Mahatma Gandhi at the age of 150 traveled with me to understand contemporary India
We are celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as “Mahatma Gandhi” he was lawyer, freedom fighter, social activist and prolific writer on the contemporary issues. He was born on 2nd October 1869 at Porbandar in Gujrat.
Most likely I have heard name of Gandhi in my childhood, this is my home district, where Gandhi had started his Champaran experiment in 1917. My grandfather used to share Gandhi’s story, about his visit to our nearby village, he was fond of his bodily work and commitment towards cleanliness, the truth and respect for others. Once I started going to school, I learn more about Gandhi and his idea.
I learned one word “Gandhian” people who claims to knows about Gandhi and keeper of ideas of Gandhi, now I can think about those Gandhian, most of the Gandhian came from same caste group, almost everywhere in the India, whether you go to north to south or east to west. Those caste group got prestige /positions. And i have observed, most of the Gandhi’s or scholars either they are silent or switched over to other side of politics, with whom they always opposed Gandhi's basic ideas.
In the new Indian, they are hardly visible for speaking or standing for justice of the last person of society, that was mantra of Gandhi. I don’t have any idea, if today he would come to the New India, what will be his strategy for political or social actions? Because we have numerous problems in and around our county, which required serious/ immediate actions for realizing justice and dignity for all. I will share Ten of my concerns with Mahatma Gandhi, which he might interested to work on.
- Farmers are under crisis for long time, I know Bapu, you have experiences raising issues of farmers in my champaran and elsewhere during British Raj. All the indicators related to the Agriculture sector approve that, we are not only leading to a crisis situation instead, our Farmer has been grappling with those difficulties for long time. Through Green Revolution our country achieved sufficiency in the food grains, but who benefited most from this initiative and on what cost? The land distribution still in dream in our country, After, we entered in the liberalization, now our government not taking for the distribution of the land, instead they are encouraging cooperation into land grabs in the name of development.
- You know Bapu, our Adivasi people are still struggling to get proper recognition in own land, historically they, don’t have concept for individual property, In 2006, first time in India through Forest Rights Act, this law provides immense legal support to tribal/Indigenous people to retain their right to reside within and around forest areas. But still many huddles for proper implementation of this law in the ground. I know you had very limited intervention during your time.
- I know you tried to fight with caste system in your passive way, but Dr Ambedkar’s idea were more powerful to fight with caste in India, still we have long way to go on this front to engage with, you must have heard, recently in Madhay Pradesh, two dalit children were killed to declare that village, Open Defecation-Free, one can see the economic condition of those families, they are still on the last ladder of the development
- You must be worried to heard about the lynching of Muslims in the new India, where people are being lynched in the name of cow protection. And these are now becoming normal to lynched any one, recently Sahil Singh was lynched because his name was Sahil in Delhi, fanatic people of thought he must be Muslim because of his name. You can understand Bapu, what is the level of hearted in our country
- Bapu you had talked about the proper utilization of resources, very rightly you said about need and greed of human being. Now entire world has been facing climate crisis because they don’t have any idea, how to use natural resources? we have destroyed our planed in process of fulfilling our unnecessary requirements.
- I am assuming, if you must have gone to indefinite hunger striker, after the complete lock down the people of our own country, for more than two months, what would have suffering of the children, they are not going to school. people are just cut of the own near and dears.
- In our country citizenship has become one of the big political issue in our time, its seems, this has been initiated to target follower of the specific religion, how can one even think on this line in the secular and democratic country like India. In what age we are living in? government are preparing to put Amendment in the previous legislation. This seems for me, kind of making dreams into reality for those, who were not satisfied with formation of Secular Democratic India in 1947.
- Distribution of wealth are still dream in our Independent Indian, even Inequality have been increasing day by day, social, political and environment also contributes to inequality. And in the most cases marginalized being pushed in to more vulnerable situation
- In India, we have a strong movement for gender justice and equal opportunities for women for last four decades, we have achieved a substantial result as far as women rights are concerned but due to complexity/ rigidity in our social or religious front, the process of getting women rights are slow. Patriarchy is a big obstacle for realizing gender justice. Women from marginalized section has to face two obstacles one of course caste and second is Patriarchy
- We are grappling with ideology of Far- right politics in almost everywhere in the world, its seem there are competitions among the countries, whether they are in the Global South or Global North. In our country, we are also having same Far - Rights people in the power, you must be knowing, what kinds of statements being given by those leaders against the minorities of our Country. Even one of the leader of those group called your killer deshbhakt (patriot). I know, you don’t have any from anybody saying, whatever they want. But, here is a bigger question. How long one can humiliate to others based on the different color of skin, religion, caste and ethnicity.
Last but not the least Bapu, I will share my encounters with many so called Gandhian, who claimed to be propagators or implementer of your constructive work in India. I have traveled to many organizations (NGOs) they are working in the field of constructive work. Some of the initiative are still relevant, and they are honestly trying to work with community. But, sorry Bapu, most of them are just using your name for getting money, and even they are not following the basics like equality, in the most of the organization, the hired staff from the same caste and the same organization has been claiming to work on the social Justice. But, here is the hope with new generation, many youths are trying to engaged with community for social justice for the most disadvantaged.