Gandhi’s nationalism based on humanism: Senthil

S Sasikanth Senthil, former deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada paying floral tribute to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Sri Brahma Baidarkala Garodi in Mangaluru during the inauguration of ‘Gandhi 150 Chintana Yatre’, on Wednesday.

S Sasikanth Senthil, former deputy commissioner who recently resigned from Indian Administrative Services (IAS), said Gandhi’s idea of nationalism believes in non-violence and humanism.

Speaking on Gandhi and nationalism at ‘Gandhi 150 Chintana Yatre’ organised to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by various like-minded organisations, on Wednesday, he said nationalism survives on diversity and empathy, and helping each one get enriched.

Stating that nationalism is a bonding force and not divisive, Senthil said it is also love for humankind. Gandhi is more relevant in today’s time than any other time. The nationalism that Gandhi believed will be the guiding light for all of us in the future.

“A nation is a cultural and psychological concept where people have a sense of unity. The state is a political concept which has sovereignty, population, government and territory in it. There are nations that are divided into states and there are states with many nations within,” he reminded.

“Gandhi believed in assimilation of people and was anti-modern as he had his own views on how a country should be. He called off the non-cooperation movement after the ‘Chauri Chura’ incident in 1922. He also did not endorse nationalism based on violence. He had believed in the virtues of truth and non-violence,” said the former deputy commissioner.

“I want people to follow the principles of Gandhi that believed in loving the oppressor. The Dandi March of 1930 demonstrated the might of Indians to the British and united the country for a cause. It also showcased the bravery of Gandhi, which, in turn, laid the path for the freedom of the country,” Senthil pointed out.

'In a day I became anti-national'

Senthil, who commented on the reaction to his resignation, said, “I was called an anti-national after having served as a public servant for 10 years. It was a conditioned response by a system at a time when I was sensing what was happening.”

“Nationalism is not showcasing the muscle. It is standing up for the underprivileged and protecting the diversity of land. These are testing times. We are witness to a time when many of us are asked to prove our nationalism through innovative methods. Sometimes you are asked to say a slogan in the praise of Bharath Matha, on which one needs to introspect,” he stressed.

Journalist Jagadish Koppa delivered a talk on ‘Bapu: A Guiding Force For Mankind’.

Chintana Yatre

Chintana Yatre was inaugurated by offering special puja at the Mahatma Gandhi Gudi, established at Sri Brahma Baidarkala Garodi in 1948. The logo of ‘Gandhi 150 Chintana Yatre’ was unveiled on the occasion.

The Yatre programmes will continue until January 30.


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