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Offline SS91

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Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 10:20:50 AM »
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  • Crossing the Sea of Narrow-Mindedness

    Around 5 p.m. on 4th  September, 1888, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi boarded the P&O, liner S.S. Clyde, to begin his tryst with London. But the journey that he had to undertake from his home to his ship was quite a long and arduous one, which involved many obstacles.

    When Gandhi went to Bombay to set sail for England, little did he realise what was in store for him. Most Modh Banias lived in Bombay and they were determined to let Gandhi know, in no uncertain terms, how much they disapproved of his decision. "I could not go out without being pointed and stared at by someone or the other," he was later to tell The Vegetarian. "At one time, while I was walking near the Town Hall, I was surrounded and hooted by them, and my poor brother had to look at the scene in silence." Gandhi's caste-fellows even managed to delay his departure by a fortnight.

    They prevailed upon the captain of the P & O steamship which Gandhi was to board, to say that "it would be unwise for him to leave during that time  August because of the rough weather in the sea."

    Then came the final test. All Modh Banias were summoned for a general body meeting to determine young Mohandas' fate. The fine for absence was five annas. The meeting was presided over by the head Patel, who said: "We are positively informed that you will have to eat flesh and drink wine in England; moreover, you have to cross the waters; all this you must know is against our caste rule."

    A gutsy Mohandas replied: "I am sorry that I cannot alter my decision. What I heard about England is quite different from what you say; one need not take meat and wine there. As for crossing the waters, if our brethren can go as far as Aden, why could not I go to England? I am deeply convinced that malice is at the root of all these objections"

    The incensed head Patel shot back: "This boy has lost his sense, and we command everyone not to have anything to do with him. He who will support him in any way or go to see him off will be treated as an outcaste, and if the boy ever returns, let him know that he shall never be taken into the caste."

    History is a witness to the fact that Gandhi did return to India from England and the kind of change that he and his country underwent is known to one and all.


    Extracts From Gandhiji's First Satyagraha by Souresh Bhattacharya
     
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #16 on: September 22, 2012, 12:56:07 PM »
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  • Wear Clothes as they Should be Worn
     
    This episode occurred during Gandhi's visit to Anand Niketan Hostel in Sevagram Ashram. In those days Shri Pandey was in charge of the hostel. Once, when Gandhiji was on a visit, his gaze was immediately directed towards Pandeyji's clothes. He felt very odd when he noticed his shirt buttons which were open to quite an extent. He at once commented "Pandey, you have wasted so much cloth for nothing." "How is that?" Pandey asked Gandhi. To this Bapu replied, "You see, it is usually the case that people wear clothes to cover their bodies but here I can clearly see half of your body. Either you wear just a Dhoti like I do or at least take the trouble of buttoning up your shirt properly."
    The next morning saw Pandeyji in a coarse loin cloth.

     
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #17 on: September 30, 2012, 09:32:53 AM »
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  • Education: For Life, Through Life
    Mahatma Gandhi led the struggle for India's freedom so that a new social order could be established in our country. He had no quarrel with individual Englishmen but he was totally opposed to the British system of education and administration imposed in our country. While strengthening the Indian National Congress as a political instrument for achieving Indian Independence, he established number of institutions to build up a new society. One of the last such institutions was the Hindustani Talimi Sangh (The All-India Basic Education Society) to promote education based on a socially useful productive craft. It was meant to replace the mere book-centred system of education introduced by Lord Macaulay to produce only clerks for British Indian Companies.

    When Gandhiji looked out for a suitable person to carry out the scheme of Nai Talim (Basic Education), his eyes fell on a couple who had been working at Tagore's Vishwabharati in Santiniketan. Shri E.W. Aryanayakam and his wife Smt. Asha Devi responded enthusiastically to Gandhiji's invitation to come to Sevagram.

    Aryanayakam was a Jaffna Tamil from Sri Lanka, who had had his early education in what was then known as Ceylon and later in England. His wife, Asha Devi was a highly educated Bengali lady from Santiniketan. 'Nayakamji', as he was affectionately known, agreed with Bapu that unless the skills in some useful craft were acquired by the children and academic subjects were correlated to the craft, mere book-centred or play-based education would neither help the child to realize his full potential nor make him grow to be a good citizen.

    Nayakamji's mother-tongue was Tamil. But he had mastered English language and had also picked up Bengali well enough in Santiniketan to feel at home there. He studied Hindustani and could communicate in the 'Rashtrabhasha' without difficulty. He was able to acquire a working knowledge of Marathi as well. He had an all-India perspective and felt as much at home in any part of India as in Sri Lanka; nay, nowhere in the world did he feel that he was a stranger.

    Nayakamji followed a strict code of conduct in his personal life and was a strict disciplinarian. He and his wife led a simple life on a grand monthly allowance of Rs 75 each. It was a pleasure to watch him handle a teachers' training class or a class of small boys and girls. Like his Master, he would go on spinning while talking to visitors or giving directions to his staff. The couple brought to the austere atmosphere of Sevagram a touch of the aesthetic sense of Santiniketan.

    Nayakamji and Asha Devi had to face a great personal tragedy when they lost their only son Anandmohan in Sevagram. However, the couple overcame their grief and sorrow by moving closer to the two hundred children that were then Studying in the Basic School in Sevagram.

    N. Krishnaswamy



    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #18 on: October 17, 2012, 03:09:35 PM »
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  • The Abode of Joy
    It may not be out of place to describe here, the activities in the school which was set up in Sevagram to put these ideas into practice. Under the guidance of a band of dedicated teachers, "Anand Niketan" or "Abode of Joy", as the school was aptly called, survived, even when all other Nai Talim institutions were closed down during the Quit India movement and most of the active workers were in jail. It was a residential school where students and teachers lived together.

    Shri Devi Prasad, who first joined as the art teacher in the Institute and who had been a student of Shri Nand Lal Bose at Shantiniketan, recalls those days with nostalgia.


    Awaking early in the morning, the entire school community, consisting of its students and teachers, would undertake an hour's safai (cleanliness)  of the entire premises, including class rooms, dormitories, buildings, grounds, latrines. Time for bathing, washing clothes, and attending to personal cleanliness followed. The community then assembled for prayers, after which there was breakfast. Three hours of Sharir Shram (manual labour) formed an integral and perhaps the most important part of the curriculum. Here too, students and teachers worked together whether in the fields, or the spinning shed, or later, when the subject was introduced, in the mechanical engineering shed.


    Study periods would be in the afternoons, after lunch and rest. No textbooks were followed, but all that was taught was related to the work done in the morning-, not just maths or economics, but science, social studies, language, literature, also, would be based on the work done. A session of games, in which students and teachers participated, helped to  build up an atmosphere of harmony and co-operation. At about 6.30 p.m. the whole Ashram community would meet for prayers. When Gandhiji was there he would always attend and on occasions, he would give a talk after prayers.


    At times music and drama after dinner rounded off the day providing the children with opportunities of self-expression. Mention must be made of the Kala Bhavan at Sevagram where every effort was made to link art with life and for the child to be able to express himself.


    The school functioned on a democratic pattern with students taking decisions on day to day functioning. Not only was there an aam sabha (general assembly) in the class, there was one in the school as well. The functioning school democracy provided students ample opportunity to learn through real life situations. Devi Bhai recounts one occasion when the children were determined to punish a habitual late-comer to the class and meetings, and were unanimous in their decision to 'execute' him, thus placing the teacher in charge in a quandary. He had no desire to impose his views on the children, nor did he wish that they go ahead with their horrifying decision. So, he suggested that he too face the same punishment, as he was often guilty of being late. Agitated discussions led the students to realize the enormity of the consequences of the punishment they had so innocently meted out and students came to the conclusion that he should be forgiven this time.


    Safai (Cleaning) too, in the way it was done at the Anand Niketan School, was raised to an artistic experience. In a special class entitled Safai Vigyan, safai became a fine art. Techniques of how to make sweeping more effective by a mere twist of the hands, was taught. Simple implements were designed to scoop up the dirt so that not a trace of it remained. The sparkling cleanliness of the place led Shri Kishorilal Mashruwalla to once remark: "At this rate, we'd be putting flower vases in the latrines."

    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #19 on: October 20, 2012, 09:55:44 AM »
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  • To Cling to a Belief
     As the world prepares to observe yet another Environment Day, our thoughts turn to Mahatma Gandhi, who, without ever using any of the modern jargons, was perhaps the greatest 'environmentalists' of our times. Gandhi knew that unless man lived in harmony with nature and unless he stopped exploiting nature he would certainly tread the path of destruction. In his own way, he talked of conservation and sustainability. His frame of non-violence comprehended non-violence to nature as much as to man.

    In this column, we would like to take you twenty two years back in time, to a little village called Gopeshwar nestling in the Himalayas which saw the birth of a great movement - the Chipko.


    Chipko! When the District Magistrate first heard the word, he smirked. But he could not laugh it away, knowing the strength of the Dashauli Gram Swarajya Sangh of Gopeshwar. The chief aim and objective of the Sangh was to stop the abuse of forests of Uttarakhand by contractors from plains and instead, use the forest resources for giving productive job opportunities to the local people.


    It is no surprise that Chipko should be inspired by Gandhian ideals. The leader of the Chipko movement was Chandi Prasad Bhatt who belongs to the Gandhian school of thought.


    The Symon Company of Allahabad, a manufacturer of sports goods, had been allotted some ash trees from the Mangal Forest which was barely 13 kilometers away from Gopeshwar. The Sangh resolved to fight for the rights of the people. Each passing day brought near the confrontation when the agents of the Symon Company were to come and take away the sanctioned trees.


    In spite of warnings from the top, the policies and plans being pursued in the forests remained the same. After reading newspaper reports of the Indian floods due to rapid felling of trees, Miss Slade (Gandhiji's well known British disciple Mira Behn) wrote in an English daily of New Delhi expressing her concern. But who was there to listen ?


    In April 1973, a public meeting was held in the Dashauli Gram Swarajya Sangh's courtyard to decide on direct action against the Symon Company. The question was the same in every village, "How can we save the trees from being axed ?" That was the moment Chandi Prasad had been waiting for. "You can save the forest by cling to the trees, and dare them to let their axes fall on your backs, " he said. Startled at his suggestion one of the villagers exclaimed, "Can we really save such a big forest from being felled?" Chandi Prasad did not say anything. He was well aware that ultimately the success of the Chipko action depended on them. It took a while, but the meeting finally accepted the suggestion, though the village women sitting in the back kept laughing at the word "Chipko". Little did they know then that, one day, they the women, would have a great hand in saving the by holding them in their protective embrace.



    Adapted from Chipko Movement
    by Anupam Mishra and Satyendra Tripathi
     
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #20 on: October 27, 2012, 02:48:31 PM »
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  • The Fruit of a Child's Labour
    After his release from the Aga Khan Palace, Gandhi had gone to Juhu, a suburb of Bombay city, for rest. Gandhiji would not therefore see anyone as a rule. One day, a boy aged 10 or 12 years came to see Gandhi. He was carrying in his hand fruit worth about two or three rupees. He insisted on handing over the fruit to Gandhi. One could explain things to adults, but how can it be done in the case of children?

    Sarojini Naidu was standing nearby. She smilingly took the boy to Gandhi. The boy placed the fruit at the feet of Gandhi and stood there. He had nothing to say, but his desire was that Bapu should eat the fruit he had brought. Gandhi's companions were talking among themselves about it. Some one said he was probably a beggar. The boy's self-respect was badly hurt when he heard this. He said at once, "No Mahatmaji, I'm not a beggar. I bought this fruit out of the money earned with my labour."


    Gandhi's heart was touched by the boy's words which expressed his sense of self-respect. He used to receive baskets of fruits from wealthy friends. But the boy's present was priceless because, it had behind it a child's devotion and hard work. How could he ignore such a present? Gandhi picked up a fruit and placed it before the boy and said, "Take child, you eat first the fruit of your labour."


    The boy replied, "No, Mahatmaji, I would have the satisfaction of having eaten when you eat it." He went away after reverently saluting Gandhi.


    The child had certainly earned self-respect by his labour. But do you think he missed out on anything in life?

     
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
    http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lOgd1uS-wX0/TCOlFNMxIBI/AAAAAAAAE88/GpxUgxnwioE/why_fear_when_i_am_here.jpg

    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #21 on: December 05, 2012, 12:09:43 PM »
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  • An Ideal Prisoner
    In the year 1930, Acharya Kaka Kalelkar was Gandhiji's companion during their Yeravada Jail tenure. Let us open one of the windows of this year and see how they spent their time in a 'jail house'. Even in jail, Gandhiji always believed in keeping himself occupied throughout the day. A typical day in the jail was something like this. Kaka Kalelkar and Gandhiji would rise and shine at four o'clock in the morning when the stars would shine in all their glory. By 4.20 a.m. their morning prayers began. After prayers came the recitation of the Gita. The recitation finished, Kakasaheb would go for his morning walk and Gandhiji would spend half an hour in reading and writing and then join Kakasaheb for the rest of the walk. The Gita, the Ashram's ideal, food problems, the wheel, Kaka's laxity, such were the usual topics during the walk. Exactly at 6 a.m. they would sit for breakfast. Gandhiji's breakfast consisted of curds, and dates soaked in water. By the time they finished breakfast, the goats would come to be milked. The milking done, Gandhiji would, without further delay, sit at the spinning wheel, and the wheel would begin to recount the tale of India's woes, and the sure hope of deliverance. Have you ever heard the pensive notes of a spinning wheel? With the wheel humming by his side Gandhi never felt lonely. With one or two necessary breaks the things would go on till half past ten. At about seven, Bapu would take a cup of hot water with lime juice and salt. Apart from this every morning Gandhi spent some time with the carding bow with its rhythmic twang. Half an hour's work gave him more slivers than he would consume during the day. Sardar Vallabhbhai once ran short of slivers and he sent for some through the superintendent. Kalelkar's stock of slivers used to be rather poor. Gandhi would then double his time at the bow and send the much needed slivers to Sardar.
    At about 11 o'clock they took their midday meal. Again it used to be curd, mixed with a pinch of soda bicarb, dates or raisins and boiled vegetables. The newspapers came at about the same time. Kakasaheb would read out the latest news about the lathi charges and the ladies hoisting the national flags aloft. They rarely discussed the news. That was reserved for the evening walk. Dietetics and nature cure used to be the main topics at dinner time, because Gandhiji had read deeply and experimented in this field. The wheel must follow the meal immediately; after it the newspapers and then the midday siesta. At half past one Bapu took a cupful of water with sour lemon juice, neutralized it with soda bicarb. Then came the reading and writing of letters. Hymns from the Ashram prayer book would be translated into English for the benefit of Marybeth. At four the jail inmates would spot Gandhiji with the Takli a thing of his making out of a broken tile and a bamboo stick-walking in the sun and pulling the milk-white yarn.
     At the stroke of five would begin their evening meal-curds, dates and some vegetables. Again the goats would come and the kids wagging their wee little tails. Meals over, Kakasaheb washed the utensils while Gandhiji would prepare the dates for the next day by soaking them in water. Then the evening walk. The weird shapes of the fat grey clouds were a peculiar attraction for Gandhiji. Sometimes, he would call Kakasaheb hurriedly to see some unusual beauty of the skies.
    Note: Acharya Kakasaheb Kalelkar was an educationist and journalist. He was a member of the Sabarmati Ashram and played an active role in establishing the Gujarat Vidyapith at Ahmedabad. In 1930, he was Gandhiji's only companion in the Yeravda Jail, Poona. Kaka Kalelkar remembers the Jail Superintendent telling Gandhiji that he had represented to the authorities that one hundred and fifty rupees a month was too little for an illustrious 'guest' of the government like him. Gandhiji had smiled and said, "But you're not going to get the money from England, you are going to spend it out of the pockets of my own people...... I don't want you to spend more than thirty five rupees on me. The money that you spend is my country's money." Once Gandhiji was asked to roll out chapatis as part of his duties in Yeravada Prison. No rolling pin was available. The Jail Warden suggested sarcastically, "Why don't you use a bottle instead." Gandhiji did just that. This was an experiment he had tried out several times at the Phoenix Ashram.
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #22 on: February 01, 2013, 11:27:00 AM »
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  • How a Film Became Something More


     The story of how Mahatma Gandhi has come to be remembered in the West today I think is an interesting and inspiring one. Stephen Murphy from Australia, who is the co-ordinator, International Gandhian Movement, tells you a little about it here: You know that Gandhi's life was ended in 1948, but as the years passed, people's memories of him began to dim. This happened only slowly, for the Mahatma had been as famous in the West as in India, and had made a deep impact. So much had been written about him in newspapers and books published in Western countries for many years. In fact, his death led to the publishing of many new biographies. One of these became a very popular book--The life of Mahatma Gandhi by an American, Louis Fischer, which was published in 1951. But slowly, memories of the small, bespectacled old man did fade. As this was occurring, something happened which would one day make Gandhi live again for a whole new generation. Back in 1962, a Gujarati man living in Britain, Motilal Kothari, telephoned the British actor and film producer, Richard Attenborough. He wanted to speak to Mr. Attenborough urgently about making a motion picture on Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Attenborough agreed to meet his mysterious caller a couple of days later. At that meeting Mr. Kothari asked Mr. Attenborough to read Fischer's biography.

    Mr. Kothari knew Louis Fischer personally. Mr. Attenborough said he would be delighted to read the book. He said doing so would help him decide whether he felt able to make the film. Mr. Attenborough did read the book, and says, "I must admit to being totally enthralled from the word go." Although aware of the scale of the project, he decided he did want to make a film about Gandhi. Some great tasks that people set themselves take many years to accomplish. About 20 years were to pass before Mr. Attenborough could show his film "Gandhi" to the world. There was delay and problem after problem. Finally, in late 1980 production of the film began.

    It was this beautiful motion picture which, about 35 years after Gandhi's death, introduced "the little brown man in a loin cloth" to a new generation in the West. The film won no fewer than eight Academy Awards in 1982 and was seen by millions upon millions of people in North America, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. I am sure you have seen the film as well. Being so successful, the film had a huge impact. As had occurred during many dramatic periods in Gandhi's life, the impact led to a new wave of books. New editions of his autobiography, of other previously published books and many new titles, appeared during the 1980s. Through the film and books, the present generation of social reform activists became influenced by Gandhi as well. So strong was the interest that had been sparked by the film, several new organisations were formed in the West to promote awareness of Gandhi's life and message. In fact, Mr. Attenborough, who has become Sir Richard Attenborough, is the President of a new British organisation, The Gandhi Foundation, in London.
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #23 on: February 09, 2013, 04:19:30 PM »
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  • Gandhi: Beyond India
    But even before this, in fact in his own life time, Gandhi had made an impact in other countries. The outbreak of the First World War led peace activists to openly and resolutely oppose war and war efforts. A group of people known as "Conscientious Objectors" objected to a war conducted by his or her nation, on grounds of principles. They objected to "Conscription" or compulsory enlistment in the army as the most extreme form of coercion.

    Out of the war came groups such as International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, War Resisters' League and Quaker Service Groups - all of which tried to carry forward the idea of peace in political and international life. The leaders were committed to peace and social justice and objected to war and violence as tools of injustice. These movements received powerful impetus from Gandhiji and his followers who, from 1919 challenged British rule with innovative forms of action, without violence, programmes for economic self sufficiency and mass civil disobedience.

    Later, African leaders fighting against colonial rulers were inspired by Gandhiji - Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, also known as Gandhi of Ghana, used his techniques of nonviolent satyagraha. Gandhiji's views on rural development and decentralization inspired the concept of Ujaama villages in Tanzania, introduced by Dr Julius Nyrere. Dr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia too, was deeply influenced by Gandhi's concept of Satyagraha, and nonviolent resistance. Dr Nelson Mandela is a living example of one who was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. In the USA, even though slavery was abolished in 1861, Jim Crow laws and segregation had reduced negroes to second class citizens. By 1930s, Gandhian techniques had begun to attract negro ministers involved in the struggle for racial equality and justice. Gandhi had predicted: "It may be through negroes that the unadulterated message of nonviolence will be delivered to the world." It was the dynamic personality of Martin Luther King (about whom we shall tell you more in forthcoming pages) that gave it practical shape in the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s.

    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #24 on: March 13, 2013, 08:55:38 AM »
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  • Gandhi's Life-Saving Medicine
    [One of our young readers, 16-year old P. Anand of Coimbatore had been inspired by the Gandhi Column appearing in "The Young World" (Hindu), to write this article.]
    Apart from keeping the freedom struggle alive Gandhiji also kept his inimitable sense of humour  alive by breathing fresh air into it now and then. In fact he himself had said on one occasion, "If it was not for my sense of humour, I would have died long back." Here are few examples of his unique ability. A reporter asked Gandhiji, "Why do you always choose to travel by third class in a train." He replied "Simply, because there is no fourth class as yet."
    When Gandhiji was going to attend the Round Table Conference in England, a newsman asked, "Mr. Gandhi do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King." Gandhiji said, "Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us." Once again, a reporter asked Gandhiji, "Is it true that one's food habits affect one's character. For example, you drink only goat's milk. Does it affect your character? Gandhiji retorted, "My dear young man, just now I had a glass of goat's milk. Now I feel an itching sensation at my temples. May be horns are about to emerge. So pack off and run for your safety."Speaking of goat's milk, Gandhiji, even while travelling always preferred to have goat's milk. Now, cow's milk and buffalo's milk is easily available at railway stations. But the milk of a goat was quite an uncommon commodity. Obviously Gandhi's infectious sense of humour had rubbed off on people who were close to him. Mrs. Sarojini Naidu remarked on this goat's milk habit of Bapu by saying, "It is becoming a costly affair to keep Gandhiji in poor conditions."
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 01:47:47 PM »
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  • Understanding the Mechanics of Life with Gandhi

     
    In our hi-tech, state-of-the-art age, one often tends to question Gandhiji's views on industrialization and use of machinery and dismiss him as an eccentric faddist. But let us see what he had to say on the subject and then pass our judgement.
    Once, during an interview on this very theme, Bapu pointed to his spinning wheel and said, "It is quite wrong to say I don't believe in machinery. This spinning wheel is a beautiful piece of machinery." But he judged all machines and in fact he judged every form of material progress by what it contributed or took away from life.
    Ahmedabad, the city of mills, was the place where Gandhi chose to make his ashram. The ashram was a sort of a collection of huts built very simply and without any sense of architectural design or anything like that; and yet, there were so many trees around, so many fruit trees, so many flowers, that the place looked extraordinarily beautiful. And it was on a very high river bank. If the factories of Ahmedabad had a disturbing influence on the lives of the people then the ashram provided them with a natural instinctive beauty. The hum of his spinning wheel on one side of the river, was so different from the dark, gaunt mills on the other. There was a great contrast between the industrial life in India which the English brought into the country, and the very simple rural life, which Gandhi wanted his people to live.
    I want simple machines, not big monsters which nobody can possess," said Gandhi. "My ideal is a machine which anybody can have. With me man comes first. What is good for man is good for Gandhiji; what is not good for man is not good for Gandhi. But how is one to judge as to what is good and what is not?"
    In the course of a discussion with late G. Ramchandran, Gandhiji was asked many questions on his views about machinery and industrialization. One such question was "When you exclude the sewing machine, you will have to make exceptions of the bicycle, the motor car etc.?" "No, I don't," said Bapu, "because they do not satisfy any of the primary wants of man, for it is not the primary need of man to travel with the rapidity of a motor car. The needle on the other hand, happens to be an important thing in life - a primary need."
    The Mahatma's classic answer is even now taken as an original approach of Gandhiji for eliminating poverty. A question related to this was put forth to him, "Are you against machinery as such?" Replied the Mahatma, "How can I be against machinery? This body itself is a most delicate machine," and proceeded, "What I object to, is the 'craze' for machinery, not machinery as such. The craze is for what they call labour saving machinery. Men go on 'saving labour' till thousands are without work and thrown on the open streets to die of hunger. The force behind it all is not the feeling or intention of doing good to others by saving them from doing work, but greed. I am a determined enemy of all machinery that is designed for exploitation of people."
    Gandhi's idea was not to finish off all machinery but to keep a control on its use instead of abusing it. Further it was man, and not the machine, that should be the master and should dictate the terms. Besides, for him, human labour was all important. Bapu says that he would welcome an improved form of a plough. "But if by any chance one man could plough up by some mechanical invention of his, the whole of the land of India and control all the agricultural produce and if millions had no other jobs, then they would starve, and being idle, they would become dunces." Did this mean that he opposed all the great inventions? Gandhiji's response was, "I would prize every invention of science made for the benefit of all. There is a difference between one invention and another. I should not care fur poisonous gases capable of killing masses of men at a time. I also have no consideration for machinery which is meant either to enrich a few at the expense of the many, or without reason to displace the labour of the people. The machine should not be allowed to cripple the limbs of man."
    The Romance Behind the Singer Sewing Machine
    Take the case of the Singer Sewing Machine. It is one of the few useful things ever invented and there is a romance about the device itself. Singer saw his wife labouring over the tedious process of sewing and seaming with her own hands and simply out of his love for her he devised the sewing machine, in order to save her from unnecessary labour. He however, saved not only her labour but also the labour of everyone who could purchase a sewing machine.


    M.K.Gandhi
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Gandhi's Inspiring Short Stories
    « Reply #26 on: April 06, 2013, 12:35:57 PM »
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  • The Lokmanya and the Mahatma
    As we pay homage to Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak on his 75th death anniversary, it would be an apt occasion to recall how, and at what point, the paths of these two colossal figures of the national movement - Tilak and Gandhi - crossed each other.

    It was the night of 31st July, 1920. At the Sardargriha in Bombay, the Lokmanya's illness had taken a serious turn and all the prominent doctors of Bombay had gathered around his bed in an effort to save him, knowing full well that these were practically his last moments. That night he breathed his last.

    On hearing the news, Bapu was lost in serious thought. He spent the whole night sitting on his bed, thinking. A lamp was burning by his side. He remained with his eyes fixed on it. Mahadevbhai awoke from his sleep in the latter part of the night and saw Bapu sitting up. He went to Bapu, who spoke, almost involuntarily: "To whom shall I go for advice now in moments of difficulty? And when the time comes to seek help from the whole of Maharashtra to whom shall I turn?" He continued, "I have been working for Swaraj all along, but I have avoided uttering that word. But now it devolves upon me to keep Lokmanya's slogan alive and effective. It must not be allowed to sink into silence. The banner of Swaraj which this brave warrior raised must not be lowered for a moment."

    In 1916 when the Lokmanya returned from deportation at Mandalay, he decided to rejoin the Congress. Gandhiji had not yet entered the political arena, nor had he become a Mahatma. At that time the Lokmanya was a much respected and popular leader. The masses reposed immense faith in him.

    The Congress Provincial Conference was to meet in Ahmedabad in the same year. In those days this Conference was run by the Moderates. The Reception Committee had sent an invitation to Lokmanya Tilak which he accepted. Some young men wanted to have a procession in his honour but the idea was rejected by the men at the top who argued that if there was a procession for Lokmanya, they must have a procession for other leaders. As a result, a public welcome could not be arranged, and the young men were greatly disappointed. When Gandhiji who was not yet a member of the conference heard that there was going to be no public welcome, for the Lokmanya, he had a leaflet printed with his own signature, and thousands of copies were distributed to the citizens of Ahmedabad. It said, "We are being honoured by the visit of such a great leader as Lokmanya, so I am going to the station to receive him. It is the duty of the citizens of Ahmedabad to be present there to welcome him. The effect of the leaflet was magical. Tremendous crowds at the station and on the roads ensured that the Lokmanya received a magnificent welcome.

    Tilak was born in 1856. He was thirteen years senior to Gandhiji. Their goal was the same - namely, attainment of Swaraj and resurgence of India as a great nation. It was only after Gandhiji finally entered Indian politics and public affairs in 1915 that Tilak and Gandhi became contemporaries in the real sense of the term, although they remained that way only for a brief period.

    At the instance of friends, a meeting had been arranged between him and Bapu, during which they were left alone. After the meeting the Lokmanya remarked to a friend Gangadhar Rao, "This man is not one of us. He follows a different path altogether but he is true in every sense of the term. No harm can ever come to Bharat through him. We must be careful to avoid any conflict with him-on the contrary we must help him whenever we can."

    It was an open secret that they differed and both of them expressed this fact without any reserve. But their real greatness lay in not allowing the conflict of ideas to lead to a split between them. Each realised the importance of joint efforts for the common goal. Despite their differences they held each other in high esteem. Gandhiji referred to him as Tilak Maharaj. Both drew their inspiration from Indian culture and the spiritual basis of Indian life.

    It was Tilak who had given us the dream of Swaraj. Gandhiji worked and lived to see that dream fulfilled. In fact Gandhiji himself had once remarked, "If there is any man who meditates night and day, with untiring fervour, on how to achieve freedom for Hind, it is he... I am perfectly sure that, if Lokmanya is not asleep at this moment, he must be thinking of something or the other in connection with Swaraj; or he must be with someone. His loyalty to the ideal of Swaraj is something wonderful."

    Adapted from stray Glimpses of Bapu by Kaka kalelkar

     
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
    http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lOgd1uS-wX0/TCOlFNMxIBI/AAAAAAAAE88/GpxUgxnwioE/why_fear_when_i_am_here.jpg

     


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