The day has again arrived for large section of political class to wear white khadi dress with a cap and to rush to a Mahatma Gandhi statue, of course in a big vehicle to utter few parroted words with some crocodile tears in their eyes to show the onlookers, particularly media persons that they are the true believers, followers and torch bearer of Gandhian philosophy.
Unfortunately, day in and day out, the name of Gandhiji is being misused by those who proclaim from rooftop to be the sole political heir of this great soul about whom the Great Physicist and Nobel Prize Winner, Albert Einstein had said, 'Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.'
It has been fashionable in our country in majority of cases to resort to dharna and agitation in the name of Satyagraha - the most pious tool of protest, thereby putting the public at large to great inconvenience even in the national capital. It would be therefore, befitting if these set of protesters and the misusers of Gandhiji's name, take some pain to read what Bapu wrote about Satyagraha' in Young India (20.10.1927) and Harijan (15.04.1933)
Since Satyagraha is one of the most powerful methods of direct action, a Satyagrahi exhausts all other means before he resorts to Satyagraha. He will, therefore constantly and continually approach the constituted authority, he will appeal to public opinion, educate public opinion, state his case calmly and coolly before everybody who wants to listen to him, and only after he has exhausted all these avenues will he resort to Satyagraha. But when he has found the impelling call of the inner voice within him and launches out upon Satyagraha he has burnt his boats and there is no receding.' '…The word Satyagraha is often most loosely used and is made to cover veiled violence. But as the author of the word I may be allowed to say that it excludes every form of violence, veiled or unveiled, and whether in thought, word or deed. It is a breach of Satyagraha to wish ill to an opponent or to say a harsh word to him or of him with the intention of harming him…'
It is equally not out of context to take up briefly the concept of SWARAJ in the light of FDI controversy and other issues of governance in the country to know the gap between Gandhiji's thinking and actual current happenings. In Gandhiji's concept of Swaraj, self-reliance, self-regulation and self -restraints are very important. He says," Real Swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when it is abused. In other words, Swaraj is to be obtained by educating the masses to a sense of their capacity to regulate and control authority." He further says, "Swaraj means government by many. Where the many are immoral or selfish, their government can spell anarchy and nothing else."
Undoubtedly, the life and work of the Father of our Nation would continue to be an eternal source of inspiration not only for all true Indians but also for million others world over in days to come. That's why even the U.S. President Barack Obama joins to say, "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 extra ordinary."
Milan K. Sinha is a freelance writer. He has worked in Banking and Insurance sector for three decades following three years of active writing in various newspapers and magazines. Presently he is engaged in stress management, wellness and awareness activities besides freelance writing.