Mahatma Gandhi: A True Visionary
T G Mohan
Mahatma Gandhi was the centre piece of Indian Independence and this fact is known to entire world. But little does we realise is the fact that he was a great visionary of the modern era. He perhaps did not say in so many words what would be the fate of the materialistic world if we did not pursue a simple life as propounded by him. Look at the world today: the material comforts have increased manifold and alongside, we also get to see the problems directly connected with this. Mankind seems to have forgotten the good old values and the desire to possess wealth appears to have drastically changed the value system.
Gandhi always advocated a simple life. He lived it to prove to everyone that true liberty is in renunciation. A simple life is key to prosperity of the nation. This was the message which was loud and clear but unfortunately, we in today’s world, think other way around – thinking that prosperity of the individuals is the key to the success. The materialistic world today has silently ushered in problems, there is disparity in income, restlessness, avarice and greed. The world today appears to be believe that material comforts is ultimate in life and one should accelerate his efforts to possess these somehow.
Gandhi advocated simple living coupled with high quality thoughts. He said “ Man is a product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes”. What could be more true today than this message from him? He perhaps saw what was to come and coined this in his time. If we closely look into the unrest that is prevailing today, we invariably would come to the conclusion that our problems are directly associated with the quality of our thoughts.
Gandhi’s yet another teaching was : “An eye for eye only ends up in making the whole world blind”. This is a very powerful message that has propped up from his belief that “non violence” alone would sustain our race. This message is more relevant today than yesterday because we are on the path of sacrificing all our value systems in a steady way.
The resources of the world are finite. And the need for these have become infinite. This is the root cause of all problems. As we are perusing the path of so called progress, the resources which were available in plenty have become scarce and this is the price we have to pay for the progress. This sets off scarcity and mankind would go any length to possess these. A simple living style advocated by Gandhi would have certainly averted this syndrome. He did not call himself an Economist when he advocated ‘simple living” but we can vouch for the wisdom behind his philosophy. Today, mankind seems to think that the problem they face can be solved by increasing the quantum of resources but does not seem to realise that the greed sets off further demand when this is done!
Tolerance and non-violence were the core of Gandhi’s life apart from simplicity. Again, he did not call himself a social reformer when he practiced these. Today, absence of communal amity is another big problem we face. We do not seem to have the tolerance for co-existence of all communities. And violence has become a way of life, to say the least. And violence once triggered off brings in its wake a spate of other repercussions and this pulls down the quality of life!
To conclude, it must be said that the only solution to the ills of our society today is to lead the life of simple life as enunciated by Mahatma. He set the tone to augment our quality of life but the farther we move away from his teachings, the greater the peril we invite for ourselves. And the world would realise this sooner or later certainly. The sooner we realise our folly, it would be better; else, it would be well nigh impossible to correct ourselves as we would have drifted ourselves farther than we can trace back our steps.