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Essay on “Relevance of Gandhian Thoughts in the Prevailing Times” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Relevance of Gandhian Thoughts in the Prevailing Times

In the prevailing times, the relevance of Gandhian thoughts can be understood in the context of the present political, economic and religious environments. In a world torn by violence and discord, a rift has been created between the haves and have-nots. Communal riots industrialization rising graph of crimes, environmental pollution and growing socio-economic inequalities are the outcomes of this rift.

Gandhi’s thoughts assume a special significance because he had stressed on the concept of equality of all humans. Mahatma Gandhi’s belief in non-violence, and Satyagraha culminated in the Indian Independence. Thus, the British left India not as enemies but as friends.

Gandhian thoughts and philosophy are studied in British and Western universities today. The best tribute was paid to Gandhiji’s life and thoughts by Richard Attenborough, the British Director, when he cast Ben Kingsley as Gandhi in the English film Gandhi, which won 11 Oscars and portrayed the life of the saint-politician before a larger world audience. A prize called the Gandhi Peace Prize, has also been instituted by the government of India as a tribute to the ideals espoused by Gandhi.

Gandhiji’s struggle and triumph in the political arena encouraged Martin Luther King to struggle for black people’s rights in America using non-violent means. Like his mentor Mahatma Gandhi, Luther also died due to an assassin’s bullet. Gandhiji had served in Africa and his work gave an impetus to the struggle of the blacks against apartheid, which was brought to a peak with the struggle of Nelson Mandela. Gandhiji had added a much wider dimension to the Indian freedom straggle. He saw it as a part of the global struggle against Western imperialism. India could not tight the battle in isolation. Today, colonialism has vanished from the world. Nations have become aware of their rights for freedom. In an indirect manner, the downfall of autocratic regimes, military dictatorships and capitalistic tendencies promoted by the West may be traced to the pragmatic application of Gandhian ideologies.

It was Gardhiji’s views on religion, which formed the basis for the secular character of our Constitution. The freedom worship has been guaranteed and no one shall be discriminated on the basis of creed. The rights of minorities must be guarded. Mahatma Gandhi was always against the politicisation of religion. He advocated a world in which, selfless service, love amongst communities and tolerance of each other’s faith was the bedrock of foundation. He himself read the Gila, the Quran and the Bible and followed an eclectic set of principles culled from the teachings of Lord Krishna, Prophet Mohammed and Lord Jesus Christ. Had we followed Gandhiji in principle we could have avoided communal disharmony in India. It is necessary to re-invoke the Gandhian spirit today. Some years ago, riots were witnessed between the Christians and the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Palestine, several hundred Palestinians were killed. During the Kargil War, 618 Pakistanis and419 Indians lost their lives. Gandhi’s philosophy of love and non-violence can check such tragic happenings.

Mahatma Gandhi’s views on economics influenced the thinking of a number of renowned economists. Schumacher’s book Small is Beautiful borrows heavily from the Gandhian ideology Gandhiji advocated small-scale self-sufficient cottage industries. He was against large-scale industrialization and mechanisation of the country. He had stated that industrialization would cause an exodus of villagers to the urban areas for employment. With the concentration of pupulation in the cities, the incident related to various crimes would increase.

The charkha (spinning wheel) was a symbol of Gandhiji’s defiance of Western goods and luxuries. Had we heeded his warning the rat-race for wealth and luxury would not have started in India. Today, in many capitalist countries, a yawning gap exists between the haves and have-nots. Lust for material goods, concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and embezzlement of public properly involving public servants are the main causes of crime. Money is the root of all evils all over the world.

Crimes like drugs trafficking, smuggling, murder and adulteration of consumer goods flourish because people have made them their status symbols. Everyone wants cars, posh homes, Cable TV and a plum post to become an elitist. Gandhian economics was against concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. To him Birla and other industrialist were the trustees of the nation. Gandhi’s views about equitable distribution of wealth and property led to the bhoodan or Land Donation Movement of Vinobha Bhave and Jai Prakash Narayan.

Gandhiji wanted that special attention should be given to the weaker sections of our society such as dalits, women, girls and children. Many laws and movements have drawn inspiration from his views. However, these vulnerable sections are still exploited today. The girl child is always relegated to the lowest position in our families Feminist movements world over would find a strong source of inspiration from Gandhian thoughts.

Gandhiji was not against technological progress as h did not wish to take India back to barbaric ages during which superstition ruled people’s minds. He wanted technology to serve people’s needs and be subordinated to their spiritual needs.

The labour class must not only be ensured a proper standard of living, but also it must be given the opportunities for education, prosperity and growth. Thus, love, brotherhood. cleanliness of thought, words and deeds as well as simple living and high thinking were the virtues that the Mahatma advocated. And they are highly relevant even today.

Large-scale industrialization today has led to environmental hazards like ozone depletion, exposing people to harmful effects of radiation. Environmental pollution is causing serious diseases like asthma, lung cancer, skin rashes and eye-burning. Gandhiji was against environmental degradation and creation of disturbances in the ecology through human elements or industrialization.

Many Indian scholars have been engaged by the West to interpret the works of Gandhiji for their neo-colonial interests. A section of people is engaged in an ideological subversion of Gandhiji’s thoughts. Yet, the world at large realises that unless Gandhian philosophy and lifestyle are reinstated in our world. There would be no salvation for us.

Gandhiji was never dogmatic about his theories. He supported the process of continual change in his theories and basic tenets through experiments. The objective was to deliver benefits to the poor and the downtrodden. His ideology was never stagnant but grew through introspection and correction. Even in the changed conditions of the world today his views can easily be adopted to suit anyone.

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