Mahatma Gandhiji’s greatest achievement was to make the people believe that they can shape the destiny of the nation without bombs and guns, opined former education minister Prof B K Chandrashekhar.
He was delivering the inaugural address of the national seminar on ‘Debating Gandhi’, organized jointly by Nehru Chinthana Kendra, Mangalore University and St Aloysius College, Mangaluru, to commemorate 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi at St Aloysius College on Wednesday.
Prof B K Chandrashekhar further stated that in the present days, we witness a particular group of people with uncommon ideas, propagating their versions on polity which are completely against Gandhian values.
The subscribers of this ideology do not believe that dissent is part of a healthy democracy. As a result, there is a serious crisis in the democratic system, he said. “But, we have to remember that Gandhiji believed and propagated the idea of non-violent dissent through civil disobedience movement and Dandi march,” he added.
At the same time, the Father of the Nation batted for universal brotherhood and social harmony in India. Gandhiji achieved the mobilization of social, linguistic and communal harmony during the freedom struggle, he stated further.
Lamenting that there is a lack of enthusiasm for questioning, the former minister said this is mainly the reason that the school curriculum has not been encouraging students to think.
“There is a need for proper reasoning involving healthy questioning to ensure that the public discourses on serious issues such as democratic rights do not turn out to be cynical,” said Prof Chandrashekhar.
He also observed that there is a bankruptcy of creative ideas among political parties.
St Aloysius Institutions Rector Fr Dionysius Vaz presided over the programme and said that during the current time of democratic regression, there is a need to make people’s opinion counted, but in a sensible way.
St Aloysius College Principal Fr Pravin Martis said that Gandhiji and his values become relevant during the time of fear in a democratic system. The present generation needs to introspect about the ideologies they subscribe to, he added.
Nehru Chinthana Kendra Director Prof Rajaram Tholpadi was present.