Mahatma Gandhi Ji was one of the foremost social and political philosophers whose teachings were rooted in humane values in every sphere. His teachings and virtue still act as a guiding light to improve the nature of the life of not just the individual but also that of the world at large; particularly now when the modern world has become more aggressive, acquisitive, exploitative, and violent due to the imperfection in the human institution.
Some of Gandhi Ji’s teachings and their relevance in the present times include:
- Gandhian ethics and Religion:
- Gandhiji believed that morality without religion or vice-versa is incomplete.
- Gandhiji defined religion as a belief in the ordered and moral governance of the universe.
- He also declared emphatically that there is no religion higher than Truth & Righteousness
Gandhi Ji’s quote: “For me, morals, ethics, and religions are convertible terms. A moral life without reference to religion is like a house built upon sand. And religion divorced from morality is like ‘sounding brass’ good only for making noise and breaking heads”
- Gandhiji advocated some cardinal virtues of life which are essential to lead a pious and moral life. Ex: Ahimsa, Satya, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, non-possession, fearlessness
- Gandhi Ji’s political philosophy upholds religious tolerance and inter-religious understanding, such a political philosophy would help in overcoming the rise of hate-based politics in the country.
- Gandhian Ethics and Inclusive economic growth.
- Gandhi Ji believed in “production by the masses” rather than in mass production, a philosophy which can help in rural growth, increase jobs, and could also help in realizing success in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign.
- Gandhi Ji’s “Doctrine of Trusteeship” could help in reversing the rising inequality in the country and the world.
- Gandhian ethics also led to an emphasis on the participation of the community at large in addressing issues like poverty (Gandhi Ji’s Sarvodaya concept).
- Gandhian ethics and environmental sustainability: Gandhi Ji emphasized having minimalistic needs and wants in life, such a philosophy is the need of the hour when the greed of human beings has set in environmental degradation which has been threatening the survival of humankind.
- Gandhian Ethics and International Governance:
- For Gandhi, the rules of morality that ought to guide the lives of individuals should likewise guide the interactions between nations.
- The rules governing means and ends, truth and nonviolence were, for him, equally applicable in the international sphere.
- Such a philosophy could help in solving existential problems such as increasing weaponization, rise in radicalism, refugee crisis etc.
- Gandhian ethics and societal interactions.
- Gandhian ethics emphasized “Do unto others as you would have been them unto you” This beautiful paradigm enable a person to be sincere with not only himself but also show such sincerity with others without harbouring any malice against others.
- Such a philosophy is the need of the hour, particularly when sectarian conflicts are on the rise in the country and also in the world.