Updated: March 13, 2022 7:38:09 am
The principle of satyagraha existed before Mahatma Gandhi in the ‘sanatan siddhant’ (sanatan philosophy) but was brought to the fore and made relevant by the Father of the Nation, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday at the launch of the Dandi Cycle Yatra from Kochrab Ashram in Ahmedabad.
The Union Home Minister said the Dandi march finds a special mention in freedom struggles across the globe, adding, had India followed Gandhiji’s path from the start, a number of problems today would not have existed. “Apart from India, there is no other country whose freedom struggle was not that of an armed revolution. Public awareness was made the biggest weapon (in India), making it impossible for anyone else to rule over India. The experiments of satyagraha, the idea of satyagraha and the principle of satyagraha — these three were the base of principles of ‘sanatan’ before Gandhiji. However, Gandhiji brought it back to the fore and made it the main weapon in the freedom struggle,” said Shah, on the occasion of the 92nd anniversary of the Dandi Yatra.
He recalled that there were no modes of communication, no live streaming or recordings of Gandhiji’s speech due to fear of the Britishers at the time of the Dandi march. “The British government had already arrested Sardar (Vallabhbhai Patel) but was indecisive if they should arrest Gandhiji or not and deployed different strategies, but they understood what can happen if they arrest Gandhiji in the midst of the yatra…through his works, decisions, and path of truth and non-violence, Gandhi conveyed his immense strength,” Shah said while stating he was visiting the Kochrab Ashram after nearly a decade.
Shah emphasised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept in mind the modern day needs of education while legislating NEP. The policy also expands on Gandhi’s ideas and thoughts with NEP incorporating focus on mother tongue languages, he said.
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The Dandi Cycle Yatra is being undertaken by two teachers and 10 students of Gujarat Vidyapith from the Randheja campus will be completed in seven days. The yatris will make nightly pit stops at seven villages in the state and conduct dialogues on empowering rural artisans. “They (the yatris) will be cycling from morning to afternoon and then stop at the designated village for each day and conduct ‘ratri baithak’ at night. There are two objectives — one, to identify the local predominant skilled work done in these seven villages, and second, to identify changes that may be required to better equip the locals to further their skill,” said Gujarat Vidyapith Vice-Chancellor Rajendra Khimani. Shah implored the yatris to spread Gandhi’s ideals in the villages they would stop at.
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