Remembering Gandhi’s sense of duty, value system and influence on Martyrs’ Day (w/gallery)

Published: January 29, 2014

VANCOUVER DESI

India is one of 15 countries in the world to mark Martyr’s Day. It is celebrated every year in that country on Jan. 30, the day that Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. Gandhi is widely recognized as India’s “Father of the Nation” for his peaceful attempts to have the country gain independence from England. Other countries that celebrate Martyr’s Day (the specific dates vary by country) are Uganda, Vietnam, Syria, Panama, Myanmar, Malawi, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Bangladesh Azerbaijan, Armenia, Albania and Afghanistan. What follows is a reflection on Gandhi’s value system, written by Firoz Bakht Ahmed, for IANS, ahead of Martyr’s Day in India: 

Martyrs' Day

Children dressed as their country’s founding father Mahatma Gandhi are seen gathered for a function in Kolkata, India on Jan. 29, 2012. Gandhi’s death is commemorated every year by Martyrs’ Day. Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images

Gandhi, the Mahatma, was truly a citizen of the world though he worked for the freedom of the Indian nation from foreign yoke. Though a Brahmin by birth, humanity was his religion.

He believed that for victory, war was the most blunt weapon and the sharpest one was obviously non-violence. He abhorred the concept of might being the right.

The obiter dictum of Gandhi, “Most religious men I have met are politicians in disguise. I, however, who wear the guise of a politician, am at heart, a religious man,” remains the key to the value system of the political philosophy that he adhered to.

What Gandhi, till he breathed his last, lamented, was that despite challenging irreligion, he found that irreligion cemented its greatest stronghold in politics. In fact Gandhi entered politics to fight irreligion. He also accepted the fact that he might not be absolutely accurate as regards his words used – the hallmark of a true great.

“My religion has no geographical boundaries,” he explained to Kakasaheb Kalekar once. “If I have a living faith in it, it will transcend my love for India herself,” said Gandhi. It was that brand of religion that taught to believe absolutely in the soul and rely solely on soul force for fighting all the ills in human hearts or in human society.

Truth for him was God. And non-violence, or soul force, his only means of fighting the ills of life. He was not a nationalist in the narrow parochial sense in which the word is used.

Gandhi was at pains to explain to American writer Jeanette Eaton that his nationalism was in reality intense internationalism. “Our nationalism can be no peril to other nations inasmuch as we will exploit none, just as we allow none to exploit us.”

In her Gandhi: Fighter Without A Sword, Eaton narrates that the greatest influence of Gandhi on her was Gandhi’s notions on oneness of the world.

Gandhi told C.R. Das once: “How heartening it is to imagine that when there is One World and no militarised boundaries and all the natural and human resources, all the sciences and technology which are today marshalled and arrayed for destructive purposes, will be used for the elimination of poverty, ill health and ignorance.”

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in his “India Wins Freedom” states that Gandhiji is universally acknowledged as the greatest man of his age simply for the reason that despite affecting the destiny of the whole sub-continent, he held no high office nor was he a statesman ruling the destinies of countries.

By sacrificing political gains, he bought peace like all true thinkers and philosophers. He was above all the frivolities of political life as he drew his strength from what he termed “soul force,” an inner strength that comes only when ones believes in non-violence, truth and an abiding faith in the innate goodness lurking in all fellow beings. It was this quality of Gandhi that made him a leader of the world leaders.

Gandhi had the courage of a statesman for initiating reforms. He, however, did not live long enough to see his ideas implemented as the life of this saint who advocated non-violence was cut short by the most horrendous and heinous act of violence (Jan. 30, 1948).

Duty to Gandhi was of paramount importance. He said, “Duties to self, to the family, to the country and to the world are not independent of one another. One cannot do good to the country by injuring the world at large.”

Tagore had believed that Gandhi would fail like all saints who had also failed. Wrote Tagore, “Perhaps he will not succeed. Perhaps he will fail as the Buddha failed, as Christ failed and as Lord Mahavira failed to wean men from their inequities, but he will be remembered as one who made his life an example for all ages to come.”

The teachings of Gandhi are still relevant today, will remain for posterity and his wider significance to a world torn with violence may yet await their fulfilment.


Martyrs' Day 2013


Picture 1 of 5

Children dressed as their country's founding father Mahatma Gandhi are seen gathered for a function in Kolkata, India on Jan. 29, 2012. Gandhi's death is commemorated every year by Martyrs' Day. Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images


Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

India-Kashmir-Obama

Pakistani PM Sharif asks Obama to play role for resolution of Kashmir issue

MUNIR AHMED THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday asked the U.S. President Barack Obama to play a role in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Whitecaps2

Spice Sports: Whitecaps announce new USL PRO team!

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI An exciting announcement was made this morning at UBC’s Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre. Soccer fans in Vancouver will…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

desi bride loaded in gold

Indian bride draws flak for wearing $700,000 jewellery at her wedding

CEN AGENCY An Indian sweet maker made sure his daughter was the golden girl at her upcoming wedding by covering her in gold jewellery worth…
Continue Reading »

India

Video: Bear mauls Indian farmer to death, injures second man (Warning: Graphic Content)

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian farmer was mauled to death and another left seriously injured after a terrifying and unusual bear attack in Karnataka on Monday,…
Continue Reading »

Spiderman

Video: India’s real-life Spiderman scales buildings with bare hands

VANCOUVER DESI A 27-year-old man in India who is nicknamed the “real-life Spiderman” has become one of Karnataka’s leading tourist attractions for his ability to effortlessly…
Continue Reading »

desi victim

Victim of ski accident to open spinal-cord recovery centre in Richmond (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Dhruv Kapoor realized he was in deep trouble as he barrelled down a ski run in Russell, Man., on an icy…
Continue Reading »

op-ed

Aziza Sindhu: How do you grieve for a tyrant father?

AZIZA SINDHU CALGARY HERALD My father, Salim M. Sindhu, passed away on Nov. 10. As a child, I wished he smiled at me, as a…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood sex video

I can’t take nonsense: Sonakshi Sinha on why she lashed out at KRK on Twitter (w/gallery)

HINDUSTAN TIMES Some Bollywood stars tend to be diplomatic about controversies, and choose not to react. Sonakshi Sinha isn’t one of them. Last month, she…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood wedding reception

Photos: Khan-tastic wedding reception for Salman’s sister Arpita

VANCOUVER DESI While celebrities have reached the wedding reception for Salman Khans sister Arpita and businessman Aayush Sharma to wish them their best, photos have…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-cricket

Cricketer Virat Kohli confirms he is dating Bollywood beauty Anushka Sharma

HINDUSTAN TIMES Remember we reported a few days ago how Virat Kohli said he had no problems blowing a kiss on field, the way he…
Continue Reading »