Friday, October 1, 2010


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or The Mahatma – what does the name mean to the lot of us?

When I was a kid (that was eons ago), the name meant a sense of patriotism, a deep feeling of gratitude while I have cried many-a-tear reading about Gandhi Thatha (grandpa) in history books. We have watched many films on Indian Independence and got to know The Mahatma’s role in it. I have always felt mighty proud that I belong to the same soil as the great man himself.

My grandfather told us many stories of life during the British Raj. He had studied and practised law in those times. My father had gone for an interview with an Englishman. These interactions helped us all understand the concept of Gandhi. 

But what about today’s generation? My kids and those younger to them? Do they know anything – what I mean is – do they understand what MK Gandhi was and still is to our country?

I mean the question literally, without any sarcasm. I remember this incident when my daughter was a baby. I kept on telling her that the pressure cooker was hot and she should not touch it. Vinitha was too curious by nature and kept on reaching for the cooker only to be scolded by me again and again. One moment I looked away and she screamed with pain. She had touched the hot cooker and her little fingers had turned red. With tears in her eyes, she wanted me to cuddle her. That was the first time I understood that you need to experience some things to really understand what it is. She had to touch the cooker to know the meaning of ‘hot’. How many ever times I kept telling her, there was just no use.

In a similar fashion, talking about Gandhiji in times when the country is going global might be tough on GenNext. They might not be able to comprehend the values that the older generation is trying to inculcate in them.

This is where I really appreciate the value of Rajkumar Hirani bringing Gandhigiri to the masses through his blockbuster, Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Even if the younger generation is not quite able to comprehend what Gandhiji did for our country and her independence, the kids will definitely be able to relate to his principles. Jai Ho!

Long live the memory of the Father of our Nation!


  1. beautiful way to reconnect the "GenNext" with the glorious past.

    Lage Raho munna bhai was beautifully made to combine Gandihiji's values & how to make them work too in the real world.

    "Bande main that Dum, Vande Mataram" says it all.

    Thank you Sundari for the beautiful post.

  2. One thing we should remember. Even our generation was absent when Gandhiji was present. But we learnt a lot from the stories of our parents. In the same way, our children can also understand. As you say, today things are seen more global. So instead of presenting Gandhiji as the father of our nation, we can teach the children to appreciate the inner wealth of Gandhiji such as - his courage to look at himself truely - Inner Integrity- which resulted as a great weapon and courage in the outer world. It does need great courage to see our Inner Truth which is nothing but rubbish today. When our children learn to look into themselves, they would be great winners in all their endeavors!

  3. very well written and indeed an excellent take on Gandhi's influence over the citizens of our country, then and now. very interesting. i would say that when we were kids a lot of importance was given to independance day. after the flag hoisting ceremony, there would be a 2 hr program - skit, dance and song by the students on independance stories. and we would have spent one month reheasing for it which was a learning process about our nation. it really brought about that sense of pride and gratitude for the nation and its freedom fighters resp. i really wonder if there is much that happens in schools these days.i hope it does

  4. that was a great writeup! JaiHo!