Mahatma Gandhi has a unique impact on our lives. My story is different.
Rewa in Madhya Pradesh was once famous for child marriages. I understood this in childhood itself that it had no connection with education. Our big joint family had members from various professions-engineers, teachers, bank employees etc. But they supported child marriages. We accept bizarre things in the name of tradition.
When I was told in class five that my marriage has been fixed, I told my father, “But Gandhi is against child marriage.” I recited the lessons of Gandhi. I have a deep reverence for Gandhi. I said, “You say, speak truth like Gandhi, so we should follow him.” My Father is a good listener. He said, “This will be decided by your grandfather.”
The discussion ended. My grandfather was loving and caring, but there was no reconsideration of his decisions. I too was adamant.
I stuck to Gandhi. I was a good child of my age for elders of my village, but I was about to disgrace the tradition. I disappointment them, but I struggled with the support of Gandhi.
He taught me that if you have a sense for truth and ethics, just stay with it, stick to it, even if you have to go against your parents. He also thought me that I should not give up. The most beautiful thing Gandhi taught me is that love disagreements as well. Never allow the disagreement to decrease love. Kasturba, Subhash Chandra Bose, Ravindra Nath Tagore, and even Jawaharlal Nehru, all had some kind of disagreements with Gandhi. Yet there was immense love. Gandhi even had compassion for the British.
Significance of compassion, sanctity, fearlessness, no violence, and satyagraha can be understood by the fact that today’s crisis of economy, violence, and degraded values are here because we have moved away from the Gandhian philosophy.
Gandhi never leaves us alone. At least he never left me, even when I didn’t know him well. A step towards him can reduce at least five crises of life. Think what would happen if we take five steps towards him.
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