Mahatma Gandhi’s agitation was also political, but it was not like today’s politics, which is considered bad, said Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Sunday.
Delivering an address at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on the International Day of Peace and Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Khan said, “Bapu’s agitation was political but not this politics… Those doing politics in the House and outside the House tell their opposition that this issue is of national interest so look at it by rising above politics, as if politics in itself is only doing bias… this was not Gandhi’s way.”
Khan was addressing the audience during a prayer meet organised at the Ashram by the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust.
Adding on Gandhi’s idea of India and a politician, he said, “A politician who has taken an oath of public service should be ready for greater sacrifice. He should have knowledge, culture and most importantly, see everyone equally.”
The Kerala Governor added that had Gandhi been around today, he would have talked about nation’s unity and national solidarity more than Hindu-Muslim unity.
“Mahatma Gandhi would talk about Hindu-Muslim unity because that time the legal system did not consider country as a nation. They would say that this country is a coalition of different religious and social units. They didn’t consider us as a nation. Any religious or social units were considered as building blocks for the community. But today our Constitution says we are a nation and nation’s unit is citizen and not community,” he said.
Referring to the caste system, Khan said that no one needs to feel proud or guilty. “It is our responsibility to think beyond what we have no control over. Nobody asked me where I need to be born. Where I was born was my destiny and what I achieve depends upon my hard work. No one has the right or guilt to feel pride for which caste you were born in rather every person should have self confidence,” he added.
Further, he stated that that gives birth to ego, could be anything but religion. “The feeling of being supremacist, I am everything and especially for dharm we started using religion but I will use panth, The feeling that the panth I am born in is right and everything else is wrong. I am saying this in the context of Bapu. He would conduct prayer meet everyday irrespective of where he was, he would pick from all cultures and tell that everyone is together. That gives birth to ego could be anything but religion. Gandhi, at that time when these evils were spread everywhere, on one side he launched the agitation for independence and on the other eliminate society’s tensions from the country and create love and unity,” he said.
We call him rashtrapita (father of the nation), his legacy is not only independence but to make India of his dreams, that message needs to be internalised, the Governor added.
“Bapu got us independence. People jokingly would say that during British rule even the sun would not set because even God was not ready to make them trust in darkness of night. Such was their regime and that rule Gandhi bina khadak bina dhaal Sabarmati ke lal tune kar diya kamaal,”
Kerala Governor also delivered a special lecture on ‘Global Peace and Sustainability’ organised by Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad and India Think Council, New Delhi on Gandhi Jayanti Sunday.
Commemorating the values of Gandhi the Governor said, “The greatest realization on the path of peace is that knowledge emanates belief, happiness and peace, and hence one must always be persistent about gaining knowledge.”
He also stressed on the significance of creating strong societies, which he said was possible only when we understood that “Diversity is the law of nature and if we wish to live in peace, we have to acknowledge that the foundational virtue of civilization is diversity. Unity in Diversity and serving mankind with all its diversity should be the primary goal.”
Stressing on the importance of self through a shloka from the Gita, the Governor said, “Self can be your best friend and also your worst enemy so cultivate it accordingly. It becomes friend when you have yourself under control which means self restraint which means I do not have to live my life by my desires and unchecked by moral values and ideals. This creates unscrupulous individuals. Restraint and under control senses then yourself becomes your friend and uncontrolled become totally your worst state.”