On the 30th October 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was shot in the chest by a man named Nathuram Godse. already at a time when Gandhi was responsible for steering India into the light of independence there was a group of people who disagreed with him to the extent of fanaticism. Today if I am to stand before you and talk to you about Mahatma Gandhi, I feel the need to show, why exactly do we call the man a Mahatma. Once convinced only we all will be able to appreciate his ideas and thoughts to the fullest.
Mahatma Gandhi set foot in India at a time when British domination was at its peak. He resolved to excursion the British outside India, when he witnessed that the Britishers treated themselves above the law of their own land. Gandhi did not retaliate the brute force, oppressive violence and incessant torture of the English rule, with violence. He equaled every stone thrown and every bullet fired at him with resilience. At a time when the colonial rule was recruiting soldiers and importing battle equipment by the score, here was a man who did not already lift so much as a stick in his self defense, however was successful in driving them out of India. For Gandhi, the ends achieved were as good as the method used to unprotected to them. A country born out of violence would not have a strong enough foundation to tide over the teething issues which had to afterward be faced. The purpose of satyagrah as he said “was not to prove somebody wrong, but to make the other person realize his mistake”.
Satyagrah, truth, non-violence may seem instruments for those who without the physical capacity to ward of violence. But, strength doesn’t come from physical capacity, it comes from indomitable will. Forgiveness, is a weapon of the strong, the ineffective cannot forgive. All the methods of Mahatma Gandhi connected with the shared man. He precipitated the cause of satyagrah, to the grass root level by incorporating it in the daily struggle against the British rule. “It is difficult to believe that such a man in flesh and blood ever walked upon the confront of the earth.” however, in a country where he is revered as a Father of the Nation, I stand before you to prove his greatness. Gandhi’s satyagrah was not some utopian idea of independence, which was why it was so effective.
Gandhi did not give any particular message in his lifetime. His life is his message. We have to take bits out of his life and adopt it in our life and make it better. When Gandhi spoke of equality, he lived in equality. He adopted lepers from the streets all around the country and took them to his ashrams. He took care of them and their ailing health, when the whole society shunned them. He broke all tradition and barriers when it came to following his chosen path. Mahatma Gandhi gave a strong message and set an example by sheltering those unfortunate people. by his actions, he pleaded us to follow him and not deprive the lepers of basic rights of society. For him, equality of rights transcended all boundaries of caste, creed, color, gender and already diseases. Just some pigmentation on the skin could not deter him from granting equality.
This was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, given the title Mahatma by Rabindranath Tagore for his contribution to society in the above and many more forms. We may close ourselves to his ideas and thoughts by the end of this program, or sit and ponder over them. If we want, we can revive the Mahatma, he cannot be wiped from the earth by simply 3 bullets. Or maybe he can be, it’s our choice.