Adopt and shun ‘A’ to achieve Gandhian life: Tara Gandhi


By: Surekha Dhaleta



Tara Gandhi Bhattacharya (right) along with Ajai Srivastava, Chairman, SDRS

Shimla: The Gandhian way of life can be achieved by adopting ‘A’ as in Atmavishwas and shunning ‘A’ in form of Ahankar, Mahatma Gandhi’s grand-daughter, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharya, said here, yesterday.

The renowned thinker and social activist was talking to students from 14 different schools (including differently-abled students), here at ‘Bapu Charcha‘, a function organised by the Himachal Chapter of Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS) to commemorate the centenary year of Satyagraha.

Bhattacharya stressed on that “she was grand daughter of Mohan Gandhi and not Mahatma Gandhi”

Sharing her memoirs on Gandhiji, she described him as a family man, a man fond of children, and one who cared for the needy and ailing people. She said that she understands the magnanimity of Gandhi through his ‘simplicity’ and the various examples of his ways of life, “For example,” she said, “Gandhiji always emphasised on non wastage of paper.”

Answering to a host of queries from students on the essence of the three monkeys of Gandhiji, the significance of Satyagraha, Ram Rajya and how one could emulate Gandhian doctrines of non-violence and Satyagraha, she said, “The essence of Gandhian Satyagraha and the three monkeys is to ‘discover the truth in oneself’, and live life with dignity and fearlessly.”

“Every individual can be a Gandhiji if one works selflessly and unconditionally for the down trodden. The pivoting point of Sarvodaya, as Gandhiji had visualised, which has not materialised till date, was a society devoid of exploitation and environment free of pollution,” she added.

She further discerned that development as envisioned by Gandhi was to initiate from the rural grassroots level.

Replying to a question, as how she perceived October 2 (Gandiji’s birthday) being considered to be observed as International Peace Day, she described the aspect as ‘spiritual globalization’ of Gandhi. “It is an honour for India that other countries too are importing Gandhi. He should not be confined to the boundaries of a single nation,” she said.

Clarifying on the controversy related to UK’s auction house – Christie’s wanting to auction one of Gandhiji’s hand-written document, she said, “Gandhiji had willed that if any one discovered his writings, letters or any kind of document, the person could keep it provided that no business was done on the document.”

Addressing the need for information on disability rights, she stressed that just getting information on disability rights was a half way process. “Rather, proactive work for the differently-abled is required,” she said.

Speaking on the occasion, Ajai Srivastava, chairman of Himachal chapter of SDRS, said that Gandhian doctrines remain a source of inspiration for all and working for disability rights in Himachal is a kind of Sayagraha in itself.

Chief Electoral Officer, Manisha Nanda who is also a social activist, chaired the meet and said that our biggest tribute to Gandhi would be to imbibe the principles and values as put forth by Gandhi.

Among other activists and scholars who attended the Bapu Charcha were Saroj Vashishth, Manisha Nanda, Prem Gandhi, Mallika Nadda and V D Kuthiala.

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