Gandhi: A rare man on earth

150 years ago, a man was born who devoted his entire life to the pursuit of morals and ethics in public life. His politics was inclusive compassionate. His weapon was Satyagraha

NH Cartoon by Rajendra Dhodapkar
NH Cartoon by Rajendra Dhodapkar
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Zafar Agha

Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth, said Einstein of Gandhi. But then, we now live in the era of Dutertes, Trumps, Erdogans and Modis whose politics revolve around money, muscle, religion and race. They pursue — brazenly enough — politics which is devoid of compassion and empathy. Instead, they embrace violence and hate. They speak of war and not peace.

But 150 years ago, a man was born who devoted his entire life to the pursuit of morals and ethics in public life. His politics was inclusive, compassionate and drew strength from Truth and Non-violence. His weapon was Satyagraha, of which indefinite fasts were but one part. The unlikely leader, described as a one-man army during a tumultuous time in Indian history, led India to freedom in 1947. He also helped unite the country and brought about a social revolution.


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, revered across the world as the Mahatma, continues to inspire people across the world. Even as concerted attempts are being made by some people to belittle his contribution and describe him as nothing more than a cunning politician, there is overwhelming evidence of his remarkable journey and evolution and the continued efficacy of his methods and relevance of his philosophy. He did change with time and was far from dogmatic.

The world needs him more than ever. The solitary protest by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who stood alone with a placard every Friday in front of the Swedish Parliament, and the example of a retired Professor of IIT, Delhi, who empathises with the lot of Kashmiris and goes out distributing pamphlets on the streets of Delhi to highlight their plight, are examples of a Gandhian idea at work.

As the world celebrates the 150th anniversary of his birth, we, at National Herald, dedicate three consecutive issues of National Herald on Sunday, dated September 29 and October 6, to remember the Mahatma and rediscover what he stood for.

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Published: 27 Sep 2019, 7:12 PM