Theme : Modern India
Paper : GS - 1
1915: Gandhi returned from South Africa to India and joined the Indian National Congress. He established the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad.
1917: Champaran satyagraha – marks Mahatma Gandhi’s first successful application of his method of ‘satyagraha’ in India. The indigo cultivators of Champaran, Bihar were exploited by the planters who were largely European in the tinkathia system. As a result of his campaign, an enquiry was conducted into the conditions of the peasants. This went a long way in giving the indigo cultivators some relief.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Brief Timeline of Gandhian Steps
- Mantras given by Gandhi
- Relevance of Gandhi in today’s World
- Gandhian Ideology during the Pandemic
Gandhi Jayanti i.e., 2nd October being celebrated as International Day of Non-violence by the United Nations.
Brief Timeline of Gandhian Steps :
- 1915: Gandhi returned from South Africa to India and joined the Indian National Congress. He established the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad.
- 1917: Champaran satyagraha – marks Mahatma Gandhi’s first successful application of his method of ‘satyagraha’ in India. The indigo cultivators of Champaran, Bihar were exploited by the planters who were largely European in the tinkathia system. As a result of his campaign, an enquiry was conducted into the conditions of the peasants. This went a long way in giving the indigo cultivators some relief.
- 1918: Ahmedabad Mill Strike: Gandhi organized satyagraha in favor of cotton mill workers at Ahmedabad.
- 1918: Kheda Satyagraha: The people of Kheda were unable to pay the high taxes levied by the British due to crop failure and a plague epidemic.
- 1919: Young India was a weekly paper or journal in English started by Mahatma Gandhi through which he popularized India’s demand for self-government or Swaraj. Navajivan (a new life) was a weekly newspaper published by Gandhi, in Gujarati, from 1919 to 1931, from Ahmedabad.
- 1920-22: Non-Cooperation Movement – First mass movement, launched against the Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh incident in Amritsar. The campaign involved Indians revoking their cooperation from the British government, with the aim of inducing the British to grant self-governance (swaraj). Gandhi withdrew the non-cooperation movement after the Chauri-Chaura Incident. After the non-cooperation movement ended, Gandhi withdrew from the political platform and focused on his social reform work on untouchability/ upliftment of the depressed class and communal harmony, called Constructive Programme.
- 1930: Civil Disobedience Movement – The second great mass movement of Indian freedom struggle. The Simon Commission came to India in 1928 to look into the functions of the constitutional system in India. As there was no Indian member in it, it was boycotted by all political parties in the country.
Mantras given by Gandhi :
- The most important ethical rule Gandhi abstracted from his reading of the Gita, and what he labeled as the Golden Rule, is the following: All acts that are incapable of being performed without attachment are taboo.
- If we read “attachment” in the above quote as meaning selfishness/self-centeredness then the golden rule is that, since actions like murder and lying can be performed only when one is selfish, these are to be treated as tabooed.
- Intolerance & Violence are two sides of the same coin. Mahatma Gandhi successfully weaponized truth, satyagraha, and peace during India’s struggle for independence.
- These ideals inspired great men across the world, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Their lives stand as a testament to their indomitable will and the courage to practice the ideals.
- Therefore, the youth of India must draw inspiration and learn how to tackle intolerance & violence peacefully.
- That is why Gandhi claimed: “Thinking along these lines, I have felt that in trying to enforce in one’s life the central teaching of the Gita, one is bound to follow Truth and Ahimsa. When there is no desire for fruit, there is no temptation for untruth or himsa.”
Relevance of Gandhi in today’s World :
- The ideals of truth and nonviolence, which underpin the whole philosophy, are relevant to all humankind, and are considered as universal by the Gandhians.
- More than ever before, Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings are valid today, when people are trying to find solutions to the rampant greed, widespread violence, and runaway consumptive style of living.
- The Gandhian technique of mobilizing people has been successfully employed by many oppressed societies around the world under the leadership of people like Martin Luther King in the United States, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, which is an eloquent testimony to the continuing relevance of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Gandhi’s concept of basic education includes holding of creative activities like cleaning surroundings, spreading communal unity, health education programme, addiction relief programme etc. which can instill national, social, spiritual and cultural values among children.
- Planning should be made at the grass root level in which villages, individuals, and families would play a dominant role.
- In decentralized planning the subject matter of economic planning would be man and his development. Resources would be conserved by avoiding wastage.
Gandhian Ideology during the Pandemic :
- The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a number of valuable lessons, foremost among them being atma nirbharta, which became synonymous with self-esteem.
- We saw for ourselves how industrialists, technologists, innovators, scientists and researchers rose to the occasion with missionary zeal during the lockdown, manufacturing thousands of products from ventilators to PPE kits, from medicines to vaccines to finished products in a variety of areas.
- It is clear that marked by a transformed mindset, the Atmanirbhar campaign has set India firmly on the path of development and national pride.
- As Mahatma Gandhi aptly remarked: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
- With ingenuity and innovation, the nation’s youth should chart the course of India’s development, lending impetus to the concept of “vocal for local”.