Freedom- The Breath of Life

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~ Chahat Kanchan

“It is very easy to slap someone,

but to apologise you need courage.”

Isn’t it true? When

you’re angry you do things you wouldn’t otherwise, but after the reality of your actions hit you, you repent. However, that is not all that is to be done. What the situation requires is an apology to the one you hurt, which is very difficult.

Accepting your mistake and take responsibility for it requires courage.

And this courage is what Gandhiji wanted us all to have.

The world is celebrating the 152nd birth anniversary of Gandhi Ji, on the 2nd of October, this year. Born in Porbandar, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi was a great leader and an inspiration to many Indians. Every year, this day is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti and The International Day of Non-Violence. We celebrate his life and legacy, by following in his footsteps.

But to follow in his footsteps we need to see and learn how he came to be what he is today.

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi or “The Father of Our Nation” was one among the many people in history who fought simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, and cultural fronts. When he was in South Africa, he came up with the idea of fighting discrimination with non-violence or Ahimsa. After returning to India when he witnessed her condition, he rose against the British Regime.

He led the Indian National Congress in many major campaigns, went to jail, sat on hunger strikes, but he did not deviate from his path of non-violence, no matter what happened.

His vision of an independent India was based on the principles of Truth, Non-Violence, Sarvodaya, and Satyagraha. But the main point relevant in the current scenario is if people are following these principles or are they there just for the sake of being there.

To answer this, we here at SK Children Foundation conducted a survey where we asked many people various questions, and here are some of their responses:

Question- What does Gandhi Jayanti mean to you?

  • Gandhi Ji is an idol for me, who has inspired me to do many things in my life. His ideas are what make him different from the rest of the crowd. The birthday of such an ideal personality is a special day for everyone and is thus celebrated with such vigor and enthusiasm.
  • Gandhi Jayanti is a great day for all of us as we recall the sacrifices of one of the greatest freedom fighters in Indian History. If it were not for him, the freedom struggle would have lasted longer than it did. He made a sacrifice no one can ever forget.
  • The path of peace and non-violence that I follow today is because I am proud to call him The Father of Our Nation.
  • Gandhiji is the epitome of resilience for me. The way he never gave up, despite the repeated failures of initial freedom movements of India is something I find extremely inspiring. Also, the way he kept evolving his mindset over the years of his life, kept accepting his mistakes after realisation- all of this makes me want to be a better person.

Question- Was there any situation where you chose the ‘path’ set by Gandhi Ji?”

  • Yes. There have been many instances in my life that could have sent me to the road of difficulties, but the Gandhian philosophy of patience and perseverance brought me back on the right track.
  • It is not the people who decide what I will do, it is I who will do that. And such decisions require patience and determination, which are the basic Gandhian principle.
  • The path of non-violence is frequently being chosen by the people of the world on many occasions, which was inspired by The Father of Our Nation. I, too, believe that a man should put enough effort to make his words more valuable, rather than making his punch stronger.
  • Gandhiji played a big role in resolving disputes between Pandit Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel. His calmness and convincing power is something that I admire and there have been multiple instances where I’ve tried to use them to solve quarrels between my friends.
  • No one deserves violence for their actions. Any thought or opinion can be expressed and discussed without any violence, as it helps one to remain disciplined and patient.

Question- Do you think Gandhi Ji’s ideas and principles are relevant in the present context. Why?

  • In this era of chaos and confusion, Gandhian principles guide us towards the creation of a new and improved, and better India.
  • Gandhiji’s ideal principles are necessary as something cannot be solved with violence and war, for words cut deeper than bullets.
  • Yes, in my opinion, Gandhi Ji’s ideas are still relevant in the present scenario as his ideas are universal. They can be applied to any person in any circumstance, be it in the contemporary world or the past. 
  • Gandhi Ji’s principles hold value but not in today’s world that has become nothing but a mere rat race, where everyone wishes to be first, by hook or by crook, without thinking about the consequences.

The ideas of Gandhi Ji are truly inspiring but do not hold relevance in the current scenario

  • Perhaps half a century ago they were relevant, but not anymore. Today, the enemy is among us, with us, who works as a barricade to our progress. Non-violence and defensive portrayal of India have led the world to think of us as a weaker country.
  • According to me, a little of Bose with a little of Gandhian philosophies is necessary to prevail over the wrath of detrimental, pessimistic double-dealers across the borders as well as inside the borders.
  • Yes, the idea of non-violence is relevant more than ever now because of the growing tendency of acting violently at the slightest discomfort in our youth, which is worrisome. We need to go back in history and learn the importance of Ahimsa in solving problems.

Through these varying opinions, the one thing we realise is that Gandhi Ji’s dream of Unity In Diversity has been achieved. 

It is easy for people to follow the righteous path of Ahimsa, Satyagraha and Non-violence laid down by Gandhi Ji, but only a few can walk on it. It is because of his principles that this day is also celebrated as The International Day of Non-Violence.

“Ahimsa Paramo Dharma ” which roughly translates to ‘Non-violence is the highest moral virtue’, is the motto to spread awareness about the philosophy and strategy of non-violence through education and public awareness.

So on this auspicious day of Gandhi Jayanti and International Day of Non-violence, SK Children Foundation greets you and wishes that you may follow the path laid down by Gandhi Ji, for even one small difference is capable of making a huge difference.

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The content writing domain consists of passionate and creative change-makers who are willing to create a difference in society through their writings and blogs. They write on a range of topics from India to the world and beyond. The team also helps in a range of write-ups and content required for the SKCF webpage and events.

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