Congress president Sonia Gandhi and delegates from 90 countries reiterated their faith in Gandhian values in the two-day international conference to mark the centenary year of the satyagraha. Ironically, the greatest contemporary satyagrahi was neglected. Irom Sharmila who firmly believes in non-violence has been fasting for more than six years demanding the repeal of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ms. Gandhi declined even her simple desire to meet them.
Where are the Gandhians who claim non-violence is still relevant? No one is ready to hear her genuine demand to restore the right to life of the people of the Northeast.
Satyagraha can be practised only by an individual and not by a nation. At a time when the country is facing a severe threat in the form of global terrorism, the need for the Congress party to conduct a conference on satyagraha that preaches tolerance sans self-defence and to voluntarily declare that India is for disarmament is questionable.
This refers to Ms. Gandhi's statement that satyagraha should be evolved to suit present day needs. Satyagraha is forever relevant. Only we are ignorant of the legacy left behind by Gandhiji. The Gandhian philosophy was based on truth and non-violence.
Gandhiji practised this throughout his life. Truth existed even before Gandhiji's time and lives on even after his death. Hence Gandhian philosophy is not based on time. It can become relevant only if we follow his principles.