Straight Line News Network
New Delhi, Oct 2: On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150 birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Father of the Nation envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was “never narrow or exclusive”, but one that worked for “the service of humanity”.
In an opinion piece ‘Why India and the World Need Gandhi’ in The New York Times, Modi quoted Bapu as saying, “It is impossible for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e., when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man.”
Modi said Gandhi epitomized trust among all sections of society. He elaborated with an example from 1917, when Gandhi helped mediate an equitable settlement between mill workers and owners in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad. “During those days, ‘Mahajan’ was used as a title of respect for elites. Gandhi inverted the social structure by attaching the name ‘Mahajan’ to ‘Majoor,’ or laborers. With that linguistic choice, Gandhi enhanced the pride of workers,” Modi wrote.
“Who else could have used a charkha, a spinning wheel, and khadi, Indian homespun cloth, as symbols of economic self-reliance and empowerment for a nation?” he wrote.
In all the mass movements in the world, Modi said that the Gandhian struggle was set apart due it its “wide-scale public participation”.
The Prime Minister also said that Gandhi saw a deep link between political independence and personal empowerment. “He envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity. When the world spoke about rights, Gandhi emphasized duties,” he added.
. “We, as inheritors of the earth, are responsible for its well-being, including that of the flora and fauna with whom we share our planet,” Modi wrote.
“In Gandhi, we have the best teacher to guide us. From uniting those who believe in humanity to furthering sustainable development and ensuring economic self-reliance, Gandhi offers solutions to every problem,” he added.