Debate around Gandhi and calendar is unnecessary, writes his granddaughter | analysis | Hindustan Times
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Debate around Gandhi and calendar is unnecessary, writes his granddaughter

The philosophy of the Mahatma resides in the weft and depth of Khadi and the spinning wheel.

analysis Updated: Jan 30, 2017 16:27 IST
Youth Congress activists at a protest against the removing of Mahatma Gandhi's photos from the Khadi  Village Industries Commission calendar.   “As far as I understand, there is no need to argue over the merits and demerits of this  calendar and create an unnecessary controversy around it,” says the Mahatma’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee.
Youth Congress activists at a protest against the removing of Mahatma Gandhi's photos from the Khadi Village Industries Commission calendar. “As far as I understand, there is no need to argue over the merits and demerits of this calendar and create an unnecessary controversy around it,” says the Mahatma’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee.(PTI)

Why do the teachings of the Mahatma continue to appeal to cultures and nationalities around the world? Well, because the language of humanity is universal and transcends linguistic boundaries. Just as the spiritual journey is realised in profound silence, the realisation of the conscience is in the sound of silence and not in the sound of language. When we talk of dialogue between cultures we are thinking of a dialogue only in terms of language and not in terms of silence.

Once a kind gentleman asked me during a conference on peace, “What is the opposite of love?” “Indifference, anger, hate, revenge…” I could have given more answers. “All this is true,” said my friend “but the real opposite of love is fear”.

There is a debate raging over the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a charkha (spinning wheel) in this year’s calendar published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission. As far as I understand, there is no need to argue over the merits and demerits of this photograph and create an unnecessary controversy around it.

We need to understand how closely linked Gandhi’s ideas are to the philosophy of Khadi. When we understand Khadi, only then we get to understand Gandhi. The philosophy of the Mahatma resides in the weft and depth of Khadi and the spinning wheel.

Read: The idea of Gandhi is universal and immortal

The reality of today is a global chain of the sentiment of fear resulting in increasing environmental pollution and even more horrifying human violence, with the threat of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

At the same time, for the better future of mankind, of utmost importance is the education of children. A child has to be educated with love and kindness to become a responsible adult in future.

To keep one’s mind without violence is a challenge for all of us. Facing the challenges of one’s own truth is the foundation and basis of universal harmony.

In reality the only way to global and universal peace would be to start with oneself. To keep one’s mind without violence is a challenge for all of us.

Non-violence and peace are a celebration of our consciousness to honour life and creation. This celebration of consciousness should be translated into the objective of a people’s movement for cleaning the human mind of violence and protecting the environment from pollution. There should be a universal message that goes beyond the social, political and religious divisions.

Read: Rajghat in Delhi gets a facelift after 15 years, Gandhi’s quotes to greet visitors at entrance

Non-violence means much more than just the lack of violence. Non-violence is also action and introspection. It is the essence of Sarvodaya. It is the courage of truth with love. Sarvodaya is the reawakening of the spirit in harmony with nature and environment and all life. Reconstruction of the social order is also part of Sarvodaya.

On January 30, as the world pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi, we should also remember his greatest strength, Kasturba Gandhi. Matrishakti is the eternal flow of truth love and courage that represents the greatest force of creation that is the flow of love in a mother for her child. This flow is inherent in each one of us and in every life.

Speaking of non-violence and peace, I pay my homage to the greatest spiritual and creative flows of man and nature that have kept the spark of eternal love still glowing in each one of us. Non-violence and peace are a celebration of our consciousness to honour life and creation.

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee is Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter and former chairperson of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Smriti. In 2016, she was conferred the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for contribution in promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development