Mahatma Gandhi who is also called “Rashtrapita” was a unique personality, a great saint, an economist, a social reformer and an advocate of non-violence and what not. Indians are proud of him who led India to the path of freedom. He preached to the world the ideas of unity and brotherhood. He worked for the upliftment of the Harijans. He was the greatest figure who dedicated his whole life to the cause of the common man. He was essentially a man of the masses and an ideal of the millions. Being the champion of love and peace, he was respected and loved all over the world.
Mahatma Gandhi did not believe in the theory that, ends justify the means, rather he always taught the people that it were the means that could justify the end. He stood for religious values in a materialistic age. His religion was truth and non-violence. For him, the centre of the whole was the very basic of truth. He always emphasized that only cowards follow the path of violence and it is only brave people who fight their battle with the weapon of non-violence and always come out to be victorious. In fact, he said that the world can always be safe from effects of wars and destruction if everybody follows his teaching of love, non-violence and patience. He liked all without any type of discrimination based on religion, nationality and caste. This made him one of the greatest religious thinkers of world history.
Gandhiji always advised the upper caster Hindus for justice to all those innocent and poor people whom the high class Hindus had enslaved and forced to live and work worse than animals. He put all his efforts for social cause and justice to all. He said that the eradication and untouchability were the very basic – issues of his mission towards bringing about social reforms in India.
He advocated equality in treatment to women, particularly who are working at par with their men counterparts. In this way, he really expressed his opinions practically on each aspect of day-to-day life and invariably what he advised has far reaching impacts and importance even after 50 years of his death. He really stood to preach and practice self-sacrifice in the crazy world of today where each one of us is after wealth, power and has become self-centred and greedy.
Gandhiji realized that thousands of poor masses are being exploited by the British rulers and such people were not able to get two square meals a day. The Indian people were getting crushed under the heels of poverty and social injustice. He decided to give a new thought to economic problems being encountered by India and suggested very practial and easy solutions which are really a class of its own.
He advocated his ways of self dependent by spinning the Charkha and use of swadeshi items. He advised people to spin and wear these clothes, and avoid the use of any imported material. He asked them to wear only swadeshi cloths and follow the economics of the charkha. This was the way to give employment to hundreds of farmers who could not do anything for most part of the year and were getting poor and idle. Thus the British rule was also getting affected as it thought that in this way India would no longer be a profitable and economical market. The cloth made in mills of England would find no buyers in India and British would have to leave the country within a short time.
In the pursuit of Swadeshi movement, even small articles of daily use like soap, matches, paper, leather and other articles began to be made in India. At several places, British cloth was burnt in heaps. People were persuaded not to even go to the shops which kept British cloth. Women took a leading part in this movement. They even sold their ornaments and other jewellery items to open shops where only Swadeshi goods were sold. The Mahatma Gandhi launched a movement called ‘Quit India’ to ask the British rulers to leave India immediately to allow the Indian people to sort out their problems the way they like. Mahatmaji gave this message to the people all over India “Do or Die”. Inspite of cruel acts by the British rulers over this movement, Mahatmaji fought bravely with patience and restrain. Gandhiji sought to arouse a feeling of self-conscience in every human being.
Gandhiji’s policy was to hate the evil and not the evil doer. He said that the British rule was an evil but we must not hate the Englishmen. Rather we must no co-operate with the British rule and wage a non-violent struggle to get freedom from the hands of foreign rule. Gandhiji was always against the policy of separating morality from politics. He tried to bring religion and politics closer. He tried to moralise politics. For him, the political weapon was the path of non-violence. His message to follow the path of non-violence is true even in today’s world which is full of tension over small issues and superiority over the other.