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Mahatma Gandhi

 

   

  

 

"Gandhiji, how do you think making one's own cloth and inheriting one's ancestral profession solve modern problems ?" 

 

One has to acknowledge that poverty and unemployment are still Himalayan problems in the modern world. We started spinning and weaving as a means of solving unemployment as well as a resolution of self-reliance (Indians need not depend on the European mills for clothing). As we progress technologically, it is of utmost importance to include the downtrodden and the under-privileged in the scheme of things. While making of one's own cloth was only symbolic, in India it represented a non-violent protest against the British rule, as it culminated in the boycott of  western clothing. I believe that for a nation to prosper, it is very important that its people are employed and the nation is self-reliant.

The issue of ancestral profession, while common in many other societies, is a problem of enormous proportion in India, where one's dignity in the society was attached to one's profession. I have done everything in my capability to fight against untouchability and indignity of labor. Again, in a country divested of its resources by the occupying powers, new jobs are hard to come by and I felt that as long as we can work to remove social barriers attached to professions, inheriting the family profession is the best way to employ the newer generation.

Happiness does not come from money. It can come from taking pride in one's work and recognizing its contribution to society as a whole. So it is of primary importance that in a society, especially one under foreign rule, there are jobs for people to work and feed their families. Only then we can fight for other rights such as freedom.

 

"Gandhiji, how do you think making one's own cloth and inheriting one's ancestral profession solve modern problems ?"

   

  

Non-violence does not mean making peace. On the other hand, it means fighting bravely and sincerely for truth and doing what is just. Like all fights, there will be a terrible loss and pain. But a satyagrahi (soldier of civil disobedience) must go on.

My success with civil disobedience in South Africa and in India has not come easy. A large number of people sacrificed a great deal, including their lives while fighting for truth and justice.

The doctrine of Satyagraha works on the principle that you make the so called enemy see and realize the injustice he is engaged in. It can work only when you believe in God and the goodness of the people to see that they are wrong. As a satyagrahi, I  do believe that non-violence is a potent weapon against all evils. I warn you however, that the victory will not come easy- just like it will not come easy with violent methods such as fighting with weaponry.

 

"Why do they refer to you as Mahatma - the Great Soul ?"

   

  

The title Mahtma (great-soul)  has deeply pained me a number of times. I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence (ahimsa) are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.

But I certainly like to narrate my experiments in spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such power as I possess for working in the political field. A large number of people have told me that they revere me because I understand them like none other.