movement. "What is even more relevant is that he interwove this movement with a social and ethical agenda â€“ the use of right means to achieve right ends, the simultaneous struggle against internal social evils â€“ untouchability, low status of women. He led by example and it is due to his strong and personal commitment to secularism, truth, non violence and social reform that modern India has held on to these values despite many pressures and provocations", the Indian Minister added.
- Asian Tribune -