October 1, 2016: A whole book can be written on how Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas are relevant today. He was a visionary and possessed a very powerful mind and hence thought deeply and wrote on basic human issues and problems facing India in those times. Those issues are as relevant today as they were in his time.
I will touch on the area of intolerance which is dividing our society and tearing into our social fabric and show how Gandhi’s teachings can help us.
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Gandhi was a compromiser par excellence. He would always consider other party’s point of view and come up with solutions acceptable to all parties. Both in his legal and political work he brought in parties together for resolution of their problems.
The ability to compromise comes only when we are very tolerant to the other’s point of view and do not impose unilaterally the majority’s point of view. This ability comes to an individual when he is secure in the knowledge that the compromise solution leads towards general good for all the people.
Gandhi, who was fearless and hence a very secure human being, always had the general good of all Indians in his mind whenever he offered solutions to knotty problems. Devoid of any personal ego and always looking for long-term solutions, he appealed to warring parties to keep in sight the higher purpose of life and achieved great success. Since he practised what he preached, his message had great effect and achieved the desired results.
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Today we see all around us intolerance and catering to special interest groups which is resulting in bans on various things and creating social tensions. This is an outcome of fear in the ruling politicians that if they do not do so they will not be elected — little realising that if they keep on working for the general good of their constituency they will be elected easily and with much bigger margins.
Fear comes from insecurity which is an outcome of a brain which cannot resolve the issues after taking into account all eventualities. This inability to evaluate all outcomes transcends caste, creed, or economic situations. Thus most of the people, no matter whether they are rich or poor, suffer from insecurities — for the poor it is the insecurity of their future and for the rich it relates to increasing their wealth and keeping it safe. The removal of these insecurities by a powerful brain can rid us of fear. Yoga helps in developing such a brain through meditation and focus on a single thought for a long time — called Sanyam by Patanjali.
Another way to get rid of fear is to be thankful for whatever we have and count our blessings. If we do that continuously, it gives us a sense of contentment and happiness since our burdens and insecurities are reduced by the thought that somebody will be there to help us and everything will be okay. This also has the ability to sublimate the greed impulse.
I also feel that the fear of missing out and the insecurity of what will happen in future is what produces greed and, in turn, corruption and corrupt politicians. These corrupt politicians then become egotist and intolerant and hijack the agenda of India’s democracy for their selfish reasons.
Gandhi practised both these things in his life — his regular and daily meditations and his deep belief in God and higher forces to whom he was grateful for everything that he achieved. This helped him become completely fearless.
Devoid of fear he was able to chart new paths in tolerance, taking everybody’s opinion and carrying all the people together to give us independence and make this nation better.
So on this solemn Gandhi Jayanti day let us remember and put in practice the teachings of the Mahatma so that we become a tolerant and happy society. This will help in making a better India. (IANS)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos feels his trip to India started off on the right note with kites and says he felt honored to be able to lay a wreath on the memorial of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.
From dressing in ‘desi’ attire to spending time with some kids to showing off his kite-flying skills on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Bezos made the most of his India trip. He looked back at the time spent in the country during a conversation with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Zoya Akhtar at a glitzy Amazo Prime Video event here.
“Kite flying was fun… Any day when you get fly kite is a good day.. My trip to India started off on the right note with kites,” Bezos said.
Asked about his experience at the Raj Ghat, he said: “It was very peaceful. He truly changed the world and taught us the principle of non-violence. It was a great honour to be there and lay a wreath.”
When SRK asked if Mahatma Gandhi’s teaching still relevant, Bezos said: “It will be relevant forever..They are true but somehow very hard to achieve.”
Bezos, who is ranked amongst top most global billionaires, was on a three-day India visit starting from Tuesday. He has been to India several times, and has noticed one thing about the country.
“I noticed certain things that seem to me to be the same. There is so much energy, colour, full of life, and everywhere you go, there is so much diversity…Every time I come here, I find that the people that I talked to, are focused on and interested in being better tomorrow than they are today. Everybody here seems to be focused on self improvement. So, when I come here I get a boost of energy,” he said.
Be in its India slate or global line-up, Amazon has diverse projects added to its library. Bezos says the aim is to make it a ‘talent friendly” studio.
“I think this is a golden age of television. There are really good TV series in terms of quality of the very best movies. Now, the best storytellers are coming to TV. You’re getting the best actors in television. This is one of those businesses where the viewer always look for something a little fresh, so you can never find formula. As soon as you find a formula, it’s not fresh,” he said.
Bezos continued: “I want us to be known as the most talent friendly studio in the world. And the reason at the end of the day is that it is the talent that makes those stories. Storytelling is the oldest thing that we’ve been doing it.”
“It is one of the hardest things that humans do is tell riveting inspiring stories,” he added.
Bezos also announced that they have decided to double down the investment for the streaming service in the country. The evening wrapped up with a soulful Sufi performance by music maestro AR Rahman. (IANS)