Relevance of Gandhi in the 21st Century

Relevance of Gandhi in the 21st Century

Mahatma Gandhi became renowned as Mahatma (great soul) for his fearless, unselfish, and peaceful philosophies, as well as his attempts to bring socio political change. He is revered as a saint, statesman, revolutionary, author, social reformer, and many more. A person who possesses so many intricate features at once is truly amazing. Gandhi, who helped India achieve freedom, served as an inspiration for nonviolent civil rights and social reform organisations around the globe. He lived his life in pursuit of the truth. Gandhi is known for his ideas, which sparked global campaigns for civil rights and independence. Gandhi's statue was unveiled at the UN headquarters on December 15, 2022. The presence of this memorial will serve as a constant reminder of the principles Gandhi supported and to which we must remain committed. Gandhian ideology has historically piqued attention on the academic, intellectual, political, social, and economic fronts. His publications "My Experiments with truth" and "Hind Swaraj," which have also been the subject of incredibly in-depth textual and contextual research, provide a profound understanding of him. Gandhi stands out from others because he doesn't distinguish between theory and practice. Truth and nonviolence were values that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi espoused. However, he was greatly influenced by many in formulating his theories and non-violent mode of struggle which eventually helped him become an epitome of peace and Nonviolence.

As the world struggles with terrorism and other forms of violence, Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolence philosophy is extremely important. Gandhi's philosophy can be used to address today's global concerns, including those connected to human rights, sustainable development, climate change, sociopolitical instability, war and peace, terrorism, political and administrative corruption. Today, this philosophy needs to be put into practice since it is a crucial component of satyagraha to stand up for the truth without resorting to violence. Even today, as the government works to make India self-sufficient, Gandhi's concept of swadeshi is still widely held. The second iteration of swadeshi was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Covid time, when India was going through a terrible economic crisis, under the name "Atma Nirbhar Bharat." Gandhi consistently worked to promote inter communal unity that is urgently needed. The 73rd and 74th amendments, which gave local self-governments more power, helped India execute the Gandhian principle of decentralisation. To honour persons from lower castes and in opposition to the caste system, Gandhiji used the term "harijan." Gandhi envisioned a society where there was no hunger, no unemployment, no poverty, a healthy environment, and everyone had access to education and good health. Gandhi's view of socialism was more social in its approach than political. These Gandhian philosophies will keep influencing Indian policymakers. As we can see, his ideas have had an impact on everything from poverty alleviation to "Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan" to "Ayushman Bharat" to "Skill India." Gandhi was a strong supporter of "Swachhata" and paid close attention to cleanliness. His vision of a clean India has been realised by the recently launched "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan." Gandhi constantly advocated for minimising demands since human greed is destroying environment and a sustainable lifestyle is necessary in our day and age. According to him, “there is enough on earth for human needs but not enough for human greed.” Global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are the three main issues faced by the world today. Gandhi's thought must be incorporated into all environmental agreements and sustainable development initiatives. Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development was established in New Delhi, in 2012 as integral part of UNESCO, in order to promote peaceful and sustainable communities via education for peace, sustainable development, and global citizenship. Gandhi played a significant role in bringing women out of their domestic work and make them self reliant which is still relevant today.

Even after so many years, Gandhiji's beliefs continue to enlighten both India and the rest of the globe. His political accomplishments gave us independence. Thus, in order to live a happy, prosperous, healthy, peaceful, and sustainable existence, every person should adhere to the core Gandhian ideologies.

Dr. Sharia Anjum
Assistant Professor 
School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
SAGE University, Bhopal (India)

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