Cleanliness should not just be about cleaning courtyards but a concept that includes non-violence and exists in our minds and hearts, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter, said in Jaipur on Friday. According to the trustee of the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, who was in the city to attend the inaugural session of the 5th South Asian Sufi Festival, the meaning of ‘swachhta’ should be taken in the broader sense.
“Swachhta is not just about the cleaning of courtyard…it should be in our minds and hearts,” she said. “One should be free from himsa… that is real swachhta,” Bhattacharjee told reporters. She added that people said the Ganga was polluted but the river was not polluted, it was humans who made it so.
“We should take swacchta in a broad sense which means that there should be non-violence and the environment should be clean,” she said.
About 130 Sufi delegates from different countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (but not Pakistan) are scheduled to participate in the festival organised by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature. This is the second consecutive year with no participation from Pakistan. “… this is a political matter and we have nothing to do with this. We need to take permission from authorities like the Ministry of External Affairs and the Home Ministry for organising such events and we don’t invite delegate from any country for which there is no permission,” said Ajeet Cour, president of the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature.
“The government recommends the names of the countries from where delegates could be invited and we follow the recommendation,” she added.