Is Gandhi relevant today?

Is Gandhi relevant today?

We asked NXg what they thought of this question and as usual they responded magnificently. Here’s a selection of what they said.

More so than ever before

 “I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.” - M.K. Gandhi

He dreamt that of ethics and values practised in daily lives. But more than half a century after independence is it really so? But should we judge Gandhi and nonviolence only by the test of short-term success?  If there lies inbound strength in truth that could free us from the chains of the British rule then why can’t it rid us of the corruption prevalent everywhere? It’s not the principles that have become irrelevant rather it is the impatient nature of today’s progress that has made “corruption” so popular. Violence is definitely not the answer to burning issues. The need for the day is to shut down the egoistic attitude and mutual distrust. Non-violence can be a good force if practiced. If we “shoot the messenger” we can’t progress. There is no room for patronage among equals. M.N. Roy, who founded Radical Humanism, said: “When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic society he may not be able to free the whole world . . . but he can to a large extent at least free himself by behaving as a rational and moral being, and if he can do this, others around him can do the same, and these again will spread freedom by their example.” I don’t think I can put it any better. If that is the goal, then Gandhi is more relevant than ever.

Gurunathan.S works with iNautix, his first job.

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Always relevant

Gandhi inspires an alternative vision of politics and resistance at a time when oppression is not only getting more overt and physical but also more insidious. His ideology of nonviolence is a good point to start from. It may not succeed, but it opens a world of possibilities and encourages us to think outside the box. His life also illustrates how radical ideas are first dismissed, only to be tested and embraced later. Gandhi demonstrated to a World, weary with wars and continuing destruction that adherence to Truth and Non-violence is not meant for individuals alone but can be applied in global affairs too.Gandhi’s vision for the country and his dreams for the community as a whole still hold good for India. He got the community to assimilate and reflect true values of humanity and to participate in tasks that would promote the greater good. These issues are still relevant to what free India is and represents.The main cause of worry today is intolerance and hatred leading to violence and it is here the values of Gandhi need to be adhered to with more passion. He is relevant not yesterday or today but for ever!

R. Ashwin XII, St. John’s HSS

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It still exists

Today nobody is patient enough to apply Gandhiji’s methods. His principles can be applied in our daily lives if we have faith in our goals and ideas. Of course some feel it will not work because everybody is concerned only about their own well being even though it may be harmful to others. It takes courage to abide by certain principles when others scoff at you.

Aishwarya. N, I Year (EE) R.M.K Engineering College

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Follow him

I have been trying to follow his principles of ahimsa, truth and love. There are instances where I could have lied but I chose to speak the truth, though it did not help me. When we shower love on others, humanity grows. Ahmisa is a weapon with which you can conquer without bloodshed. We must follow his principles to stop another war and to save the world.

K.V. Sowmya has been in Infosys for just 10 months

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Values lost

In today’s India, Gandhi is but a distant memory. Gandhi’s principles can never be implemented today when those who try to apply Gandhi’s ideas are scoffed at and discouraged by people who are supposed to augment improvement. Apathy and corruption have grown like silent epidemics. No matter how much we talk about the pathetic state of the country today, deep down we know that it’ll take more than eloquent speeches to recreate an India Gandhi would be proud of.

John Stephen, XII, D.A.V Boys’ Senior Secondary School

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Only an ideal

To be very frank, I believe that the Gandhian principles have been deactivated these days. Today we can’t afford ahimsa and satyagraha, because we live in a society of people waiting to take advantage. Gandhi says his principles are based on making the self suffer and not the other, but what is the point? After the series of terrorist attacks, how can we say that Gandhian principles are still living? We face such conditions where we have to use violence. During my childhood, when I learnt about this great man, I always tried to be in accordance with his principles. Well it was obviously because I faced no violence in that protected environment. But now, when faced with an attack, don’t I have the right to defend myself? And I can’t do that with non-violence and satyagraha. As for Satyagraha, we have many ‘non-violent’ strikes rendered useless by the authorities using violence to end. Why would the protestors opt for the peaceful method another time?

Priya.S, XII, Modern Indian School, Qatar

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Gandhi lived for what he believe in but remember that everything he thought and did was specific to the society of that time. We can use his life as a lesson to learn and try to emulate what we can in the present context. Gandhian ideas can be treated only as an ideal and one can only try to follow as much as possible. If one attempts to follow it completely, he/she will be a failure in the eyes of today’s society. The values of today and the meaning of success are quite contrary to what he believed and practised.

Randhir Rathnesh, X, Vidya Mandir

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Gandhian principles like ahimsa and satyagraha have become defunct. Students have started taking out guns from their pockets instead of a pen. And how many films are released these days that are sans violence. Films portraying dons seem to be most popular. From this it is clear that “the spirit of Gandhi” is only to be read on paper. Coming to the application of Gandhian principles, I would like to quote “I practised Gandhian principles and felt happy but the world around me was much happier, not following it.”

T. Jayachandran, IV Year, ECE R.M.K. Engineering College

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18 Responses to “Is Gandhi relevant today?”

  1. gandhian values are yet too far concept to be thought of. today if we are aware of our duties and just follow them without breaking laws we will automatically achieve lot many dreams of gandhi we alwys dont need to look for new ways and set ideals but sometimes following the normal path is also not a bad option

  2. GANDHI-he is our father.I think we all indians must strictly follow gandhi’s principles so that we can hope our country will
    be a role model for the whole world.

  3. you are absolutly right..

  4. There is a difference between a person wanting to be a role model and who is a role model without his approval,for masses. there must be such instances which make him a role model n gandhi was one such person who became a role model and his ideas are so much worthy of being adhered to.resisting to all the actions upon him for the one’s he never knew and still working for their welfare, is somthing which normally no one thinks of.i totally believe to the idea that following his ideals and principles “corruptions can be sooed off” and if one says that there are various violent movies one a rise then so are non-violent ones and after all were “there is good there is bad” and yes good is always a tool worthy to keep you from guilt of doing wrong to any one.

  5. no,gandhi and his actions were just the “past” where every body in india had the same gole to achive. But in”Todays”world where averyone is trying to cheat each other and have forgotten the word “compromise” ” IT IS USELESS”

  6. Gandhian principles were worked out very effectively at the time of Gandhi..if Gandhi is born now in our society, he would not have able to practice all his principles like in early 19th century..i feel this because, reading out and getting aspired to gandhian principles is very easy now..but practicing them now a days depends on us and the way the people around us receive that..if one wants to go along with the world he cannot practice them..but if one wants to change the world, he can practice them and achieve it.. Hope u understand this frens….

  7. These are the best thoughts I have ever heard about Gandhian Principals

  8. gandhi..to me is relevant as he was in the 19th century.the following points might illustrate my opinion:-
    to me it appears that in every century,era or epoch,ther exists the good as well as bad people.it is we who decide that which coarse we want to take.there is always difficulties for those who want to bring the change in the society or culture.whether it was corpenicus or the illuminated being of plato.
    morever rome was not built in a day so in similar way gadhian principles show us the path to achieve the best ,but surely this might take time so if we want to see the society which he percieved efforts should be made by each one of us.

  9. perspectives from various people

  10. Imagine a scene… raavan kidnapped sita. Ram goes to lanka, knocks on the door and says.. “hey dude, wassup? u ve already kidnaped my wife and as gandhiji says, ‘OFFER THE OTHER CHEEK’ I hv brought my sister along. Cheers!”.
    no he didnt do that. he prepared an army to take raavan on. Had he followed MR Gandhi things could have been different.

    So his ideals were not relevent even then.

    Then what would the famous ‘gandhiji ke 3 bandar’ do when they happen to see a girl being raped in front of them. well, Dont see, Dont speak and shut your ears’, Again gandhi failed.

    Today when the enemy is not just the british but a wide range f them, corruption, population, terrorists, insurgent etc, 1 can not always sit non violently to gain

  11. the above discussions on gandhiji’s principle is very much practical . i think time has been passed when we could save those principles.today we live in a country where a person dies in striving for meal…. its next to impossible to obey gandhiji’s rule.!

  12. From my point of view I think that gandhiji’s principles are not being accepted by the people of today’s society due to the upgrowing curroption. I feel that if these principles are accepted by the people can bring a great change. ANNA HAZARE is a true example of this…..

  13. His principles are immortal,they are directly derived from the roots of our culture.We are by nature non-violent,this separates us from animals.We hate lie`s we hate liar`s.Self cleansing and a drive toward spirituality may sound obscure in present context but this is what he tried to taught us.He cleansed the soul`s of his followers only to bring the concept of a united India.He guided out fore fathers.He gave us freedom.He is there in our school text books,in our teachings and in the Indian ideology.We have been following him unconsciously for so long.Now need is to do it consciously.His principles are designed for the welfare of the entire humanity.They are not and can never be irrelevant.

  14. i don think his ideas will work in today’s world. today everyone wants to b powerful and rich. they dont care how they achieve it! gandhi’s principle would work only for 19th century,not now. he wanted to live for others but today’s world is a “SELFISH GIANT”.

  15. i frankly don’t believe that gandhi’s principles are still being followed by the people of our country b’coz if this would have been the case then their would be no corruption and violence in our country ……. and as for anna hazare he has struggled so much for a bill to be passed which was inspired by gandhi so why the government the actual runner of our country didn’t accept it it was like that the gov. under the pressure of anna hazare had to accept which should not take much provoking

  16. if the man can make a country free with just a piece of cloth around his body holding a mere stick in his hand how hard it will be for us to follow his path having completely dressed and having knowledge and truth in our hands!

  17. be spefic

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