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Remembering the ‘Father’ of our nation

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayant, here’s an article exploring his five pivotal contributions to the country



Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation, was not just a historical figure but a beacon of hope, resilience, and unwavering principles during India’s arduous journey to freedom. 

On his birthday today, it’s imperative to reflect on his immense contributions to the Indian freedom struggle and the profound philosophy of truth and non-violence that underpinned his actions. 

In this article let’s delve into five major contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and how his philosophy transformed not only India but the world.

At the core of Gandhi’s philosophy was the belief in the power of truth (Satya) and
non-violence (Ahimsa). He believed that these twin principles were not signs of weakness but, rather, sources of great strength. 

Satyagraha, a term he coined, was the practice of non-violent resistance against injustice. Gandhi’s idea was simple yet revolutionary: through non-violent means, one could resist oppression and tyranny, thereby forcing a change of heart in the oppressor. His unwavering commitment to truth and non-violence became the moral compass for India’s freedom struggle, inspiring millions to fight for their rights through peaceful resistance.

One of Gandhi’s most iconic acts of civil disobedience was the Salt March, also known as the Dandi March, in 1930. In protest of the British monopoly on salt, which imposed heavy taxes on a basic necessity, Gandhi led a 240-mile journey to the Arabian Sea. 

This act was not just about salt but symbolised defiance against unjust British laws. Gandhi’s resolve to challenge the salt tax and his march to the sea to make his own salt demonstrated his commitment to breaking oppressive laws through non-violent means. The Salt March ignited a spark across the nation, marking a turning point in the fight for independence.

In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement, demanding an end to British colonial rule without delay. His clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ reverberated throughout the country, galvanizing millions to demand immediate independence. 

This movement saw widespread non-cooperation, protests, and strikes against British institutions. Gandhi’s leadership during this period showed his unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom, even in the face of potential violence. The Quit India Movement hastened the process of India’s independence and demonstrated the power of unified,
non-violent resistance.

Gandhi’s vision of Swaraj, or self-rule, extended beyond political independence; it encompassed economic and social self-sufficiency as well. He advocated for a return to rural roots and the revitalisation of village industries. 

Through initiatives like the spinning wheel (charkha) and the promotion of khadi (hand-spun or hand-woven cloth), he aimed to empower rural India economically. This vision not only provided a means of livelihood but also instilled a sense of self-reliance and dignity among the masses. Gandhi’s emphasis on rural empowerment continues to influence sustainable development practices globally.

Gandhi’s message of unity and communal harmony was a crucial aspect of his contribution to the freedom struggle. He believed that India’s diversity should be celebrated and that Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and people of all faiths should coexist peacefully. 

His efforts to bridge religious divides during times of communal tension, such as in Noakhali and Calcutta, showcased his commitment to religious tolerance and harmony. Gandhi’s unwavering belief in the essential goodness of humanity and his tireless efforts to promote unity remain a source of inspiration in today’s world, where divisions still persist.

It is no secret that Mahatma Gandhi’s contributions to India’s freedom struggle extend far beyond political activism; they encompass a profound philosophy of truth, non-violence, and social justice. His legacy continues to inspire movements for justice, equality, and human rights worldwide. 

Every year as we commemorate his birthday on October 2nd, let us remember the indomitable spirit of this remarkable leader, who not only liberated a nation but also taught us that the power of truth and non-violence can transform the world. Gandhi’s life and teachings serve as a timeless reminder of the potential for positive change when one person, armed with unwavering principles, stands up for justice and righteousness.

A talented correspondent writing special articles, interviews and also doing video coverages. Alongside being a poet, short story writer and football player in the time he finds away from work. You can read Arijit's literary pieces and watch his performances easily on the internet. He can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]