Bishwa Nath Singh:
No sooner, the bell had rung at midnight & the celebration of New Year commenced, the thought came to my mind as to analyze as how far doctrine of Mahatma Gandhi is relevant today in the present space age. Let us have a glimpse on it in brief by squeezing out some time from New Year Celebration that is very popular every where in the world!
..(Photo of Mahtama Gandhi)
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
Mahatma Gandhi was a true and unique replica of combined figure of unique integrity, consistency and humanity all combined in his thoughts & actions ever since, he had grown up and had seen miseries of people facing from British Rule. The p...oint of departure of his life philosophy and the basis of his theory and activity in practice are freedom and welfare of any human being and prosperity of peoples and nations of the whole mankind. Non-violence is the elementary and indispensable condition for the materialization of these noble goals. These principals and values represented a permanent source of inspiration in his guidance in his imaginative undertakings both in the struggle for freedom and independent development of India and the promotion of her role in the international community. As a matter of fact, he was a firm believer of the creativeness and openness of the people of India and his own active engagement for a peaceful and friendly cooperation among nations on equal footing, without any interference or imposition were inexhaustible sources of his personal wisdom and high credibility both as the father of modern India, as well as one of the major moral, spiritual and political international authorities of our times. It is largely due to him, India has its political independence today and the work of building that greater freedom which he set in train in continuing by non-violent workers all around India. But, he himself had altered his successors that they would face a more daunting journey on the road to the betterment of the people of India, than he himself had done. His fifty years struggle for national independence reached a culmination in August 1947, but he could see that national independence of India was really only the first step towards ultimate goal-equality of opportunity for all through non-violent action. That is the reason why he represents today not only the collective conscience of India, but also the collective conscience of all humanity. He has remained a relevant thinker today because of his theory and practice of non-violence, but also because of the way he defended all his life political tolerance and religious pluralism. Nothing about his defense is doctrinaire or a prior. Everything he claims about the importance of individual autonomy and political freedom, for human life, for modern living, is tested by experience. Everybody knows that his ideas evolved through experience from a highly simplistic view to more mature, sophisticated and relevant propositions. ,he articulated a fundamental change-taking place in Indian but also modern understanding which still gives his philosophy contemporary relevance. One thing is certain about his thought: it is not only modern, but also mature. His heroic break with religious fanatic was proved far from opening up the possibility for a critical structure, which would provide universal norms for human action. As per his wishes, it becomes our moral responsibility o not to fail to seek knowledge and enlightenment, never give up the virtues of common sense, civility, justice and non-violence. Thus, a sense of balance and proportion of what fits when and where is crucial to the theory he enjoins us to practice. Nevertheless, for him, pure rationalism was neither scientific, nor human. As he once said: “rationalists are admirable being, but rationalism can be a hideous monster when it claims omnipotence for itself”. His attachment to religion was limited. Religion for him was identified with ethics rather than theology. Therefore, most of Gandhi’s major concepts and methods of struggle are not absolutist concepts. It would be totally unfair to judge and analyze Gandhi through some absolutist concepts and ideas. In this connection the most significant concept that is relevant to revalidating Gandhi is that which went by the name of Swaraj (Independence). I think that “autonomy” is not merely an economic concept, but it is also a political concept. He was in fact a stern defender of the role of law, and advocate of fundamental human rights, a critic of all forms of political action based on violence and intolerance and a fervent of limited Government. His political thought cannot, in this sense, be identified either with the liberal tradition, or with the anarchist tradition or with the claims advanced by a number of communitarian philosophers today. His doctrine of non-violence was the effort to breakdown the stereotypes and reductive categories that are limiting to human communication. Every modern thinker has an audience and a constituency. The issue is whether that audience is there to be satisfied and justified or whether it is to be challenged and hence guided into a greater democratic participation in the society. His attempt in experimenting the truth was squarely to hold to universal values. Even if Gandhi was very loyal to India and to the Indian people, his responsibility as a modern intellectual figure, made him speak the truth beyond the national and the cultural frontiers by picking the right moral and political alternative and then intelligently representing it where it could do the most good and cause the right change. In this respect, the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the creation and cultivation of a public culture of citizenship, that guarantees to everyone the right to opinion and action, as an alternative to system of representation based on bureaucratic parties and state structures, is one of the most relevant issues discussed in the western political philosophy today. Gandhi was very conscious about the fact that the cultivation of an “enlarged pluralism” requires the creation of institutions and practices, where the voice and perspective of everyone can be articulated, tested and transformed. Gandhi’s vision of modernity provided a number of fruitful insights that may help us to confront the dilemmas of the modern age. He had shown the world as how simple & truthful, one can be in his/her personal & public life.Let us join to pay our respectful homage and floral tribute to this great man who was also called half naked Fakir(holky saint) known for his simolicity, honesty ,passion and wisdom!