What Gandhi taught us….

When anything is talked about Gandhiji the most common terms associated with him are nonviolence, truthfulness and many such terms in similar lines. Are these the things that he actually taught?……… We glorified him with the title of Mahatma and then as the father of the nation, and followed it were stories about his life. Perhaps someone took him too seriously when he said that ‘my message to people is my life’, and hence all we know about him is through what he did in his life, the way he achieved Indian independence through non-violence, the way he shook the British empire by satyagraha and mass arrests, the way he promoted communal harmony, and many many more similar incidents.

But still something remains on what we achieve by bestowing him with the title of ‘Father of the Nation’, are we to follow nonviolence and truthfulness, well that doesn’t seems easy, but that’s what is being taught to us. We are asked to follow nonviolence, and be truthful since childhood, and thus we limit Gandhiji’s philosophy to personal conduct. As we have just seen him through his life story, for us Gandhiji becomes a role model for personal conduct, weather we achieve it or not.

So in today’s term has Gandhi become a word equivalent to socially desired personal conduct? Does father of the nation have nothing more to offer?……..well I guess his philosophy has been leftout in glorifying his personal life.

If we could analyze what he did, we can see that all his acts were based on one single fact of concentrating on the roots of the problem……. This still holds true, all our problems could be solved if we try to concentrate on the roots of the problem.

Gandhi was insistent on development of villages, but Nehru concentrated on building a modern nation through cities, well now we have realized that the root cause of all the problems in cities lies in the villages, better villages means better cities.

This philosophy of Gandhiji has such a great implication in urban design.

Today we are mad about wider roads, while the root cause of congested roads doesn’t lie in the width of the road but in the requirement to travel. Every city has been trying to solve its traffic problems by facilitating the movement of people (weather by better car movement or better public transport), but if we could reduce the demand for travel then we actually won’t need wider roads.

The current planning and urban design setup emphasizes so much on designing a place, but we should spend more time understanding the problem. If the root cause of the problem is identified then we would have automatically better cities.

Concentrate on the roots, well that would be the best honor that we can give to the father of our nation….


3 thoughts on “What Gandhi taught us….

  1. well thought..seems you have an amateur interest in philosophy..well after reading it I feel how impoverished,indeed destitute our insight/thinking is. while discussing/studying Gandhian philosophy a thousand of points came out that requires an understanding at grass root level but lacked, although there are some points that are valued but lost due to our meticulousness….but I think can we tolerate meticulousness in the midst of destitution???????
    I guess I’m getting more philosophical..

    I thank you for making me ponder..why did I let my fussiness lose the hidden value????

    KUDOS!!! to your way of thinking and I hope this mindset will help in solving a wide spectrum of problems faced both in rural as well as urban development….i guess it won’t be beyond the realms of possibility…

  2. 3 years later I found my self writing the same titled piece. I am glad I stumbled onto you as you opened my eyes to a different path.

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