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Why follow the Gandhian path to overcome Intolerance? Here is the Reason!

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

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Mohandas Gandhi. Wikimedia
– by Anil Rajvanshi
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.

Gandhi Harijan work at Madras. Wikimedia
Gandhi Harijan work at Madras. Wikimedia
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.

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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)

  • Antara

    Gandhian path provides us great guidance!

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    Gandhian principles are still as relevant today as they were in Gandhi’s time

  • Diksha Arya

    Maybe Gandhi;s teachings are the only way to stop, or at least minimize, the intolerance in our

    country

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Astronaut Floats in Space on Mural Sporting a Gandhi Patch on Shoulder

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions

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Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Wikimedia

The high-tech future of green jobs and the Gandhian virtue of the dignity of work meld their messages on a six-storey high mural commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the centenary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN that was inaugurated on Tuesday.

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions.

The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees.

India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said at the inauguration that the mural addresses global concerns of decent jobs and the environment.

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Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Pixabay

He said the mural effort goes beyond the diplomatic work at the UN of dealing with resolutions to a new diplomatic area of reaching out to people to create broader awareness of issues.

Victor Ash, the artist who painted it while perched high on a cherry-picker, told IANS: “I mixed different ideas and came up with this ‘green astronaut’ that is also worker – the worker from the future who would be working in space.”

And to commemorate the anniversary of Gandhi’ birth, he said he added Gandhi’s image as a logo on the arm of the astronaut.

Ash said that one of his inspirations was India’s record in 2017 of planting 66 million trees on a single day.

The mission building with a red-stone facade was designed by the internationally acclaimed Indian architect Charles Correa, but one of its sides was bared to the bricks after the neighbouring building was torn down and a hotel was built on the site with a deep setback.

The mural now decorates that side without impinging on the building’s Correa design.

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The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees. Wikimedia

The mural was one of several sponsored across the city by ILO to commemorate its centenary with a project called Street Art for Mankind that aims to spread the message of decent work for all with sustainable development and social justice.

Portugal-born Ash said that he had painted a mural at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai during its Summerfest.

He said that he had started as a street-artist in Paris, where he had studied, and later went into doing paintings for galleries.

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“But it was only the studio work and exhibiting in galleries was not reaching such a broad public,” he said.

“So I went back to the street and did murals because it has a much bigger impact and you can actually transmit messages much better than just exhibiting in galleries for a few specific people.” (IANS)