The Twentieth Century which is drawing to a close has witnessed far-reaching changes in the Political, Social and Economic Spheres. It saw the liquidation of the mightiest British empire and other colonial powers and the emergence of free and independent nations in Asia and Africa. The abolition of the pernicious apartheid system and the installation of democratic people's govern ment in South Africa is another important landmark of this century. In short, a large segment of human society moved out of the darkest tunnel of political bondage and subjugation and exposed itself to the sunshine of Liberty and Freedom in this remarkable century. In shaping the course of the history of the world in this century the contribution made by Mahatma Gandhi is unique and unparalleled.
If ever there was a dynamic and noble personality who adopted a holistic view of life, who fought against the evil forces with a novel weapon of Satyagraha and who dedicated his entire life for the selfless service and Sarvodaya of mankind and for the enrichment and ennoblement of human life, it Gandhi was certainly Mahatma His pattern of thinking, speaking and acting was sustained by his rock-like firm faith in the goodness of human nature, in the spiritual equipment of persons and in the lofty ideals of Truth, Non-violence and Love and all other spiritual and eternal values belonging to all ages, places and societies.
So, no aspect of life could escape from the purview of Gandhiji. There was hardly any human problem with which he did not deal in his own unique way within the framework of the principles which he always believed to be fundamental and everlasting. He did think over every item of human life objectively and deeply influence it and fashion it according to his own pattern of beauty. So also the methods he developed and used, to deal with all types of problems, were no less novel and unique and also apparently unconvincing and confusing, but ultimately successful always.
Mohanchand Karamchand Gandhi, more popularly known as Mahatma and Bapu' and revered by all as the great force behind the achievement of Indian independence, was a pragmatic philosopher who aimed at self-realization as the highest goal of life. He was a Seeker of Truth who had unshakable faith in non-violence and love. For him every activity was a means of spiritual elevation. He dreamt of social order a (Sarvodaya Samaj) based on love, harmony, co-operation and affectionate relationships. He was a social scientist who aimed at the development of the individual and society at all levels and in all spheres. He was also an experimentalist who conducted experiments in every department of life with an open mind and applied scientific methods in the spheres of subtle human relationships and basic values. He was a practical idealist who preached what he practised and practised what he preached. He was a humanist with intense love for mankind and its welfare and a practical-minded integral thinker who had something original to say on each sphere of life. Above all, he was a man ¹ - loving, serving, repenting and feeling triumphant. Through his own life he showed that even an ordinary person susceptible to temptations could scale the great heights in life provided he would stick to the basic principles and could achieve what he achieved if only he would put forth the same sincere efforts and cultivate the same hope and faith." Peace, non-violence, love, selfless service and suffering this was his unique message.
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