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Gandhi Jayanti highlights: Mahatma believed intolerant people focus on matters away from spirituality

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Gandhi Jayanti highlights: Mahatma believed intolerant people focus on matters away from spirituality
  • 12:35 (IST)

    What was Mahatma Gandhi's view on civilisation?

    Mahatma Gandhi often spoke about how his life was altered by a single book — John Ruskin's 'Unto This Last'. It was this book that reaffirmed Gandhi's intuitive feeling that true civilisation is not the ability to build elaborate structures or design complex technology. True civilisation, for Gandhi, is that which enables human beings to tap the higher faculties of love, compassion and brotherhood. And these qualities depend not so much on knowledge stored in books but in how the living practise of these values manifests itself generation after generation.

  • 12:31 (IST)

    Mahatma Gandhi's view on non-violence

    Nonviolence is the law of the human race and is infinitely greater than and superior to brute force. In the last resort it does not avail to those who do not possess a living faith in the God of Love. Nonviolence affords the fullest protection to one's self-respect and sense of honour, but not always to possession of land or movable property, though its habitual practice does prove a better bulwark than the possession of armed men to defend them. Nonviolence, in the very nature of things, is of no assistance in the defence of ill-gotten gains and immoral acts.

  • 12:17 (IST)

    BJP leader Shaina NC remembers Mahatma's views on cleanliness

  • 11:53 (IST)

    Mother cow is better than our mother, said Gandhi 

    "Mother cow is in many ways better than the mother who gave us birth. Our mother gives us milk for a couple of years and then expects us to serve her when we grow up. Mother cow expects from us nothing but grass and grain. Our mother often falls ill and expects service from us. Mother cow rarely falls ill. Here is an unbroken record of service which does not end with her death. Our mother, when she dies, means expenses of burial or cremation. Mother cow is as useful dead as when she is alive. We can make use of every part of her body-her flesh, her bones, her intestines, her horns and her skin. Well, I say this not to disparage the mother who gives us birth, but in order to show you the substantial reasons for my worshipping the cow," the Father of the Nation wrote in 1946. 

  • 11:38 (IST)

    How Gandhi was immortalised on screen by the 1982 film of the same name

    Despite being made by a non-Indian, this is perhaps the most iconic film made on Gandhi. Directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley in one of the roles that he is best remembered for, it told the story of how Gandhi would become the leader of India's non-violence, non-cooperation movement, and begins with the humiliation and discrimination he faced in South Africa when he boarded a whites-only train compartment. Gandhi went on to win eight Oscars in the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor categories, among others.

  • 11:09 (IST)

    Here is what Mahatma Gandhi said on cow vigilantism

    "We cannot save the cows by killing Muslims. We should act only through love. Thus alone shall we succeed. So long as we do not have unshakeble faith in truth, love and non-violence, we can make no progress," Gandhi wrote in 1915. 

  • 10:55 (IST)

    Mahatma Gandhi's message for the world

  • 10:41 (IST)

    Here is Mahatma Gandhi's five point guide to protect and preserve cow and cattle

    • By the Hindus performing their duty towards the cow and her progeny. If they did so, our cattle would be the pride of India and the world. The contrary is the case today.
    • By learning the science of cattle-breeding. Today there is perfect anarchy in this work.
    • By replacing the present cruel method of castration by the humane method practiced in the West.
    • Thorough reform of the pinjrapoles [institutions for aged cows] of India which are today, as a rule, managed ignorantly and without any plan by men who do not know their work.
    • When these primary things are done, it will be found that the Muslims will, of their own accord, recognize the necessity, if only for the sake of their Hindus brethren, of not slaughtering cattle for beef or otherwise.

  • 10:36 (IST)

    Mahatma Gandhi's prophetic message for modern Indian babas?

    The intolerant person ignores what has been called the law of the forgotten breakthrough. This refers to the fact that religious movements begin with a founder who breaks through the accepted ways of thinking and behaving. But eventually the movement which the founder inspired becomes rigid and institutionalized itself. The intolerant person is often focused on matters which are far from the spiritual centre of the original founder’s example and teachings. He desires that every person conform to his way of thinking and acting. Intolerance is not a sign of the strength of one’s conviction but rather it is a sign of weakness of personal character.

  • 10:34 (IST)

    Martin Luther King's tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

  • 10:29 (IST)

    Mahatma Gandhi's view on Gau Seva

    Here is what the Father of the Nation had said about preservation of cattle in India. 

    "Preservation of cattle is a vital part of Gau Seva. It is a vital question for India. There is urgent need for deep study and the spirit of sacrifice. To amass money and dole out charity does not connote real business capacity. To know how to preserve cattle, to impart this knowledge to the millions, to live up to the ideal oneself, and to spend money on this endeavor is real business."

  • 10:23 (IST)

    Cow protection cannot be enforced by laws, said Gandhi

    "Cow slaughter can never be stopped by law. Knowledge, education, and the spirit of kindliness towards her alone can put and end to it. It will not be possible to save those animals that are a burden on the land or, perhaps, even man if he is a burden," wrote Gandhi in 1946.

  • 10:20 (IST)

    Congress tweets, says Indians need to follow path of non-violence

  • 10:17 (IST)

    Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu says Indians must live by Gandhi's ideals

  • 10:15 (IST)

    Killing of a cow is a sin, said the Mahatma

    "My religion teaches me that I should by personal conduct instill into the minds of those who might hold different views, the conviction that cow-killing is a sin and that, therefore, it ought to be abandoned," Gandhi had written in Young India in 1921. 

  • 10:06 (IST)

    Mahatma Gandhi's wrote this in 1921

    "I would not kill a human being for protecting a cow, as I will not kill a cow for saving a human life, be it ever so precious," Gandhi wrote in Young Indian (1921).

  • 09:47 (IST)

    Mahatma Gandhi's view on gau raksha

    The central fact of Hinduism is cow protection. Cow protection to me is one of the most wonderful phenomena in human evolution. It takes the human being beyond this species. The cow to me means the entire sub-human world. Man through the cow is enjoined to realize his identity with all that lives. Why the cow was selected for apotheosis is obvious to me. The cow was in India the best companion. She was the giver of plenty. Not only did she give milk, but she also made agriculture possible. Cow protection is the gift of Hinduism to the world.

  • 09:43 (IST)

    Why Intolerance does not work, according to Gandhi

    "Intolerance is a failure because it does not work. Intolerance breeds resentment. It breeds opposition. If there is anything certain in life, it is that intolerance ultimately fails. Human history is a record of failed attempts of political and religious tyrants to establish their own systems as absolute authority for everyone. The most effective way to achieve respect and authority is the way of tolerance," Gandhi wrote. 

  • 09:35 (IST)

    Intolerance is an error which breeds psychological disorder

    Intolerance breeds psychological disorder. An intolerant person intentionally closes his mind. Thus he loses the stimulation, challenges, and benefits gained from interacting with persons holding differing views. Intolerance leads to a hardening of the psychological arteries which need the lifeblood of diversity, believed Gandhi. 

  • 09:34 (IST)

    President, Vice-president and the Prime Minister of India at Raj Ghat

  • 09:31 (IST)

    Ram Nath Kovind says Gandhian ideals of truth, non-violence and compassion is India's moral touchstone

  • 09:28 (IST)

    Why tolerance according to Gandhi is a sign of strength

    Tolerance accepts reality. Intolerance rejects reality. Tolerance is strong. Intolerance in weak. Tolerance is strong because it has total confidence in its conviction that there is nothing so safe as truth nor so persuasive as honesty. A person of a strong conviction is not afraid of differences. The truth is secure amidst all the differences in thinking and behaving.

  • 09:25 (IST)

    Intolerance is failure of intelligence, Mahatma Gandhi said

    "Intolerance is a failure of intelligence. It acts upon conclusions without acknowledging the process which produced the conclusions. The Truth taught by the various religions of the world are conclusions. They have been arrived at and transmitted through human experience. The intolerant person neglects the process and proclaims his or her view as the only Truth. But in reality all Truths are products of inductive reasoning," the Mahatma had said. 

  • 09:17 (IST)

    Mahatma's view on religious intolerance 

    "Intolerance in the name of religion is a deep betrayal and perversion of authentic religion. In short, intolerance is unacceptable and is a sign of weakness and not of strength," he had written. 

  • 09:12 (IST)

    Narendra Modi at Raj Ghat

  • 09:10 (IST)

    Narendra Modi pays tribute on the Mahatma's 148th birth anniversary

  • Are we forgetting Gandhi's ideals by abandoning refugees?

    On this Gandhi Jayanti, in the name of the Father of the Nation, symbol of peace, icon of non-violence, we might well be moving towards a humanitarian crises of the nature we have never seen before. Our aim is to remove millions of aliens we allowed in and nurtured and send them back to their original homes decades after they found sanctuary in India — to countries that do not recognise them. If we don't know how to accomplish this are we creating homemade enemies?

  • 08:48 (IST)

    Here are Mahatma Gandhi's seven cardinal sins of intolerance

    1. Intolerance is a personal failure to accept reality
    2. Intolerance is a failure of intelligence
    3. Intolerance is an error of judgment about Ultimate Truth
    4. Intolerance is an error which breeds psychological disorder
    5. Intolerance is an error which breeds social disorder
    6. Intolerance is an error which breeds political disorder
    7. Intolerance is a pragmatic failure: it doesn’t work

Creativity and inspiration are the two defining factors for most writers and their craft. But while creativity is largely the process of generating original ideas, inspiration is random. Sometimes it comes from the simplest of things. Like the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Poetry, prose or drama; fiction or nonfiction — Gandhi is everywhere.

There are indeed only a handful of iconic personalities who have caught the imaginations of as many writers as Gandhi has. And one is wonderstruck at the diverse set of books that have been written on him or are inspired by him. Even 70 years after his death, the process has not stopped, but only gained momentum.

From Mulk Raj Anand to Sarojini Naidu, Dominique Lapierre to George Orwell and Khuswant Singh to VS Naipaul, almost all "during-Gandhi", "post-Gandhi" and contemporary writers have somewhere referred to the life of "Bapu" in their works. Thus, they have brought different interpretations to his sayings, sketched fictional characters on his principles and composed verses on his thoughts.

Sarojini Naidu, in her sonnet on Gandhi, describes him as an eternal lotus who is a source of guidance and strength for billions: "O mystic Lotus, sacred and sublime/ In myriad-petalled grace inviolate/ Supreme o'er transient storms of tragic Fate/ Deep-rooted in the waters of all Time..."

But Indian writing on Gandhi and Gandhism has also undergone tremendous change during this process. From the almost mystical being of the during-Gandhi era to a historical being with human vulnerabilities.

 Gandhi Jayanti highlights: Mahatma believed intolerant people focus on matters away from spirituality

File image of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Getty images

Gandhian scholar Vashist Bhardwaj finds the works of RK Narayan critical for his exploration of Gandhi as subject. "Known for his direct approach in handling his subjects, in Gandhi's case too, Narayan has used his wit at its best to 'demahatmise' Gandhism. For instance, Gandhi is seen as an oblivious yet dominating character in 'Waiting for Mahatma' with eyes closed to what is around and busy playing the dynamics of 'self'. In Narayan's 'The Vendor of Sweets' too, Jagan, the protagonist, comes across a hypocrite Gandhian, symbolising Gandhi's failure to reach the masses," Bhardwaj noted.

The post-1990s' writings have seen greater concentration on Gandhian politics in writings on him. If BR Nanda is all praise for Gandhi's politics, Sunil Khilnani is just the opposite.

Early foreign writings on Gandhi include the works of French writer Rolland Romain, Danish writer Ellen Horrup, American and English writers like George Orwell and Edmud Jones, among others.

Romain, in "The Man who Became One with the Universal Being", saw Gandhi as an ideal nationalist and called upon him to enlighten the youth of Europe. Similarly, Pearl S. Buck warned: "Oh, India, dare to be worthy of your Gandhi."

On the other hand, George Orwell puts Gandhi to trial, describing him as a "humble, naked old saint sitting on a prayer mat, attempting to shake the British Empire by utter spiritual power". Orwell refers to him as the "shrewd person beneath the saint" and asserts that his ideals of spirituality, spinning wheel and vegetarianism had narcissist undertones.

However, Orwell also recognises the praiseworthy elements in Gandhi and writes: "Even Gandhi's worst enemies would admit that he was an interesting and unusual man who enriched the world simply by being alive."

In poetry, it is Herrymon Maurer's reflections that have attracted most attention. "During a second period of pause/Gandhi went on with his teaching/East and West looked at him/Followed him, and yet misunderstood him," Maurer famously wrote to summarise Gandhi's life.

To note the rising presence of Mahatma Gandhi in the world of words, an extensive literary survey titled "Gandhi in Creative and Critical Imagination" was conducted in 2012 and published in the International Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities by Sandhya Saxena, vice-principal of Bikaner's Jain Girls College.

"India in contemporary times is a stage set for Gandhi and Gandhigiri. Mahatma Gandhi permeates fiction as well as non-fiction in Indian writings, both in English and other languages. Gandhi is redefined in ways that are quite contemporary. Whereas in some cases there is an attempt to grapple with Gandhi and ultimately accommodate him, in other instances nothing of Gandhism remains unchallenged. Whatever be the case, in creative writings there is a sense of strong involvement as the writers pen Gandhi and Gandhism," Saxena maintained.

At a time when a considerable part of Bapu's presence is contrary to what he stood for — roads named after him serve as begging tracks for starving men, women and children while his fabric and quotes are mere means to woo votes — it is perhaps in these pages of Gandhian literature that Bapu and his ideals are still alive.

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Updated Date: Oct 02, 2017 12:56:01 IST