Dear Ms. Purvi,
It is very difficult to teach Gandhian Values to today's generation. But if we are able to satisfy their ego and let know the positive aspects of these values, then surely we can make them understand the Gandhian values. We have to explain the utility ot these sacred values in today's scenario.
It is a difficult question. But, my answer is simple. There are only two steps in teaching Gandhian values to today's youth:
First, we need to be an example to ourself; We must let the young people know that we stand for Gandian morales and how we cope up with the situations that dwindle us. This would not only give them a higher opinion on Gandhian values, but its impact in the society, environment and politics.
Younger people are not that much involved in the socio-environmental-political issues, they ought not to be disturbed with their routine tasks such as education, sports etc. Most of the times, they themselves form the very core subject of the society itself and hence, they show little interest and higher resistance for any changes.
The second step is to inculcate the young in the learning of accepting the changes, and bringing them to the conscious state of understanding the today's conflicts and issues. This would make them aware of the postive values of Gandhian philosophy and methods to resolve the problems concerned.
To do this, one has to consistently campaign for Gandhian values such as non-violence and peace.
I do experience these two steps working for me through my center.(Website: http://bbsystems.web.officelive.com). Many IT and Computer youngsters are getting realized about the values of Non-violence and peace.
As you pointed out, I could see a sense of dis-heartening, hopelessness and impossibility among a group of few youngsters with whom I was talking about Gandhian Values. Of course, the group I was speaking with were well-educated people and I have highlighted the need for values and priniciples of Gandhi in my presentation for about an hour last saturday(20th Saturay).
There are certain qualities what todays' youth believe that they could not follow or practice in their life. But, after a deep discussion and thorough understanding of the possibilities of in-humanity winning over the human and Gandhian values and its repercussions, everyone started realizing its need.
They started believing that Gandhian values would be needed for them in the future of their life, if not today,
Purvi today we can see vividly the methods of Gandhi when we hear the voice of Aung San Suu Kwi loud and clear................
The Lady wants to bring Peace and Democracy to Burma ...........not by violence but by negotiation with the Generals and if it happens that they confine her again well so be it..........Gandhi spent many years in confinement..........If the Generals do confine her again then it would be up to people like us to take non violent action even at the risk of losing our life.
please keep the good work and when You are never disheartened, even if You help just one young person in a thousand then like M.K.Gandhi put it: after the 1 every time adding 0 the number becomes ten times greater.
In 1999 I was in Durban, South Africa with the Middle Passage Pilgrimage Walk and we were invited by the Indian Community to the beautiful Shivananda International Center of the Divine Life Society. They had many initiatives for the Youth to counter the global culture of violence and pornography - like not watching TV and cinema, vegetarian diet, avoiding places of alcohol, tobacco, intoxicants, drugs, vulgar dancing and speech, etc. I recommend You find their booklet
"Bringing up Spiritual Darlings" - plenty of positive principles and suggestions in 30 pages.
The problem for the Youth of India is the same as for the Youth everywhere in this World that their country did not follow the Ideals and Vision OF THE ETERNAL WISDOM OF ALL AGES AND ALL PEOPLES that M.K.Gandhi had also in "India of my Dream", but adopted the nightmarish so called 'American dream'...
So the most ancient unbroken Vedic Civilization got nuclear weapons, fast food with flesh from the carcasses of dead animals, untouchability, discrimination against and abuse of women, alcoholic and carbonated beverages, Bollywood mass 'culture' for stupefying the masses, children slavery and prostitution, export of slaughtered cows, all the country currency notes with the image of the Mahatma, etc., etc., etc.
ESPECIALLY because of this, WE HAVE TO KEEP ON KEEPING ON AND NEVER BE DISHEARTENED AS WE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE FOR THE ENTIRE INFINITE UNIVERSE - WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!... TO REPEAT ONE OF THE AXIOMS M.K. GANDHI USED: "EVEN A MINORITY OF ONE, THE TRUTH IS TRUTH".
Thank you very much for your positive pep up.. When one is surrounded by people who are soo attracted and enamoured by the consumerist point of view.. one feel lost and disheartend.. and I guess I was feeling that when I put up the question..
It feels so good to see so many people out there who know so much more about these things..
I shall look for the booklet you suggested..
Thank you very much again.. and I shall try not to get disheartened again..
There must be books and information relating to the Indian Freedom struggle and the Freedom struggle in the USA led my Martin Luther King. There must also be information on the Velvet Revolution whereby many countries in Easter Europe changed their governments and achieved freedom from Soviet domination.
Reading and discussing these campaigns, and comparing them with the two World Wars, Vietnam, Korea and other violent conflics, which led to many times the deaths and injured, will surely allow pupils to consider alternatives to violence.
Add to this list Philippines where Markos had to go because people even defied tanks sent by him. And who can forget Aung San Suu KI? Of course, Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in Jail but once he came out of the never spoke ill of his tormentors and worked for conciliation.
Teaching without practice will have no meaning. Who is responsible for the state of today's generation? We all. We send our children to school the purpose of which is to turn him/her into a money making machine. In fact, our parents did the same thing with us. We want our children to be graduated from IITs/IIMs/MIT - as we believe that the education from these institutions will make their life happier. More money, more happiness - this is the belief we are carrying throughout our life. We hardly think of enhancing spiritual quotient of our children. In fact, we do not understand the importance of SQ.
I do not beileve in peaching the things to others. If we are honest to the core, our actions will speak. That is all. People in general do not make their talk walk. I believe in Gandhian values and I am bothered about myself only. If I practice these values in my life, it is the great service to the society.
I advise you to do meditation/vapasana. You will develop feeling of love for the young people you work with.