"Gandhian values forgotten"
The Hindu Sun, 29 Apr 2012
P. Gopinathan Nair, Chairman of All-India Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, addresses the 90th birthday celebrations of industrialist N. Mahalingam (sitting third from left), held at the Gandhi Memorial Museum on Sunday.
Photo: R. Ashok
More than 60 years after attaining independence from British rule, the country had strayed away from the ideals of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, according to P. Gopinathan Nair, chairman of All India Gandhi Smarak Nidhi.
An egalitarian society, the main goal of Gandhi, has still not been achieved as India's ruling elite has gone against Gandhian ideals.
He was addressing the 90 birthday celebrations of industrialist N. Mahalingam, Chairman of Sakthi Group of Companies, Coimbatore, and the Chairman of Gandhi Memorial Museum here on Sunday.
He said that Gandhians should introspect among themselves. Speaking of the recent developments such as the test firing of Agni V, an intercontinental ballistic missile which officials boasted of having the ability to reach China's capital Beijing and the recent kidnapping of a Collector by Maoists, he wondered if this was the type of independence India had won. “The path of violence would never be accepted by the people. The Government also had another kind of subtle violence in hand wielded through economic and political power.”
Tracing the origins of Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Mr. Gopinathan Nair said that it was established by the Indian National Congress after the death of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 with the objective of preserving and propagating his teachings.
He also termed Mr. Mahalingam as the “head of Gandhian family in Tamil Nadu and even India.”
Speaking earlier, P. Namperumalsamy, chairman emeritus, Aravind Eye Care System, praised the work of Mr. Mahalingam and said that he was a role model for industrialists.
He noted that Mr. Mahalingam had achieved success in many fields including spiritualism
A host of eminent personalities from various sections of the society showered encomiums on the industrialist. They included M. Mariappan, Vice President of Gandhi Memorial Museum, R. Kousalya Devi, life trustee, Gandhigram Trust, P.R. Ramasubramania Raja, Chairman, Ramco Group, G.Thiruvasagam, Vice Chancellor, University of Madras, Ponnambala Adigalar of Kundrakudi Mutt and T. R. Dinakkaran, Treasurer of Gandhi Memorial Museum.