Mahatma's message still holds good: Ela Gandhi | india | Hindustan Times
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Mahatma's message still holds good: Ela Gandhi

india Updated: Oct 02, 2006 01:10 IST

As South Africa celebrated the centenary of the satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi with its President Thabo Mbeki and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congregating for the occasion, the Father of the Nation's grand-daughter Ela Gandhi reminded people of the relevance of service to humankind and peace in today's world.

"I was only seven years old when my grandfather was active in the freedom struggle," she recalled, adding that the Mahatma opted for a simple life after he took a vow of Brahmacharya.

She said Brahmacharya was not just celibacy but service to humankind. "Brahmacharya was the turning point in his life," she remarked.

Going down memory lane, Ela said Gandhi was a successful barrister who always travelled first class. "But all that changed" when he transcended to the stage of Brahmacharya.

He decided to give up his suits and luxury travel, and began living like an ordinary person, said Ela, who was among the dignitaries who attended the events in Durban to commemorate the centenary of the satyagraha.

At the same time, Gandhi taught people the dignity of labour, saying that one should respect all jobs, Ela said.

Gandhi's message of peace and non-violence is still relevant in today's times, she said.

"It is all about bringing a change in your self," she added.