By Kishor Dwivedi
New Delhi, Oct 1 (PTI) Rules and lessons from Mahatma Gandhi's life emulated along with his passion for the human cause can make the world a more harmonious place, believe authors who have penned books on him.
This October 2 will mark the 150th birth anniversary of India's iconic leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, whose lessons of 'truth' and 'non-violence' find an echo around the world even 70 years since his passing away.
Australian peace educator Margaret Hepwood said at a time when there is bullying in schools, workplaces and even in national politics; domestic violence and international conflict, Gandhi's voice, calling people to take a non-violent stance, is as relevant today as ever.
"He teaches us compassion, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness -- the cornerstones of a great nation. We can model his passion for humanity as a guide in our own ventures forward, to make this world a more harmonious place," Hepwood, who penned 'The Gandhi Experiment' told PTI.
She said Gandhi told the people to change themselves from within to see the world around them change.
"This has profound resonance for all levels of human interaction and we find ourselves a part of -- individual, societal and government," Hepwood said.
Virender Kapoor believes that Gandhi's teaching of protesting the non-violent way has become very relevant today.
"We have become an extremely violent race over the last couple of decades. Every protest by citizens is marred with arson, vandalism, terrorism and loss of life.
"States are also retaliating to such actions by use of excessive force," Kapoor, author of 'Leadership: The Gandhi Way', said.
He firmly believes that people can inculcate simplicity, punctuality and working for a larger good as an individual.
"At the level of society, we can implement attributes (of Gandhi) like cleanliness, tax compliance, obeying the law of the land and working together to uplift every member of the society.
"Governments can become more transparent, citizen-friendly and make all out efforts to stop corruption from top to bottom by setting examples and use of technology," he said.
The author also said he was intrigued by Gandhi's ability to reach out to millions of Indians, who spoke different languages and came from different cultures, at a time when there was almost no way of communication, broadcasting facility, electronic media, and poor rail and road connectivity.
"Gandhi managed all this with extensive travel and a punishing pace which he had set for himself," he says.
Pushyamitr, who chronicled Gandhi's movement in Champaran, Bihar, said truth and non-violence are crucial tools, which, unfortunately, people have forgotten how to use.
"Today, truth and non-violence along with Gandhi and Gandhian principles have turned as showpieces. Gandhian organisations and Gandhi's followers don't appear to be countering the present day questions with his ideologies," he said.
"Gandhi's truth and non-violence are not passive elements that ought to be preached only inside ashrams and in bhajans. They are also efforts to answer the questions of the time in a non-violent manner," said Pushyamitr, who penned 'Jab Neel Ka Daag Mita: Champaran -1917'.
He, however, feels that truth and non-violence are ineffective in the absence of a civil disobedience.
"That politeness in saying that we disagree with you and will not heed to your demands is missing nowadays. Till this (same situation) does not happen again, truth and non-violence will continue to be showpieces," Pushyamitr told PTI.
Kausik Bandhopadhyay, author of 'Mahatma on the Pitch', felt that Gandhi's "gospels of truth and non-violence" are more crucial now than even in an age "infested with lies, corruption and violence". However, he lamented that Gandhi's lessons are more "appropriated" and "distorted" than implemented at the levels of individuals, society and government in India. PTI KIS ANB