Remembering Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings

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Phoenix Durban

Ela Gandhi, a peace activist and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi

Although Mahatma Gandhi may be gone, his teachings still live on. Many of Gandhi’s teachings are still of great relevance today, in a society overwhelmed with anger and violence.
Today’s society has been so saturated in anger and violence that it has escalated and resulted in the damage of property, loss of lives and violent protests.
Gandhi’s teachings on nonviolence are now more than ever before, relevant and in need, due to the increased acts of violence in our society.
Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings on nonviolence have proven that nonviolent protests can indeed result in positive outcomes.
Speaking to the Phoenix Sun Newspaper, Ela Gandhi a peace activist and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi said that although nonviolent protests may often not have immediate outcomes, they may require a lot more of endurance.
These violent protests at the end demonstrate that violence is not an ultimate resort.
“Many great leaders such as Kenneth Kaunda, Martin Luther King, even Che Guevara and many others have spoken on the power of nonviolence and made evident the results thereof,” she said.
She explained that once citizens learn nonviolent behaviour and unlearn violence most problems in society will be dissolved.
ALSO READ: Keeping Gandhi’s legacy alive

“Domestic violence in homes and communities will be reduced drastically because people will see violence for what it is. We live in a time where violence is seen as a good and normal way to solve problems. It is not too late to unlearn that and learn how to control anger and channel it into constructive energy,” she added.
On her recent visit to Singapore, Ela witnessed tremendous progress made by the country.
The aim of the Singapore Country was to bring about equity among its citizens. “The citizens of the country succeeded because everyone had one common goal and no one was looking at how they can enrich themselves,” she told journalists.
What she saw is what the great Gandhi taught, that we all can use our hands to build our own sustainable economy.
“Developing skills that promote self-reliance can lead to economic sustainability. Developing skills will encourage other citizens to self-introspect and begin to look at ways in which each of us can use,” she added.
Expounding on other Mahatma Gandi teachings, she expressed how Colonial legacy has made many dislike their language.
“In my own language, I also have words that make me proud of my culture and which teaches me some of the profound philosophies that are entrenched in my culture. The word dharma, for instance, denotes so much more than duty, the word comprises of morality, ethics, spirituality and of activity. It cannot be translated into one word,” she continued.
In his early days after returning from South Africa to India, Gandhi spoke in Hindi at a very highly respected University, in which many prominent people booed at him, for not speaking English but he stood his ground and made his point about respecting one another’s for the mother tongue.
“I would like to urge the community of KwaZulu-Natal to begin to learn isiZulu as well as their own language. Learning isiZulu will eliminate many misunderstandings. Let us campaign for this to happen. If we can influence everyone in this Province to speak fluent isiZulu during this 150th birth anniversary year of Gandhi then we can learn to be nonviolent and contribute to promoting his legacy,” she concluded.

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