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  • Writer's pictureDinesh Shahra

A Real Tribute to our National Gems

On October 2 we pay homage to two of Nation’s great leaders, Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and country’s second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri's lives are exemplary because both came from a very humble background but rose to the pinnacle of human life through their unwavering commitment. They had a grander vision of nation-building beyond selfish ambitions for which they endured many hardships. Their spiritual strength made them maintain clarity and calmness in situations which could easily create panic in ordinary minds.

Gandhiji was a firm believer of service and education and believed that one can transform oneself and society by the right kind of education and service. Gandhiji said, “if India were to govern itself, poverty should be alleviated through service to the villagers. For the cities do not make India, it is the villages. Princes will come and princes will go, empires will come and empires will go, but this India living in her villages will remain just as it is.”

Gandhiji believed that education should focus on imparting knowledge and empowerment and not just a means to earn a livelihood. According to him, education is the realization of the best in our body, soul and spirit. His view on basic education is greatly influenced by his philosophy of satya (truth), ahimsa (non-violence), firm belief in God & dignity of labour which hold value even now.

Shastriji gave the immortal slogan, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965, which continues to inspire every Indian even today. His vision for self-sufficiency in food grains led to sowing the seeds of the Green Revolution, and later in promotion of the White Revolution. The country owes it to him in no small measure that we are self-sufficient in food grains production today. Before appealing to the countrymen to skip one meal a week in the wake of the food grain shortage, he implemented the measure at his house. His appeal had an electrifying impact and many households across the country responded positively to his call.

The present times require every Indian to emulate the gem-like virtues of simplicity, tenacity, & selfless dedication which Gandhiji & Shastriji espoused in their lives. Emulating their ideals and values would be a fitting tribute on their birth anniversary.

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