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  Global Views
Gandhian Philosophy: Nobler than Nobel Prize
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
Mahatma Gandhi
(1869-1948)
was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. India calls him Father of the Nation. His birth (Oct. 2) is maked as a national holiday. Oct. 2 was made "International Day of Non-Violence" by UN General Assembly .

Usually, near about October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, a controversy erupts every year, that why Mahatma Gandhi, who won freedom for India with his arms- peace & non-violence has not been awarded the Nobel Prize by now. Some of the Indians, who have been awarded this prize, are Rabindranath Tagore, C.V. Raman, Dr. Hargobind Khurana, Dr. Chandrasekhar, Mother Teresa, Prof. Amartya Sen & V.S. Noypol. Undoubtedly all the above persons have covered special achievements in their fields. But nobody denies that philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi was different with some wonders from all those Indians who won the Nobel Prize.

There is a proverb in our country that means that an outside prophet is worshipped & given more regards than that of the locality. That is a scholar doesn't get the required regards at his own place. Unfortunately the great man like Mahatma Gandhi also faced the same fate. The Gandhian thought with truth, non-violence, toleration, communal harmony, sacrifice & valuable policies couldn't win favour from those people in India who were in favour of extreme thoughts. The man who loved truth & non-violence & was loved by the people of the world was shot dead by the person who hated communal harmony in India. He was killed at the time while coming out of the temple after his daily prayer. But even worse is that the enemies of the communal harmony are overpowering the other powers in Gujarat, the home state of Gandhiji. The Godhra incident & after that the communal riots in Gujarat were so much distressing that set the policy of non-violence of Gandhiji aside.

Anyhow it doesn't mean that Gandhian philosophy is meaningless or useless, today. In my view, the opposition of Gandhiji is only in India. Besides India, Gandhiji is given a place as a great idealist & great man in all the countries of the world. In Iraq & Palestine, people pray for peace & are fed up with the violent atmosphere. In many western countries, where there are frequent demonstrations, many people talk about the peace & no-violence. In all such situations, we can see the signs representing Mahatma Gandhi & slogan associating with his name. In India, a person with extreme thoughts may have considered him to be killed but every great person, may be the head of a nation or a king or a great leader of the world, goes to Rajghat in New Delhi to pay floral tribute to Gandhiji. Nelson Mandela, the hero of freedom of South Africa accepts that Gandhiji was source of inspiration for him in the struggle.

In the last days, the popularity of Gandhiji was approved at the international level when the resolution of India in UNO, to celebrate October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi as the World Non-Violence Day got good response. Out of all the 191 members of General Assembly, more than 140 countries co-sponsored this resolution given by India. Thus this year, for the first time, October 2, 2007, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated as the World Non-Violence Day. On this occasion of special session of UN General Assembly & first World Non-Violence Day, the president of Indian National Congress, Sonia Gandhi addressed it. Because of the constant efforts of Sonia Gandhi, this decision of celebrating October 2 by the UN general assembly, as the World Non-Violence Day has been taken. But the person who don't agree to the thoughts of Gandhiji are unable to digest this thought of celebrating October 2 as the World Non-Violence Day & they have started raising finger towards Sonia Gandhi, instead of directly opposing the decision. These powers who are against Gandhiji are feeling themselves unable to digest that how the UNO agreed to the efforts of Sonia Gandhi for celebrating October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi as the World Non-Violence Day.

However opposition may have been done of Gandhiji by the communal powers but his ideas can't be ignored in the world. Truth, Non-Violence, Self Dependence, Good Conduct etc. were the ways of living told by him & a man can reach the farthest goal if he follows his thoughts. Gandhiji used to advise to follow stickiness to the ideas, truth & good conduct in place of violence & arms. He was strong opponent of the differences such as between rich & poor, caste & communal ill will. In India, the poisonous atmosphere of communal disharmony comes out sometimes. This difference takes the shape of violence sometimes. As a result of it sometimes, the bad incidents like Godhra or Gujarat come out. In such incidents, people are burnt alive. The unborn issues of the pregnant women are killed even. The parts of the body are cut into pieces. Gandhiji had advised one & only one way to deal with such inhuman communal atmosphere & that was the path of communal harmony, communal unity & good will among all the religions. In the last period of his life, he said that the Hindus & the Muslims are like my two eyes. The responsibility of keeping both the communities safe lies upon us. Thank God, most of the Hindus & the Muslims in India follow the philosophy of Gandhiji & they hate the people who spread communal hatred & oppose Gandhian philosophy.

Gandhiji who was an ideal for peace & non-violence before the world was proposed for the Nobel Prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 & even a few days before his death in 1948. But all the five times he couldn't be given this prize. The highest committee for Nobel Prize agreed to the fact that Gandhiji couldn't be given this prize as he was neither a states man nor a devoted relief worker. I can't say anything about the argument given by the committee but the comments of acting President Michael Sohlem; of the Nobel Foundation clearly reveal that the decision of not giving the Nobel Prize to Gandhiji was not right. Michael Sohlem said a few years ago that we have lost a great Noble winner & he was Gandhi. Similarly the curator of the Nobel Museum Dr. Anders said, 'we feel a lot about the absence of Gandhi in Nobel Museum. I think that was a blunder.'

The highest committee that award Nobel Prize will repent every year near about October 2, the World Non-Violence Day or will out of the way give Nobel Prize to him to decorate its museum. Only time will tell it. But I must say that the life & personality of Gandhiji touch the height that is far above the Nobel Prize.



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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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