TOPIC: General studies 1 and 4; Essay
- Personalities in India’s struggle for independence
- Ethics: Compassion, truthfullness and Humanity
He understood the pain of others: Gandhi, an inspiration
- Mahatama Gandhi’s vision and voice have a rare resonance in numerous hearts around the world because it springs from the timeless humanistic vision of India.
- His experience with truth and his commitment to serve those in need are inspirational.
- Martin Luther King Jr, said, “If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought, and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore him at our own risk.”
Indian world view and Gandhi’s
- The Indian worldview regards the entire world as one large family. The verse from the Ramayana, encapsulates this universal vision: “Only the narrow minded categorise people as “our own” and “others”. For those who have a large heart, the entire world is just a large family.” (Translation)
- A corollary of this view, which follows from the concept of the whole world being seen as one family, is the attitude of empathy, of sharing and caring, a sharp focus on alleviating the agony of fellow human beings.
- Gandhi’s life is an eloquent expression of this attitude and value system. As he himself had said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
India for Humanity
- The vision of service and humanism, and transforming noble thoughts to tangible action, has inspired several generations of world leaders.
- The Government of India has launched “India For Humanity” in order to take the message of Mahatma Gandhi to all parts of the world over the next year.
- It seeks to celebrate the great values of humanism, which Gandhi embodied.
- For this, the government has selected one of the great scientific innovations from India that has transformed, and continues to transform, numerous lives, the Jaipur Foot.
- It is an initiative that provides to the differently-abled persons a sense of freedom and mobility, a sense of dignity and an ability to live life fully.
- Mahatma Gandhi said: “I am endeavouring to see God through service of humanity for I know that God is neither in heaven, nor down below, but in everyone.”
- It is this spirit of service to the entire humanity without any distinction of caste, creed, race or religion which India seek to capture by launching “India For Humanity”.
The Jaipur foot
- Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) is a Jaipur-based non-profit organisation founded by D R Mehta.
- For his extraordinary contribution to humanity, the Jaipur foot, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
- BMVSS is the world’s largest organisation for equipping the differently-abled with artificial limbs, free of charge.
- The Jaipur Foot is lighter than other artificial limbs and has helped thousands lead a life of dignity.
- The first Jaipur Foot camp in the series is being launched in Africa in Malawi.
- It was in Africa that Gandhiji took his first steps towards becoming a Mahatma.
Gandhi; an inspiration
- Mahatma Gandhi’s life, his message and outlook towards humanity is embodied in the hymn: Vasihnava jan to, tene kahiye je peed paraayi jaane re. The 15th century Gujarati bhajan can be translated as “a virtuous man is one who understands the pain of others”.
- Gandhiji was an inspiration to all mankind. He truly believed that cleansing our inner being of all evils is as important as cleansing our countries of colonialism.
- His deep sense of compassion and inclusiveness permeated his outlook on humanity — this included his opponents as well.
- Through his fight against evils of aparthied, discrimination, slavery and colonialism, he sharpened his weapons which were to ultimately liberate not just India but also inspire many other countries to gain independence from colonial rulers.
- The tools he employed to fight oppression and injustice were truth, non-violence and satyagraha.
Humanity, compassion,and non-violence are the virtues which will keep the Gandhi alive forever. He is the practical example of India’s world view i.e. vasudhaiva kutumbakam.
TOPIC: General studies 1 and 2
- History of the world, national movement
- International events affecting India and its interests
The forgotten million: WWI and its impacts on India
- One hundred years after the end of World War I, the immense sacrifice and contributions of well over a million soldiers of undivided India are being incrementally recognised and memorialised the world over.
- In France, the centenary celebrations of Armistice Day on November 11 will include the unveiling of the second overseas national war memorial for Indian soldiers.
- The first such memorial abroad, formalised in 2002, is the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, which is a recognition that more than 130,000 Indian soldiers fought in WWI in Belgium.
- These ceremonial pomp of officialdom is perhaps the most touching symbol of how much ordinary Indian men, mostly-illiterate, enlisting in the colonial government’s Army gave of their lives.
- The British Library in London has received 1,000 pages of war-veteran interview transcripts recorded, which include details of the inhumane treatment, including floggings, denial of home leave, and brazenly racial-discriminatory treatment that 1.5 million men from northern India faced regularly within the allied forces army.
Impact of World War I on India
- The Indian leaders supported British war efforts during World War I. This was because, although the swadeshi movement was underway, the freedom movement was in a beginning stage.
- This was reciprocated by British Government through its August Declaration which stated that it is in favour of responsible government in India and called for increased association of Indians in every branch of administration.
- On the other hand, Revolutionaries utilized WWI to oppose British India. In response, the British India passed Defence of India Act,1915 to curb these revolutionary activities.
- In order to finance its war expenditure, the British imposed higher taxes leading to economic exploitation.
- With the enormous death toll by the end of WWI, the painful lessons were absorbed and the pressure for enlistment of Indians in the World War II effort produced an entirely different outcome — the Quit India movement and the escalation of the freedom movement.
- WWI also influenced the collective psyche of the government of independent India, starting with the tenets of non-alignment that came to embody a core mantra of the country’s foreign policy ethos.
- India’s freedom struggle and the events happened during it, continues to shape the policies and strategies of India on global platform.
- While India remains wary of ‘treaty alliances’ and steers clear of combat involvement in third-party conflicts, it is the third-largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping missions.