Gandhism then Vs Gandhigiri now


By Akash Shukla

आँधी में भी जलती रही गाँधी तेरी मशाल

साबरमती के सन्त तूने कर दिया कमाल

Be it Gandhism in Dandi March or be it Gandhigiri in Bollywood flick Lage raho Munnabhai that inspired countless people to his tenets through ‘rose’y efforts, the multitude continues to ‘Inhale the Mahatma’ in their own unique stride.

While Gandhism is a body of ideas and principles that describes the inspiration, vision and the life work of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhigiri is a recent term in India that uses the concepts of non-violence and Satyagraha in contemporary form and brings along Gandhian principles for today’s society in its truest essence but with a twist.

After colonised India became ‘Non-Aligned’ to British ideologies following the Mahatma’s trail of Gandhism, as many as 250 school children wielded the Gandhigiri mantle and carried out a sanitation drive at Connaught Place, New Delhi, on Thursday.

As the world continues to follow trends in vogue and Gandhism is elevated to a pedestal of niche thought and there it is merely a discourse of academic interest, trend-setting Gandhigiri continues to rule the roost among the youths at ground level.

Thanks to Sanjay Dutt’s Gandhian eulogy, the contemporary generation moved beyond the v-neck tees and club wear shirts to don the Mahatma identity.

Gandhi-Jayanti-Wallpapers-2014_insetMahatma’s Gandhism, then, as a pioneering thought has now turned over a new leaf—Gandhigiri. Symbolising the same, around 5,000 students from Bengaluru geared up to dress as Mahatma Gandhi with an aim to acquire a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for managing the largest congregation in the name of Mahatma and as Mahatma.

“So far there have been no records over congregation of people dressed as Mahatma in such large numbers. We have been working on the idea for some time,” said a senior management official and one of the event organisers.

Since the essence of Gandhi cannot be embraced in a day, it’s always a smart way out to push his ideological envelope while critical period of learning is in progress.

To observe and celebrate the essence of Mahatma, an elocution competition for school and college students was organised at Narsapur. Conducted by the Gandhian Studies Centre of Sri YN College, the event, namely, ‘Gandhian Principles for Rural Development’ was organised on Tuesday.

Gandhi, Gandhians and followers of Gandhism had one-point agenda and that was anti-British. At that particular moment, there was no Gandhigiri. The latter was apparently born posthumously with a trend setting Hindi film and thereafter there was no looking back. People adapted and evolved Gandhian though to suit their needs…

PAAS, Hardik Patel resort to Gandhigiri

Though Gandhi or his followers never chose blossom as a form of protest, many sections of society chose to digress from Gandhism to Gandhigiri: Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), the pro quota agitation leaders, spent an entire day presenting red rose to the ruling BJP MPs, MLAs and municipal councillors, drawing inspiration from the popular Hindi film, Munnabhai MBBS Gandhigiri theme.

22-year-old PAAS convener Hardik Patel had announced to take out the Ekta Yatra from the historic site at Dandi, from where Mahatma Gandhi had broken the Salt Act in 1930 after undertaking a 350-km foot march from Sabarmati.

His proposed reverse Dandi march has been postponed twice after the government denied it the permission apprehending clashes between the upper caste PAAS leaders in Surat, Navsari, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Amreli districts visited the local BJP offices and residence of MPs, MLAs, municipal and panchayat leaders as well as party office-bearers and presented them with red roses as a symbolic gesture to elicit their support to their demand for reservation to the Patels on par with the OBCs.

Similarly, the nation from every nook and cranny has countless Gandhigiri tales to share on his birth anniversary. Though we have come a long way from colonised India to Aazad Bharat (Independent India), the neo Gandhi principles, which evolved from Gandhism, continue to nip the corrupt practices in the bud.