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Gandhi as an Internationalist

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  • Published
    28th Dec, 2019
  • For me patriotism is the same as humanity”, observed Gandhiji nearly fifty years ago: In trying to serve India, I serve humanity at large.” These word sums up Gandhiji’s outlook on world affairs-which was neither national nor international but simply human.
  • He looked upon all men as members of one family. “It is impossible,” he wrote in “Young India” in 1925, for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist.
  • Internationalism is possible only when nationalism become a fact, that is, when people have organized themselves and are able to work as one man”.
  • He did not want India to cut herself adrift through attainment of independence. “Isolated independence is not the goal of the world status,” he wrote in 1925, “it is voluntary interdependence.”
  • Indeed, one could say that this is precisely the objective for which the United Nations was set up.
  • All that substitutes law for force, reason for violence, understanding for fanaticism is in consonance with Gandhiji’s ideals. 
  • Gandhiji felt and hoped that a free India by example and achievement could inculcate a moral sense among nation. Through the deliverance of India he sought to deliver the so-called weaker races of the earth from the crushing heels of Western exploitation. This ambition, it may be contended, has, to a large extent, been fulfilled.
  • For achievement of independence by India through pacific means and by mutual goodwill did provide an inspiration and an example to several nations in Asia and Africa.
  • Gandhiji’s most vital contribution to international relations is his philosophy and technique of non-violent resistance.
  • When the atom bomb was used against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Gandhiji was deeply distressed and observed that “the employment of the atom bomb for the wholesale destruction of men, women and children” was “the most diabolical use of science.” He thought that the only alternative to peace was the total annihilation of mankind.
  • Gandhiji, it is contended, was an obstructionists. When it comes to cultural matters and wanted the clock to be turned back in our country in Hindi Suraj written in South Africa.
  • The underlying theme is almost total rejection of values of Western Civilization, but he was not against obtaining Knowledge from favorite game nor did he look at adoption of primitive Customs simply because they were told in Words which have become famous.
  • He said I do not want my house to be world inside all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown out my house as a freely as possible, but I refuse to be blown up my my feet by any refuse to live in those other people's houses edge and interloper a bigger or a slave in other words.
  • Is this the people to adapt intelligently not were indiscriminately in seeking truth and light he recognized known as the boundaries.
  1. My life is my Message
  • As Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam had said Gandhiji was the first and foremost a great communicator. More than anyone else he recognized that communication is the most effective tool to shape opinion and mobilize popular support huge both ordinary and extraordinary means to communicate with millions of Indians and drew their spontaneous response.
  • He could reach out to the all sections of classes of people use verbal and nonverbal written, sensory and extra-sensory means and could also access the very hearts and souls of Indian masses.
  • Gandhiji had emerged as a unique Communicator also through a wide-ranging roles in public Life as a lifelong student as well as a teacher, a role model, as a lawyer, a unique journalist and writer and an ideal practitioner of universal code of ethics and moral behaviour and non-violent revolutionary while leading the fight for India's freedom from Colonial rule and also all forms of Injustice. He was an ideal nurse for sick and even doctor at times,.
  • He evolved as a communicator during 21 years stay in South Africa where he grew to lead all sections of Indians against racial discrimination. There he came to realize its fundamental ethics of Truth and then violence and pronounces ideology of non-violent civil assistance. Set the alarm for and willingly underwent imprisonment simultaneously.
  • He took the Constitution to devote a life of Public Service to fulfil which he took cause the ‘Brahmacharya’ and the polygraph.
  • In South Africa Gandhiji Started first weekly newspaper ‘Indian opinion’ in 1903 for the Indians community Inspired by John Ruskin’s book unto this last if set up first Ashram as Phoenix settlement (1904) where he lived as a member of classless community.
  • In 1908 he paraphrased the Ruskin’s book into a series of articles under the title of ‘Sarvodaya’.
  • In 1909 on a ship from London Gandhiji wrote his seminal book ‘Hind Swaraj’ expounding his basic thesis for an independent and non-violent Indian Nation.
  • During 1909-1910, he had historic correspondence between Leo Tolstoy and in 1910 he set up his second Ashram for Satyagrahis as “Tolstoy Farm”.
  • After Gandhi returned to India in 1915, he was instinctively perceived and evolved as a leader of India's struggle for freedom and also for his transformation into an egalitarian harmonious and just social order. He was commonly addressed in Mahatma Gandhi and finally also the ‘Father of Nation’.
  • Gandhiji's lifestyle choices such as those of dress, food, padyatras and transparency in personal and public life contributed to his becoming national mass Communicator, for example during his visit to Madurai, he saw laborers and peasants wearing only towel sized cloth,  he decided to further reduce his own cloth into a loincloth to identify himself with India's poor
  • In India, he was initially drawn into leading local satyagrahas against the exploitation of peasants in Champaran and  in Bardoli and of industrial labourers  in Ahmedabad. 
  • However, soon he was leading all India Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act in 1919 and non-cooperation movement in 1920 to 1922 against colonial rule.
  • He was arrested and after the great trial in 1990 to He willingly accepted the sentence of six years imprisonment, which were later reduced in 1924.
  • Then onwards till India's independence in 1947, he was unquestioned leader for Freedom struggle as well as struggle against social ills including movements for communal Harmony removal of untouchability ,empowerment of women, removal of poverty and rural backwardness and Universal Basic Income to all.
  • Thus, Gandhiji could reach out to everyone i.e the high and the low, the rich and the poor, friends and foes.
  • He has been the most effective Communicator in human history as he would say, my life is one indivisible whole and all my activities have their rise in my insatiable love of mankind.
  1. Transformation Through People Power
  • Hardly anyone speaks about Gandhi as a Management icon. Alan Axelrod, renowned author of biographies has authored a widely acclaimed book titled 'Gandhi CEO:14 Principles to Guide &Inspire Modern Leaders'.
  • In it he has averred "There is no doubt that Gandhi was a good man and an intensely spiritual man, but he was also a manager and executive, a supremely practical leader for change [management]."

Gandhi’s Economic and Management Ideas

  • Gandhi's economic and management ideas were gestated by India's grinding poverty and were moulded by his. ethical and civilizational values.
  • According to him “Economics that hurt the moral well being of an individual or a nation are immoraland therefore unacceptable.
  • So also, the economics that permit one country to prey upon another" and
  • Civilization in the real sense of the term consists not in the multiplication but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of selfish wants."
  • Gandhi wanted poverty alleviation and economic development to commence at village level.
  • Besides, he wanted "production by masses" not “mass production”, utilization of people's innate talents, traditional avocations and locally available/replaceable natural resources.
  • Gandhi disfavored both capitalist and communist economics.
  • Besides, he was opposed to state control of the economy because "while apparently, doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality, which lies at the root of all progress".
  • His notion of democracy was "the weakest having the same opportunity as the strongest" and that: Real Swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few, but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when it is abused".
  • In management of the economy he favoured moral suasion instead of coercion and the practice of Trusteeship.
  • Vinobha Bhave's Bhoodan movement was a good example of the practice of moral suasion and Trusteeship. For Gandhi "Labour is far superior to capital.
  • He wanted a marriage between capital and labour. According to him, they can work wonders in cooperation.
  • This book gives prime importance to "a humane and people-oriented approach"-based on Gandhi's "Talisman" and to transparency to which he attributes Gandhi’s moral stature and ultimate success.
  • Businesses cannot be run by coercion and CEOs should earn the cooperation and trust of their employees/stake holders and welcome dissent because "if everyone is thinking alike, no one is really thinking.

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