Gandhiji’s dream

On October 2, 2019 falls the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation. Four years and half are still to go for that day. How are we going to celebrate that day? Will paying homage to the Father of the Nation remain confined to customary speeches, garlanding his life size pictures and doling out sermons in his name to the unsuspecting people and sing with dedication his famous devotional songs. No, that is not doing real homage to the leader. We need to change our mindset. The times have changed and we need to dovetail Gandhiji’s dreams to the contemporary Indian society and the times in which we live. Explaining leader’s dream, the President has made very apt remark which the nation must understand and translate into practice.
While inaugurating an international seminar on ‘Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream’, President referred to two missions of the Government — Swachh and Samarth Bharat and Make in India— and said that Gandhiji’s dream is our dream, his vision must lead us through the challenges of the present towards a clean, green and self-sufficient Bharat.
To Prime Minister’s slogan of Swachh Bharat, the President added the word Samarth Bharat meaning ‘capable India’. This serves as key to the other slogan of Make in India. It is true that the slogan of Swachh Bharat was first conceived by Gandhiji and he had a vision of clean India. But this slogan did not become the watchword of any previous Government and remained only confined to the dreams or wishes of Gandhiji. Cleanliness is a way and the culture of life. By Swachh Bharat, we should not mean only clean environment although that is of paramount importance. Gandhiji suggested wider meaning of the slogan and that is a clean mind, a clean body and clean surroundings. Adding the word ‘Samarth’ implies that India needs capability on all fronts of economic development by facilitating investment, promoting innovation, fostering skill development and establishing best-in-class infrastructure.
The President has explained the vision of new India of Gandhiji’s dreams that is self – sufficient and not dependent on others to meet the challenges before her. The swadeshi movement that was initiated by Gandhiji during his freedom struggle was actually at the core of his vision of modernizing India. We need proliferation of various skills among our youth, and we need creating opportunities for self employment and self generating economy. The age of science and technology has made it possible to bring about drastic change in the life style of the people of the country. We lack initiative for innovation. Make in India is not a slogan confined to big corporate houses and business magnates; it is a message for the ordinary people of India. The concept and approach to business has to be changed and renovated. A country with vast natural and human resources should be able to give itself new vision of progress and advancement. That is behind the concept of Make in India. The President very rightly said that all stakeholders were expected to support and contribute to the twin-concept of the NDA Government. What India should aim at is to become a manufacturing country and not just issuing permits to industrialists at home and abroad to come and manufacture. Make in India envisages larger picture of India like facilitator governing mechanism, building of smart cities and industrial clusters, development of specialised skills in the youth, and establishment of dedicated freight corridors for improved connectivity.
Paying tribute to Gandhiji, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu asserted that the NDA Government was inspired by Gandhi’s philosophy of inclusive development based on the involvement and empowerment of every individual.
He said that the Government was keen to turn the Swachh Bharat Mission into a “Swachhagraha” movement for making the country clean in the next five years.
If these visions are perused and efforts are made to achieve them, this will be the real homage to the Father of the Nation. Today, more than ever, we stand in need of a roadmap given by Gandhiji and we need drawing inspiration from his visions. India is capable of attaining self-sufficiency and is capable of making great achievements in alleviating the suffering of the people and instilling in them new hope and new life. We need a sensible mixture of moral and material development and in that respect we cannot have a better guide than the teachings of the Father of the Nation.

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