Monday, 6 July 2020

Gandhi in modern times

Updated: January 26, 2017 2:14 pm

Mahatma Gandhi represents a figure of unique integrity, consistency and humanity. The point of departure of his life philosophy and the basis of his theory and activity in practice are freedom and welfare of any human being and prosperity of peoples and nations of the whole mankind. Non-violence is the elementary and indispensable condition for the materialisation of these noble goals. These principals and values represented a permanent source of inspiration in Gandhi’s guidance in his imaginative undertakings both in the struggle for freedom and independent development of India and the promotion of his role in the international community. As a matter of fact, Gandhi’s firm belief in the creativeness and openness of the people of India and his own active engagement for a peaceful and friendly cooperation among nations on equal footing, without any interference or imposition were inexhaustible sources of  his personal wisdom and high  credibility both as the father of modern India, as well as one of  the major moral, spiritual and political international authorities of our times.

Mahatma Gandhi is widely recognised as one of the most original and influential political thinkers and activists of the 20th century, yet he remains an elusive figure. He never wrote a comprehensive and systematic political or philosophical work in the mode of Thomas Hobbes or Hegel, and the pamphlets and books he did write are extremely diverse in topic: they include criticisms of modern civilisation, the place of religion in human life, the meaning of non-violence, social and economic programmes and even health issues.

rediscovering gandhi

Yamaguchi Hiroichi

Concept

Price : `1050     

Pages : 243

It is in this backdrop that an attempt has been made by Yamaguchi Hiroichi in his book How Relevant is Gandhi Today? A Japanese View to understand the relevance of Gandhi in modern world. One characteristic of this book is that it takes a holistic approach and tries to see how the different aspects of Gandhi’s life have interacted with one another. One more aim of the book is to see if we may extract anything out of him now, seventy years after his demise, when we are squarely to face the problems before us of building peace and solving poverty.

For these purposes Gandhi’s politics, socio-economics, and his fight against communalism constitute the themes of the three key chapters. They are preceded by one on his motivation and his religion. The final one is on his international activities. A brief “Summing Up” follows.

The author shows his respect to Gandhi’s compassion, farsightedness, even genius, here and there, but does not hesitate to point out his mistakes. This is the result of the author’s decade-long dialogue with many Indians, Gandhi’s writings, and works on him.

In these trying times when whole lot of people are trying to defame and defile Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy, this book can be an eye-opener for many and will be helpful for many who want to learn about the great Mahatma.

by Nilabh krishna

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