Letters

Remembering Gandhi

Whether it was design or destiny that propelled Mahatma Gandhi to the forefront of the Indian freedom movement is anybody’s guess (‘Mahatma@150’ special pages, “The pulse of a legacy in an age of heroics”, October 2). Whatever said and done, his overwhelming presence was the vital glue for freedom fighters, regardless of their political or religious differences, to fight on. They spoke in one clear voice. Gandhiji will continue to be revered as the first exponent of non-violence. At the same time, the contribution of other patriots cannot be overlooked. The spirit of Gandhiji’s sacrifice has gradually begun to fade away from the minds of the current generation on account of western influences in almost every walk of life. How this can be countered would be interesting as Gandhian ideals are timeless and have a place in the world.

J.S. Acharya,

Hyderabad

Almost all the leaders of every political party have marched to Gandhi memorials to pay their floral and oral tributes. It is indeed time for introspection rather than ostentatious celebration as whatever that was dear to the Mahatma to keep India’s social fabric from fraying is getting weakened. Caste and communal divisions are sharper than before. Had the Mahatma lived longer, he would have greatly grieved over the unprincipled chase and fight for power. “My life is my message,” said the legendary advocate of truth and non-violence. Let the leaders of today emulate at least a couple of his teachings instead of merely mouthing empty eulogies.

S.V. Venkatakrishnan,

Bengaluru

The Indian media has become subservient to the ruling dispensation with hardly much space being given to the almost non-existent political Opposition. Perhaps the media and media houses believe that the country is heading towards one-party rule; so currying favour with it will serve its interests well. The media today is no longer even-handed, nor does it have the will to speak up against the government’s wrong policies and actions. It will be interesting to see how long a few upright media houses can hold their ground in the current milieu (Editorial page, “What would Gandhi say about the Indian media?” October 2).

Deepak Singhal,

Chennai

Gandhiji would definitely have been more than happy to see how the Indian media has shaped in terms of its technological prowess. But it was Gandhi who said, “India is not Calcutta and Bombay; India lives in her seven thousand villages”. To what extent are voices from here (mainly those of farmers, rural women and the marginalised sections) being heard? How many farmers, rural women and communities who are still hidden being given importance in studios? The heated debates that are telecast do not contribute much in long-term impact. Showcasing the grass-roots is important too.

Ramala Kinnera,

Hyderabad

The Mahatma’s birth anniversary is an occasion to take stock of his teachings and to evaluate how far we have lived up to his teachings.

In actual practice, it has become an annual ritual as we have forgotten to live up to his ideals. We are interested only in using his name for our relevance and photo-ops. Those who matter continue to fool those on the other side of the divide by raising false hopes of a better future that never seems to materialise.

V. Padmanabhan,

Bengaluru

The lifestyle of Gandhiji — ‘long-distance’ walking, dietary habits, periodic fasting and avoidance of tobacco and alcohol — assumes far more relevance today as non-communicable diseases are emerging as a major threat in India. This assumes importance as the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 places importance on lifestyle choices. It was the Mahatma who said: “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver.”

A. Venkatasubramanian,

Tiruchi

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 4:45:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/remembering-gandhi/article29577511.ece

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