October 2 marks a very special occasion for every Indian citizen. This day, ‘Gandhi Jayanti’, is celebrated every year to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
For Indians living in their country or earning their livelihoods as expatriates abroad, as well as for the global community, Gandhi Jayanti is a day to reflect on the values that Mahatma Gandhi stood for – truth and non-violence. An epitome of resilience and determination, Gandhi employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence, inspiring movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
A cross-section of Indian expatriates living in Qatar shared their thoughts with Qatar Tribune and paid their tributes to the icon of peace and amity, on Gandhi Jayanti. Excerpts:
‘We owe our success and eminent position to Mahatma Gandhi’
Mahatma Gandhi left the world as a leader without an office but with a world inspired by his position on justice, peace, and non-violence. India owes it to the Mahatma that we have had visionary leaders who anchor the governance of such a huge country so smoothly. Following in Gandhi’s footsteps, we have had to struggle against many odds to achieve the progress that we rightly deserve.
(Yasir Nainar is an educationist and a certified leadership coach)
‘Mahatma’s relevance cannot diminish with the passage of time’
The spirit of existence, be it on professional front, which is about the fulfilment of duties and responsibilities, or the personal front, reflecting the virtues of humility, graciousness etc., shaping our personality on a holistic ground, all have roots in the profound thoughts and ideals propagated by Mahatma Gandhi. If we look at the personal front, the basic qualities of envisioning an idea and clinging to the dream until it manifests beautifully, having the steely resolve and the strength to fight the odds with integrity in character, being truthful in thoughts and honest in opinion, all these find their origin in the thoughts upheld by Mahatma Gandhi. The Father of the Nation saw a dream of a free India and led the country to Freedom overcoming all obstacles.
(Dr. Deepikaworks as a faculty of English at DPS Modern Indian School, Qatar. She loves to explore the world through writing)
‘Gandhi’s thoughts have become much more relevant today’
In the present-day world, the buzzword is polarization and we have become more fragile and divided deep down than before, especially in terms of opinions, ideologies and thoughts which are tearing us apart. Still, there’s optimism about noble values and thoughts because of Mahatma Gandhi and this optimism goes beyond race, religion and nation-states. Gandhi’s thoughts have made a deep impact on various facets of life and governance. To put it in Gandhi’s words: “Earth has enough for human needs, but not for human greed.” This shows that we need to go back and bring up the essence of ‘Gandhism’ by awakening and spreading awareness of his ideologies. ‘Gandhism’ is not only about Ahimsa (Non-violence), Swaraj (Self-Rule) and Satya (truth), but goes way beyond.
(Garima Mehdiratta is a lawyer and legal researcher)
‘Environmental sustainability, a top concern today, was part of Gandhi’s vision’
Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts and ideals hold immense importance and relevance in today’s world, aligning. His emphasis on unity serves as a powerful reminder of our global inter-connectedness, urging us to work together to address pressing issues such as climate change and poverty. Gandhi’s unwavering belief in the transformative power of education resonates deeply with the abiding need for commitment to empowering individuals through knowledge. In a world where information is key, his advocacy for education’s centrality is more vital than ever. Environmental sustainability, a top concern today, was inherently part of Gandhi’s vision for a simple, sustainable lifestyle. His teachings guide us towards responsible stewardship of our planet. Interfaith tolerance, a cornerstone of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy, remains essential in our diverse world, fostering harmony and understanding among different religious communities.
(Amanat Solanki a long-term resident of Qatar, founder of Mission20 Foundation)
‘Mahatma’s principles are as relevant today as in the past’
Nahid Raunaq Tarique
Mahatma Gandhi played a key role in India’s Freedom Movement. His principles of non-violent resistance or civil resistance are still relevant in today’s world. His principle of Satyagraha influenced Martin Luther King Jr. and James Bevel’s campaigns during the Civil Rights movements in the United States. Satyagraha also influenced Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Mahatma Gandhi worked for the uplift of untouchables and weaker sections.
(Nahid Raunaq Tarique did her schooling at International Indian School Dammam and graduated from AMU)