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

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

Police are investigated a suspected murder in Surrey, B.C.

Police investigating suspected homicide in Surrey

SURREY NOW Police say an autopsy will be required to determine how Surrey’s 14th homicide of 2014 died. The body of the victim, a man…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Today in History – Oct. 21

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Oct. 21: On this date: In 1555, Queen Mary of England launched a persecution campaign against Protestants…
Continue Reading »

B.C.’s LNG emissions’ law greenest, cleanest in the world: environment minister

By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA – New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied-natural-gas plants to meet emission standards or face penalties and…
Continue Reading »

N.B.’s new premier to oilpatch: support for Energy East has not wavered

By Lauren Krugel THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY – New Brunswick’s new premier said Monday he’s looking to assure Alberta’s oilpatch that even though the government…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC-surrey

Most South Asians and Chinese in B.C. have faced discrimination based on ethnicity

A quarter reported experiencing moderate or significant amounts of discrimination DOUGLAS TODD VANCOUVER DESI  Stereotyping. Verbal harassment. Poor customer service. Workplace unfairness. Exclusion from dating….
Continue Reading »

MINOR ATACKED

False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-VANCOUVER-MUMBAI

Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »

Rekha

Rekha’s TV presence has left tremendous impact: Indra Kumar

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai  – Veteran actress Rekha, who has kept her distance from the small screen, has duly followed the current tradition of…
Continue Reading »