Gandhian Ideologies and its significance in the 21st century

The lockdown has been a crazy journey for all of us. The option of going for a change of air has been ripped off. And solely because the air has a touch of COVID-19 in it and we never know where it’s been flowing. Quarantining ourselves has given us the only thing to do and that is thinking. Some of us have been thinking reasonably and giving ourselves the much-needed break by either working from home or finally tapping back into our happy places of individualism through our beloved hobbies that we somehow lost in the process of “growing up”. But some of us have been overthinking as well. It’s so common among us that we relate with each other based on our irrational beliefs. Another option that we found because of lockdown is self-reflection. So many of us have finally addressed the problems in ourselves and we’re moving on towards a better version of ourselves. However, Gandhian ideologies seem to be long lost.

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Image from Hindustan Times

Gandhian Philosophy state four major fundamental principles:

  • Truth (Satya)
  • Non-violence (ahimsa)
  • Welfare of all (Sarvodaya)
  • Peaceful Protest (satyagraha)

But do we see them happening?

We live in a fast-changing world ruled by social media. Where anyone can declare their opinions as if they were the truth. Trolling is the new truth. Without knowing the actual truth of the situation, people state opinions based on their judgment, and more often than not they come from a close-minded place. So what happened to the real truth? Where exactly among the number of similar opinions did we lose it? According to Gandhi, Satya means oneness in one’s thoughts, speech, and actions. But we all low-key know we’re a bunch of hypocrites constantly looking for someone to blame. He also believed that “there is no religion higher than truth”. But for us, there is the actual religion higher than it, isn’t it?

Gandhi preached the concept of “experimenting with the truth”. He taught us how to learn through trial and error, often admitting to mistakes and changing one’s behavior accordingly. But are we? Changing and self-reflecting? If we find someone else making a mistake, we troll and are quick to judge. And we’re all aware that this trolling comes from a place of hate, rather than the will to change the world. Isn’t trolling going against the Gandhian ideology or are we going to stay proud or our sarcastic Chandler Bing skills? How is this attaining to the welfare of all? Which brings me to his third point: Sarvodaya.

Mr. MKG stated that any action, which is aimed and seems to be aimed at the welfare of the people will be accepted by all. He made it a concept of social welfare and economic justice. As great as this ideology is, the truth is, it’s an ideology and it’s completely diplomatic. Diplomacy can never be justified in ideal terms. But at the same time, the “welfare of all” demands us to be a diplomate. The truth is, no matter how much we try, someone will be wronged, and someone else will be getting away by all means unfair.

The second and fourth points of his ideologies are non-violence and peaceful protests. Well! We remember the times of Jamia-Milia and the protests of Delhi University. It’s easy to say it was the students who caused the chaos and even easier to blame the police but the cause and effect barely got addressed.

It’s not just about the lockdown. It’s about these ideologies getting lost in time. Maybe we need to start following them or we need to update them. Because the man who gave these ideologies was labeled “Mahatma” but the people who are going to be following it aren’t. They’re just people. And it’s okay to make mistakes but the point is are the problems that caused the mistakes being addressed truthfully? Are they then being handled peacefully and is there room for growth and acceptance for all?

Contributed by Manisha Chalia content writer at Mitti Ke Rang

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