Former Union minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday recalled the importance of Mahatma Gandhi, killed this day 70 years ago, and said the Father of the Nation would be relevant as long as love and truth were important.
Khurshid was speaking on the ‘Relevance of Gandhi in Today’s India’, organised by the Delhi University Students’ Union, on the North campus. “If love, truth, friendship are relevant today, Gandhiji is also relevant,” he said at the function held to mark the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Congress leader said purity and trust were two dimensions that Gandhi epitomised. In this context, he referred to “beautiful and powerful concepts” such as the Jihad, which he rued had been turned into “unwholesome ideas”. “The biggest tragedy in the country is that beautiful and powerful concepts like Jihad have been converted into unwholesome ideas,” he said. “Exceptionally evil people had converted Jihad into an excuse for creating mayhem and for warfare. But Jihad is an internal thing where you purify yourself, and is no different from Gandhi’s attempts at purifying himself,” he said, adding that purity and trust were two dimensions Gandhi held on to.
Speaking on the occasion, historian Mridula Mukherjee said “the greatest living Hindu” was killed by a “fanatical Hindu” this day in 1948. “There is a need to nip evil ideologies like fascism, racism, fundamentalism of certain types and communalism and we cannot lower our guards or take them lightly,” she said.
She condemned any ideology that divided the people and led them towards violence. “It does not matter what the uniting principle of an ideology is, but if it leads us to consider some human beings as inferior to others, it is not right,” Mukherjee said, referring to attacks on civil liberties in recent times.