|Gandhi Research Foundation|
Man has vastly changed his environment and has made a great deal of progress in terms of material possessions and pleasures. However, he has not changed a bit from within with reference to spiritual attainments. This lopsided imbalance has led to stark disparities, inequalities, dissatisfaction, discontent and social tensions. Indeed, today, humanity labours under clouds of nuclear wars and other forms of violence for settling their differences and conflicts. It is faced with varied dilemmas, problems and challenges. These challenges are not only internal to man but are external threat to his very existence. This is also because man has come to believe that progress is not possible without sacrificing the environment.
In keeping with the tenets of a contemporary world, it has become the responsibility and concern of every thinking person to find creative ways and means, to revisit the eternal principles, practices, philosophies and message of Gandhiji′s life and work. The United Nations has declared 2nd October, the birthday of Gandhiji, as “International Day of Non-violence and Peace.” It follows that the world even today finds his message completely relevant and worth researching and remembering.
Bhagwan Mahavir, Buddha, Jesus Christ all have propagated non-violence or ahimsa. However, it was only for the purpose of improvement of individual conduct. Gandhiji was the first living legend who used non-violence for a larger purpose than shaping of individual conduct. He consistently preached non-violence as an instrument for sculpturing the destinies of nations. His non-violence was not mere submission to violence, passive non-resistance to evil, but a patient and persistent struggle to convert violence into non-violence, injustice into justice, evil into good. For him, the conduct of the struggle was of the utmost importance; and he would employ only pure means to meet pure ends. This is Gandhiji′s greatest contribution to the modern age and thought. It is indeed a gift to the world not only of his time but for infinity.
Gandhiji presented to this unbelieving world all that is noblest in the spirit of man. He illuminated human dignity by faith in the eternal significance of man′s effort. He belongs to the type that redeems the human race. He was the spokesman of the conscience of mankind. It is in this context that during mourning, Jawaharlal Nehru said, “The light has gone out of our lives… Yet, I am wrong, for the light that shown in this country was no ordinary light… and a thousand years later that light will still be seen in this country and the world will see it… For that light represented the living truth.”
In his own life and by his own uncommon methods, Gandhiji attained more success than any other living man. He raised the people of India out of dust and made them men. To them he brought back self-respect, the spirit of struggle and resistance. To the rest of world he proved that one can live with less and conquer fear with the power of truth and ahimsa. He pleaded for “more from less for more” (MLM). That was a message for self restraint and symbiotic partnership with nature.
The world would need all what he had said and all what others have said about him. He wrote and spoke practically on all subjects under the sun. Most of his writings are in the form of articles, speeches, letters and reports of interviews, mainly through either self-edited or sponsored periodicals. His writings run into the most voluminous corpus in the history of human civilization so far.
Today, every enlightened individual and/or a body corporate, is concerned about the youth. The youth is desperately looking for role models. Gandhiji is a timeless inspirator. I trust, that posterity will have moments to reflect on his profound yet contemporary message. His teachings must reach every home not only in India but all over the world. Gandhiji′s message is universal and adaptable. It is with this exalted inspiration from within that an educational and research institute, a monumental museum, a capacious library and a modern archive are being dedicated to the nation and the world beyond.