Mahatma Gandhi had a “unique ability” to become a bridge between some of the greatest contradictions in human society and he continues to give courage to millions globally, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
In an op-ed ‘Why India and the World Need Gandhi’ in The New York Times published on October 2, Modi wrote about the relevance of Gandhi in today’s world. Modi said Gandhi is the best teacher to guide the world community. “From uniting those who believe in humanity to furthering sustainable development and ensuring economic self-reliance, Gandhi offers solutions to every problem,” he wrote.
The prime minister said that Gandhi gave the world the “doctrine of trusteeship” and envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity. Modi quoted various leaders around the world including Martin Luther King and Nelson Madella to signify the stature of the Father of India in the world. He began his article by quoting Luther King, who in 1959 said that “To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim.” Modi said Gandhi was a “guiding light whose inspiration” brought Luther King to India.
Modi said that Gandhi combined ordinary objects- charkha and khadi- with mass politics. “And Gandhi combined ordinary objects with mass politics. Who else could have used a charkha, a spinning wheel, and khadi, Indian homespun cloth, as symbols of economic self-reliance and empowerment for a nation?” the prime minister wrote.
Modi said that the Gandhian struggle was different from the other mass movements as it had involved “wide-scale public participation”. He said Gandhi was never tempted to power. “For him, independence was not absence of external rule. He saw a deep link between political independence and personal empowerment,” the prime minister said.
“For him, independence was not absence of external rule. He saw a deep link between political independence and personal empowerment. He envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity. When the world spoke about rights, Gandhi emphasized duties,” Modi said. When the world spoke about rights, Gandhi emphasized duties, said Modi, while urging the global community to see the world with a spirit of ownership.
He added that India is doing its part. “India is among the fastest when it comes to eliminating poverty. Our sanitation efforts have drawn global attention. India is also taking the lead in harnessing renewable resources through efforts like the International Solar Alliance, which has brought together several nations to leverage solar energy for a sustainable future. We want to do even more, with the world and for the world.” (ANI)