“People have forgotten Gandhiji and have also lost their capacity to fight against injustice,” said writer Fakir Mohammed Katapady on Sunday.

He was speaking at the Gandhi Smriti programme organised by the Udupi district unit of Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike (KKSV), here. Mr. Katapady said though Gandhiji propagated non-violence as an important tool to get independence for the country, it was ironical that he became a victim of violence. Even now violence dominated over non-violence. Instead of Gandhiji's “Hind Swaraj” (Home Rule), there was now “Himsa Swaraj” (Rule of Violence).

But the countries of the Middle East, where non-violence was not so well-known, were now following it. This is evidenced by the “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia, where its ruler for 23 years Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to stepped down from presidency following protests which began in December 2010 and fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14, this year.

Even Egypt was seeing unprecedented non-violent protests against its President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for the last 30 years. It was the writers who had inspired protests in the countries of the Middle East.

It was strange that the people in India were remaining silent in spite of massive corruption, galloping inflation and shameless behaviour of Government at the Centre and State. It was necessary to have a non-violent struggle both in the State and the country against corruption, Mr. Katapady said.

Speaking on the topic of “Hind Swaraj”, writer Pattabhirama Somayaji said that the book “Hind Swaraj” authored by Gandhiji was unlike his other works. He had written this book with lot of emotion. The book had a conversational style. Though it was a conversation between the editor and reader, yet both were equals.

This had great significance for a country, where for hundreds of years some people had the exclusive privilege to speak, while others had to listen. But now there was hardly any conversation among people. Gandhiji had seen the dangers of ultra-nationalism, Prof. Somayaji said.

Vice President of district unit of the Vedike K. Phaniraj welcomed the gathering and delivered the introductory remarks. Taluk Panchayat member Rahamatulla gave away prizes to winners on essay competitions. President G. Rajashekhar proposed a vote of thanks.

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