Gandhian thoughts for young citizens

H S Doreswamy was born on April 10, 1918.

Freedom fighter H S Doreswamy has turned 100. Metrolife asked him about the concerns of the young. 

Are Gandhi’s ideas relevant in today’s world?

Gandhi is relevant for all the time. He talks about cleanliness in public life. Parties are hoisting candidates on people, we have no choice. My vote is being taken forcibly. Because I have no choice, I have to elect one of them. Fifty-years ago, there were real representatives, people who toiled for people. Only nasty things are going on right now.

As one who has seen so much, what is your advice to young people?

They are missing a lot because of the changed family structure. Once upon a time, there was a tradition of joint families. Everyone lived together. Even with 15 to 30 people living under one roof, they were amicable. But today, most tend to live separately. Families have become smaller and the practice of sharing one’s wealth is dying. 

What is your advice for new voters?

Before exercising their right to vote, they should understand so-called leaders are betraying us. Voting is a weapon and they should use it wisely. It is important to choose an MLA who has done something in the public’s interest. A voter should examine all this. 

Many young people believe the country won’t improve. They want to move out...

No, no. Not everyone can expect to leave the country. We may be able to talk about it every now and then, but we will be here and we will suffer. The only thing that will change this attitude is for more people to be educated. There is no elementary knowledge of politics and voters are being ignored. 

What do you think about trends in education and the emphasis on MBA courses?

Most don’t do science because finding jobs is difficult. BCom seems the best option. So everyone goes for the same course and once it is saturated, they realise that it is no good. So you need diversity in the education system. For every course, they should limit the number of students, otherwise, you are just encouraging unemployment. You need to know how many engineers, doctors and accountants are needed in this world, and how many teachers you need. Most importantly, encourage those who are genuinely interested. You should study because you want to use your skills to run an honest business. When someone comes with you with a false account, you need to tell them that you cannot audit it. Just because he pays you doesn’t mean that you have to become his slave. That’s why many auditors are going to jail these days.

What kind of battles do you think young people should fight for?

They should give up greed. Don’t deceive the government or the community. They have to be honest. Enjoy whatever you are entitled to and don’t stoop to illegal methods of making money. You are becoming anti-social if you do that. And as human beings, you should believe that you are here to serve. No matter which profession you are in, don’t exploit the others. If everyone is after making quick money, we have no hope. Fight to stop that so that the society will become clean and we can live happily.

What do you think about the Bengaluru of today?

It’s bad. As a matter of fact, I was telling the chief minister that every citizen should be given a free gas mask. There are so many vehicles on the road our health is at stake. Is this what you call development? You dig everywhere to show that you are doing something but you don’t care about the common man.

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