Salil Saroj


“Certain men turn the world upside down, and history changes bits direction, to an extent, to achieve balance in favour of survival of human beings, for a time, until the death wise possesses whole people’s, led by ambitious leaders upset the till, while our globe seemingly goes round but is really threatened with imbalances and is nearly drowned in chaos, portending the end of the world itself….. The men who change the main trend of an age towards good are archetypal men. In our century, one such man among few others in the world, like Tolstoy, Lenin, and Tagore, was Gandhi”. I call these men world changers:-Mulk Raj Anand.


The twin cardinal principles of Gandhi’s thought are truth and non-violence. It should be remembered that the English word “Truth” is an imperfect translation of the Sanskrit “Satya” and “non-violence “an even more imperfect translation of “ahimsa”. Derived from “ sat” that which exists- “ Satya” contains a dimension of meaning not usually associated by English speakers with the word “ truth”.

There are other variations, two, which we need not go into here. For Gandhi, truth is the relative truth of the truthfulness in word and deed, and the absolute truth- the ultimate reality. This ultimate truth is God (as God is also truth) and morality- and the moral laws and code-its basis. Ahimsa, for from meaning mere peacefulness or the absence of overt violence, is understood by Gandhi to denote achieve love- the pole opposite of violence, or “Himsa”, in every sense. The ultimate station Gandhi assigns non-violence stems from two points. First, if according to the divine reality all life is one, then all violence committed towards another is violence towards oneself, towards the collective, whose self, and thus “ self-destructive and counter to the universal law of life, which is love, second, Gandhi believed that ahimsa is the most powerful force in existence had ‘Himsa’ been superior to ‘ahimsa’, humankind long ago have succeeded in destroying itself. The human race certainly could not have progressed as far as it has, even if universal justice remains far off the horizon. From both viewpoints, non -violence or love is regarded as the highest law of humankind. Gandhian  Philosophy is  not only simultaneously political, moral, and religious, it is also traditional and modern, simple and complex . It embodies numerous Western influences to which Gandhian was exposed, but being rooted is ancient Indian culture and harnessing eternal and universal moral and religious principles, there is much in it, is not at all new. This is why Gandhi could say “I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as hills’. Gandhi is concerned even more with the spirit than with the form. If the spirit is consistent with truth and non -violent form will automatically result. Despite its anti-westernism; many hold its outlook to be ultra- modern, in fact ahead of its time, even far ahead. Perhaps the philosophy is best seen as a harmonious blend of the traditional and modern. The multifaceted nature of Gandhi’s thought can also easily lead to the view that it is extremely complex. Perhaps, in one sense it is. “The four words, truth, non-violence, Sarvodaya and Satyagraha and their significance constitute Gandhi and his teaching.”

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I will surely acquire the capacity to do it, Even if I may not have it at the beginning.”


“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

We are at crossroads of history. Learning lessons from the past, we have to adopt innovative approaches for ushering in social change. We have to grow beyond the sectarian considerations of caste and religion and strengthen the secular ramparts we guard. It is time to turn the tide in favour of idealism, large heartedness and collective effort for national reconstruction. As partisan approach in the bane of nation’s progress and community frenzy in the nature of caste, religion leads to social and political disintegration, it is high time that we learn lessons from the past and follow the path of Gandhi.

The attainments of rights of man, which we have defined as fundamental human rights in our constitution were to promote not only liberty and equality for fraternity in our society which had been divided through caste system by our ancestors and further sub divided by our rulers and into tribes, religions and classes. The Gandhian sentiment of “Love one another “ which was to be the undertone of the new dissension was forgotten. We at home might remind ourselves that throughout his political life. Gandhi persisted in preaching non-violence, fasted several times against the division of religion by the ruling power in pursuit of their policy of Divide et imperia: and risked his life by going into the thick notes led by the Muslims and Hindu communalists.

The Gandhian constructive programme was illustrative, and with the changing times and situations, new programmes, new ideas and innovative approaches will have to be incorporated to fulfil the aims and path to follow. The details have to be worked out by each generation, keeping in view the vicissitudes of time and circumstances. Gandhi was never dogmatic and he was ever changing in his experiments with truth.

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in limitation.”

” He who is afraid of people’s censure, will never be able to do anything worthwhile while highlighting some of the neglected dimensions of human existence, Gandhi’s vision blinded to him to several others. He either ignored or took a dim view of the intellectual, scientific, aesthetic, sensuous, and other aspects of life. He rarely saw a film, read a book of poetry, visited an art gallery, watched a game, or took any interest in history, archaeology, modern science, wildlife, unspoilt nature and India’s natural beauty. This was not because he was intellectually in curious, for he showed remarkable experiment vitality in the matter the most interested him, but because his moralistic vision prevented him from seeing the significance of these and other activities. For Gandhi the care of the soul was a full-time fob requiring undivided attention, and the arts and science were relevant only to the extent that they promoted the supreme goal. Such as a single minded view of life naturally generated enormous energy and enabled him to explore moral and spiritual life in great depth and without distraction, but it also led both to the devaluation of other human pursuits and forms of excellence and the lack of an analytical and wider perspective on the nature and relative significance of the moral and spiritual life itself.

His theory of human nature could any explain savagery as a temporary loss of humanity capable of being sent night by an appropriate surgery of the soul. When he was confronted with the depths and extent of inter-communal brutality, he felt morally discontented and could not make sense of it. As we saw, he fought an extraordinary courageous battle against it, but his victories   were temporary, lacked in situational permanence, and remained heavily dependent on his increasingly deciding charisma and diminishing good will of his morally overstretched countrymen.

As Gandhi grew older, his views began to change. He saw that the state could be an instrument of social justice and equality, and that it needed the armed forces. And he also saw that violence was sometimes not only practically unavoidable but also moral, and needed to be judiciary combined with non-violence in a balanced theory of social change. Gandhi’s impoverished view of human life prevented him from appreciating the …………. Principles and internal dialects of modern civilization. His critique of it made many telling points and exposed its racist, imperialist, violent and irrational underside, but it also missed out and distorted a good deal. Gandhi was too realistic not to see this and kept modifying his views. But his heart hankered offer the simplicity of rural life and remained in tension with his head.


What is the relevance of Gandhi in this all-pervading materialistic, agnostic and consumerist culture? It is precisely these three tendencies. Gandhi fought all his life. It is a fact that repudiation of one philosophy at a given time does not mean death or irrelevance of it. The men and women who moved the world were mostly either crucified, burnt alive, or were branded heretic or excommunicated still independent ensuing and pursuit of truth and to express themselves against injustice were continued  in all ages, probably with added vigor.

“An eye for eye will make the entire world blind “.

The entire world is passing through the phase of suspicion, hegemony and intolerance. The Gandhian method of Satyagraha applied by many of the civil societies proved that it can still fight against the unruly and amoralistic governance. The economy has gone to nadir and we in retrogrades are trying to being up the cottage industry and Gram Udyog to make the development programme more inclusive. His views on education- “ Essence of education lies in drawing out the very best that is in you “ has compelled the authority in power to design the educational framework in such a holistic manner that every being is given ample opportunity to grow in confidence and make the best use of his prismatic talent and unearthed knowledge.

“Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong”. Comprehending the apprehension of lurking fear and eminent defeat of all the archaic and irreversible policies, the government all over the world is now adopting a sustainable, people’s choice based policies and making the democracy for the sake only from of government more participative and vocal.

Citizens are the real jewel of any nation and nightly quoted the ex-president of the USA; Roosevelt:-

“Don’t ask what the country has done for you; rather ask what you have done for the country”.

Imbibing the protestant ethic and mission any zeal of putting the nation ahead of all other amenities with religious unshakable will, the countrymen can steer the nation on the path of universal success.

“ Mass disciple is an essential condition for a people “ and this maxim was well elucidate the relevance of Gandhian philosophy in contemporary of Gandhian philosophy in contemporary world.

Following operations of methods, fearlessness and commitment to the basic ideas of Gandhi, we have to plan our programme and   chalk out strategies which are relevant to our times. It is the people’s initiative and people’s power and social action that would strengthen democracy and Gandhism.

“Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye jay peer parayee jaaney ray,

Par dukhey upkar karey teeyey, man abhimaan na anney eay”

-Narsi Mehta. (An idea human being feels and understands the pain of others, does good to others, especially to those who are in misery, and does not let pride enter his mind,)

Everything in nature can come in the realm of questions, if your attitude is to pacify your appetite of  knowledge by getting answers. To question is one of the many essential conditions of being a human being. A lifeless, an animal or a human turned into a robot can never ask questions. By asking questions, a man can be less intelligent in the eyes of others, but in his eyes, he can never feel ignorant. One can be overcome only by questioning, rooted in itself and then by the evils inherent in society and nation. If every man asks himself 10 minutes before going to bed at night, how many mistakes he has made throughout the day and how those mistakes cannot be repeated again, then over the time one can feel himself being transformed into a better man. Those who take us from darkness to light are called Guru = Gu (darkness) + Ru (dispeller) because they teach us to question in a right. In all the great civilizations that have evolved; one quality has remained the same in all of them – that is – culture of debate, interpretation and questioning. Plato , Aristotle, Socrates in Rome, Confucius in China, Gautama Buddha, Paramhansa, Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi in India encouraged the culture of the questioning and brought these nations into the league of the great nation. A loin-clothed and simple Mahatma questioned a strong colonialist country about its wrong governance and as a result, today the country of that Mahatma stands in the line of leading nations in every field. And in the country where the art of questioning was suppressed, there were dictators like Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Stalin who shook the whole world with their cruel policies, which were created by suppressing the questioning prowess of the people there. At home, if a child is afraid of his elders or he fears his teachers in school or hesitates to ask questions about the political system in the country, then he is guilty of leading society and nation along with him to corrosiveness. It is an intellectual journey to question and then to question again the duality that arose from the question. Only when you question, you will be able to know your rights, you will be able to force those who have suppressed your rights to give the rights. Jayaprakash Narayan in India , Martin Luther King of America , Nelson Mandela of Africa and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh have uprooted the dictators by asking questions constantly on their policies.

In every republic and likewise in our country, Parliament has been arranged to ask the questions of the people, who teach us how and what kind of questions can be asked and formulated. If we stop asking questions, then the pace of the present will stop and the future will go backward towards the past. Whoever asks the question is at least performing the duty of being an ideological human being, responsible citizen and intellectual social animal. So, make sure to ask questions, question everyone, question everything and ask questions under any circumstances. Questioning one day will definitely make you aware and courageous person. Questioning is not a concern of everyone, and that too difficult questions. But if you do not question, then every chance of your submissiveness will become stronger. So it is better to keep asking questions and do not be afraid of who is being asked this question. Feared should be to the one who is afraid of the question or the enemy of the question. You will do good not only for yourself but also for the whole country by asking questions. “Keep asking questions and keep nurturing the country.”  

Indian Constitution is one of the unique Constitutions of the world which takes care of each and every section of the society. The framers of Constitution were aware of the importance of human dignity and worthiness and therefore they incorporated the word human dignity in the preamble of the Constitution of India. The most important feature of the Constitution is the fundamental rights. The framers of Constitution borrowed it from USA and added a separate chapter in Part III of the Constitution. The Constitution provided various rights i.e. right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, right to cultural and education, right to constitutional remedy, which talks about most sacred, inalienable, natural and inherent rights. Fundamental rights are guaranteed by the Constitution to all people without any discrimination. The provision of fundamental rights preserve and protects the human dignity. The Judiciary has also emphasized dignity as a fundamental right in number of cases. In Naz Foundation v. Government of NCT and others, Court observed that, “the Constitutional protection of human dignity requires us to acknowledge the value and worth of all individuals as members of our society”. All citizens of India will live and enjoy peaceful, dignified life without any disturbances.

Justice Rang Nath Mishra rightly pointed out in Paramanda Katara v. Union of India that ‘preservation of life is of most importance, because if one’s life is lost, the status qunte ante cannot be restored as resurrection is beyond the capacity of man’. Right to life is inalienable basic right of man. It is most important, human, fundamental, inalienable, transcendental rights. Since Maneka Gandhi’s case 6 the Supreme Court interpreted article 21of Constitution has ushered a new era of expansion of the horizons of right to life. Traditionally right to life was called as natural right of the people. Right to life is one of the important fundamental rights of the citizen of India and aliens of India. It is protected by the Constitution of India. So Right to life, henceforth must include Right to Live with Human Dignity, Right against sexual harassment at workplaces, Right to clean environment, Right to know or Right to be informed, Right of prisoners, Right against illegal detention, Right to legal aid, Right to speedy trial, Right to compensation, Disclosure of dreadful diseases, Right to Privacy, Right to die with Dignity, Right to choose a life partner and others.

After Second World War International community concentrated on Human dignity as a core element for protection of human beings. The conceptual dimensions of human dignity were established in 1948 as the foundational concept of the UDHR. The preamble of UDHR says, ‘where as recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’. Human dignity mentioned at the outset of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, which is the most important document in the world. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides the preliminary work out for protecting and development of right to life with human dignity in the various constitutional laws of various countries in the world. Every person has inalienable right to live with dignified life without discrimination. They are entitled to claim equal respect from the state as well as from other persons. It is one of primary duties of each state to protect fundamental rights to the human dignity and implement welfare schemes in order to improve the dignified life of the citizens.

Under right to life many more rights are there. It included because of Supreme Court interpretation. It reveals that, the interpretation made by the Supreme Court for widening the scope and ambit of Article 21 has resulted a jurisprudence of human right. It is not out place to mention that this jurisprudence is now part and parcel of human dignity. All this happened because of liberal attitude and approach of Supreme Court. The court has interpreted in such a way that the right to life includes a dignified life in the case of Oliga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation and others and Corlie Mullin v. Administrator and Union Territory of Delhi.

At present there is no precise definition of human dignity. The term human dignity protected the civil, political, religious and social rights of individual. “Human dignity means a state of worthy of honour, respect, equal status and it is inherent connected mentally with human life irrespective of caste, creed, sex, colour, status, of the person”. Human dignity is attached with the family, caste, community and society. Every society having its own norms with pride of dignity, they maintain their dignity, respect and status as per customary practices. Being a human it should treat equal in dignity irrespective of gender. Human dignity is the foundational concept of the worldwide human rights system of Government. The importance of human dignity is laid in The UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other several international covenants as also in the Constitution of India, which mentions ‘dignity of the individual’ as a most important value in its Preamble. Chief Justice of India, J. S. Verma absolutely expressed views about right to life with human dignity, as “the right to life is a recognised as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Justice Krishna Iyer has stated that, Article 21 is characterised as protective of life and liberty and corresponds to the Magna Carta case. The importance of right to life has been given by Justice Krishna Iyer. Right to life does not mean that mere existence of life but it must be a dignified quality life. In case of Kharah Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh apex court held that the expression ‘Life’ was not limited to bodily restraint or confinement to prison only but something more than mere animal existence. Under the Article 21 of Constitution is a right of a person to be free from any restriction or encroachment where directly or indirectly imposed on individual. The Supreme Court emphasized on point that, the right to life under Article 21 must be guarantee to Indian citizen and aliens something beyond just the life of an animal to include the needs of a human being. In case of P. Rathinam v. Union of India, that the term Life has been defined as ‘the right to live with human dignity and the same does not connote continued drudgery, it takes within its fold some of the graces of civilization which makes life worth living and that the widened concept of life would mean the tradition, culture and heritage of the concerned’.