Are Gandhi ji and his teachings relevant in today’s world?

Are Gandhi ji and his teachings relevant in today’s world?


Introduction:

Father of the nation, well-known not just in India but in the whole world for his non-violent fight for India's freedom is put to question on the relevance of his teachings in today's world. Things sure have undergone tremendous changes since independence but his teachings are still taught in schools to incur good morality amid the future of the nation. Gandhism is a way of living with simplicity and non-violence. Are the teachings of Gandhi ji confined only to text books and his birthday a mere holiday?

Yes, they are relevant:

1. Ahimsa: Ahimsa or non-violence is still and will remain the most relevant way of handling situations. India, being a powerful Asian country could have shown non-violence towards neighbouring countries at times of disputes. The crisis between India and Pakistan could have been solved long back if India had been non-violent towards their terror attacks. Fires from both side only led to "an eye for eye making us blind" towards humanity. Even in handling internal affairs like those in Kashmir, Punjab, central India or in the North Eastern states of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland or Mizoram, it would have been an entirely different situation if non-violence would have been adopted. Communal riots and atrocities on areas dominated by a particular community could stop by being non-violent.

2. Swabalambi: Self sufficiency with home spun khadi or goods that India can manufacture in its own is a very relevant teaching of Gandhiji. The new slogan for the same is what our Prime Minister Narendra Modi named as "make in India" and indeed the initiative is going to be fruitful for India in days to come only if it is truly implemented throughout the country. What Modi emphasised now was long back taught by Gandhiji proving the relevance of his teachings in today's world.

3. Sarvodaya: Universal upliftment for all without discrimination is the need of time in an economy where majority of the people are either unemployed or uneducated. For the development of the country, it is quite essential that the government makes efforts to raise the living condition of people of the slums instead of merely focusing on the industrialists.

4. Peaceful protests: Gandhi ji led the movement against British rule but always kept the protests peaceful with means such as strike and fasting. India has been witnessing protests most of the times but they are not at all peaceful. Our strikes include troubling others and our protests are usually violent. His efforts had brought us good result while our protests are usually forgotten or condemned for their violent nature. It is essential that we bring back Gandhism in our present living instead of keeping them closed in text books.

5. Barack Obama sees Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration and has a portrait of the apostle of peace in his office. He stated, “In my life, I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things.” Do we need better reason to show the relevance of Gandhi and his teachings in present day scenario?

6. Great leaders around the world takes inspiration from the teachings and life of Gandhi ji while we the natives of the land where he was born are ignoring his teachings as something not relevant in present times. His teachings are of honesty, integrity and kindness which can never go old or irrelevant.

Against:

1. Non-violence is a powerful moral force indeed but to tolerate atrocities on our people is also not a good thing to do. We cannot sit back and show non-violence and tolerance while the so called friendly neighbour, Pakistan breaks ceasefire, killing innocents, bombing our people and brewing terrorism against us. China invading our land and illegally expanding in our territory is also the same that we simply cannot sit back and peacefully protest.

2. Being self-sufficient is also losing its meaning for the simple reason that we have the right to expand our needs to what is accessible via trade and commerce with other nations. India can produce its own crops and clothes but in order to grow globally, we have to promote import and export of goods with other nations. Changing with time is the need of the situation and denying the same would be foolish. Modi has taken the initiative of "make in India" but has also made advancement in trade and commerce with other countries.

3. Satyagraha or fight for good in a peaceful way is also no longer relevant as they are easily ignored unless a problem is created to draw the attention of the ministry. Anna Hazare's India against corruption movement did not produce any result. The lokpal bill could not be passed. Hazare followed the path shown by Gandhiji but his peaceful protests and fasts could not get the government to act upon it showing the irrelevance of Gandhism in today's world.

4. Gandhiji believed that industrialization is the root cause of environmental degradation. This is not applicable in the present scenario. We need to develop and move ahead with time instead of sticking back to what has been said and written long back simply because the present is different from what was in the past. Modernization of the teachings is necessary to upgrade it according to the present day scenario.

Conclusion:

It would only be wise to say that some of Gandhian teachings are relevant in today's world while some are not according to time and situation. The clean India movement is one such good teaching that should be emphasised for good. Changes are necessary for the betterment of a developing nation. Had Gandhiji been living in the present era, his teachings would have been different from what is inscribed into the books written years back.
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    Discussion

  • RE: Are Gandhi ji and his teachings relevant in today’s world? -Mayank (11/06/17)
  • Hi everyone.....in my opinion Gandhi's teaching is not relevant in today's world... because as we can all see there is so much violence in today's world... Gandhi's teaching was if someone hit you then we should talk to him and teach them with the power of ahimsa.....but in today's world if you...teach someone...then that person will not understand your teaching and that person will say you bad words.... according to me if Gandhiji was born in today's world then he' s may be different....
  • RE: Are Gandhi ji and his teachings relevant in today’s world? -keertana (10/09/17)
  • This article is worth reading. It proved to be very helpful for my assignment .It contains relevant point to it in related to the present scenario. I wish I could always find such articles.
  • RE: Are Gandhi ji and his teachings relevant in today’s world? -Gaurish.m.Navale (10/01/17)
  • Doesn't contains enough content,but still was some useful in my history assignment,So thanks.
  • RE: Are Gandhi ji and his teachings relevant in today’s world? -Debjit Mandal (11/03/16)
  • well done.
    nevr thot anyone wll post a topic lik ths in todays wrld .by the wy it hlped me in my assignmnt as wll.
    so thnx.
  • RE: Are Gandhi ji and his teachings relevant in today’s world? -Deepa Kaushik (02/06/15)
  • The teachings of Gandhiji are true to the soul and the morality of honesty is to be preached throughout. Whether the teachings are used in present day or not, does not imply that his teachings are irrelevant. We need to make our priority and path clear to march forward. One can carry on with life in two different ways – the way others move ahead with, that is submitting to the already prevailing rituals and traditions, and secondly following our own principles and giving a fair and justified explanation, in a way that could be an ideology for others to follow.

    Gandhijis teachings are relevant in present scenario as well. Since the whole world goes ahead with the fast pace violence and corruption and fake enterprises, it does not imply that Gandhiji and his teachings are incorrect in present day. We all need a firm mind and much more is the trust and belief on the principles that we follow to make others understand its relevance and importance and find faith in following these good old principles.

    There is possibility that his teachings might prove to be a tool in amending and re-shaping our lost morality and humanity and regain the lost peace of mind. Those who say the teachings are incorrect in present day, cannot be very much confident in their hold on the present culture and ideologies. Though we are running in the race of life, but we have been handicapped physically, mentally and emotionally; the reason we don’t try to know the requirement of this competition and undue pressure on us, which in return would yield nothing but health hazards and fear and insecurity.

    Be the principles be satyagraha or non-violence or self-suffiency or any other thing, everything is relevant and very much required in present day. All we need is to understand the true meaning and the basis of the teaching which could be implicated in the current scenario as per the requirement. His teachings does not mean to be followed blindly, but should be understood and interpreted before getting them into the practical life.