Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

Gandhi Ji seems to be the one among few people today who would be remaining at the mainstream of political thought for the centuries to come. His ideas and philosophy have been studied quite profusely in India and worldwide and he works as an institution of guidance for the thinkers, statesmen, and policymakers alike. In today’s globalized world the ideas of Gandhi Ji still bear the gloss and have the potential of guiding the people towards the establishment of a more humane and just society. The time Gandhi Ji emerged on the global scene as the steward of Indian nationalism and a voice against apartheid, several forces were at work. It was a transitional phase when many states were in the process of making and many nationalities awakening against the colonial monster. Indian nationalism, that in the later stages had turned out to be the handiwork of Gandhi Ji alone and which had become the torch of rising for the many has become an event to be analyzed and scrutinized time and again, obviously because of the crucial experimentation and staunch belief of Gandhi Ji that righteous means would bring the success in the end. The introduction of machines in industry, agriculture and press with the advancement of technology which had ushered in the era of industrialization far back were the events of global interconnection and interdependence for Gandhi Ji. He himself was the product of this global phenomenon as he had his education at Britain and early engagements at South Africa. His wide experience abroad and the knowledge of the global happenings prepared him mentally against the pros and cons of the forthcoming events. His ideas over globalization, initially understood in the terms of westernization were not far from the existing direly felt needs of the hour. He opined that globalization was not an evil but to believe that everything western was superior was not the correct stand to take. He did not perceive any threat to our culture due to globalization but he did believe that it would lead to environmental hazards and consumerism - both of which have proved correct. Today world over NGOs are working along Gandhian principles to save and improve the environment and to spread peace through his works. Gandhi ji further remarked when he felt the need to have full flow of benefits emanating from the stream of western advancement, which for him was the result of industrialization. He held “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. One can see the urge to stand on one’s own and respect for the idea of self-dependence in these words of Gandhi ji. It was under the guidance of this impulse that he talked of simple and dignified life which could be realized only in the simple ways of living such as agriculture, cottage industry, and self-sufficient small economic units etc. At one stage there was an open declaration from the west over the ultimate extinction of Gandhian, Marxist and such other political alternatives which had commanded the political thinking of the last two centuries. This sense of fear and self-imposed skeptic is visible from the “contemporary political thinking epitomized in Francis Fukuyama’s famous chauvinistic reformulation of Hegel’s the ‘End of History’ that the West had achieved the final decisive political victory .Gandhian and the other political alternative have been defeated and rendered obsolete. Those who attempt to adopt a Gandhian political orientation at odds with the dominant features of contemporary political thinking will create dysfunctional political structures, will be smashed by modern political forces, and will be shown to be historically irrelevant”. His widely acclaime

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