Friday, December 9, 2011

Chaudhary Charan Singh: A Great Nationalist and the Voice of Rural India-Dr. Ravindra Kumar

“The passage of real development of India is evolved through its villages only. Farmers are the backbone of country’s socio-economic structure; therefore, overlooking the peasantry in India is not only unfortunate, but like a suicidal step…”   –Chaudhary Charan Singh          
Clarity in views, direct mass appeal and a mature national political approach –these three were the extraordinary qualities in the personality of Charan Singh, affectionately called as Chaudhary Saheb –born on December 23, 1902 as a son to Netrakaur Devi and Amir Singh of village Noorpur in Meerut district, UP, on the basis of which he elevated to the post of the Prime Minister of India.
It is true that politics always takes new dimensions in constantly changing situations of space and time. Politics is also considered as an art; it is accepted as a game of conveniences, compromises and adjustments etc. Despite this, if a politician maintains in him till the last breath of his life characteristics like these and simultaneously receives public recognition, he will definitely be a source of inspiration for compatriots for years, besides being great. It is true about Chaudhary Charan Singh.
Charan Singh had to pass through various difficulties in his childhood. His father was a small farmer. He had no sufficient means even to arrange for primary education of his son. But, by courage, enthusiasm and other qualities of Charan Singh he was so much impressed that by bearing all hardship he managed for his son’s education. On the other hand, Charan Singh also worked hard and after finishing his primary and secondary levels of education he entered into the University of Agra and earned degrees of B. Sc., M. A. and LLB in the third decade of the Twentieth Century from there. Ninety years ago it was not a small achievement for a son of a small tiller. Rather, it was, and is, a great source of inspiration for crores of those less privileged people who live in lacs of villages in India.
For his quality of heart-touching appeal, Charan Singh became very popular among his colleagues during his studies in Agra. In those days Mahatma Gandhi was busy in preparation for a ground for the second face of his mass movement for the freedom of the country. People of India were becoming ready to fight under his leadership by Ahimsak means. How then a youth like Charan Singh could remain untouched by it? Soon after completing his higher studies, Charan Singh started practicing at Meerut on the one hand, and he jumped in the fight for freedom on the other. Along with Swami Dayananda and Swami Vivekananda, now Mahatma Gandhi became his ideal; the source of his socio-political ideas. Under his leadership he actively participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement [1930], the Individual Satyagraha [1940-41] and the Quit India Movement [1942] and was each time arrested by imperialists and sent to jail  for several months. In the meantime he was elected to the UP Legislative Assembly in 1937 and 1946 respectively.
After the freedom of India, he left a deep impact of his personality and views on regional and national politics, both. Besides services he rendered as an astute and awakened Legislator, a Member of Parliament, an able Minister and Chief Minister, the steps taken by him for the abolition of Zamindari system in UP, bringing reforms in departments of agriculture and revenue, and saving educational institutions and universities from anti-social elements, will be remembered for a long. His commitment making public life and administration clean and honest, and policy of taking quick and impartial decisions, will also be cherished for a long. For this, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel remained his ideal.
Chaudhary Charan Singh was a social reformer and he was committed to the secular character of India. Throughout his life he raised voice against Casteism. He supported inter-caste marriages and spoke for the self-reliance of women.
He was in fact a true representative of rural India and a solid voice of peasantry. He was a nationalist to the core and to him there was nothing above to nationalism. In this regard, the following portion from his historical speech of March, 1976 in the UP Legislative Assembly is worth quoting here, “Those who have taken a pledge to serve the nation they at the time of clash between self and national interest must give up their self-interest. Otherwise, fall of the nation is certain…”
Chaudhary Saheb breathed his last in Delhi on May 29, 1987

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kanjibhai Desai: A Selfless Servant of the People –Dr. Ravindra Kumar

 “Until and unless discipline is not made an indivisible part practices; discipline is not followed in all walks of life, there is no possibility of achievement in life…The one who wants success and desires to achieve a goal in life, he needs to abide himself by discipline. In the absence of discipline forwarding steps of man suddenly get slackness; his wish to serve and spirit of duty turn up to the state of dearth.”  Kanjibhai Desai
Kanhaiyalal Desai, popularly known as Kanjibhai Desai, was one among those most leading personalities of Gujarat who sacrificed their all for the cause of freedom of India in the Gandhian era of national liberation movement. He was born in a prosperous Nagar Brahmin Zamindar family of Surat on January 19, 1886. His father Nanabhai Ratilal Desai was a Zamindar of Olpad Taluka of the District of Surat. A nationalist to the core he had a friendly attitude towards his tenants while his mother Jugalben was an ideal God-fearing, but hardworking housewife. Kanjibhai was filled by these parental qualities.
Soon after passing the matriculation from the Surat High School in 1904 Kanjibhai started studying the law as he desired to practice in the High Court of Bombay. But, due to illness of his parents –mother and father both– he had to give up his studies to help to his father in Zamindari work.
It was the time when Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak had given to his compatriots a clarion call for freedom. He, along with other stalwarts like Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal, was preparing for the Swadeshi Movement. Kanjibhai Desai could not remain untouched and unaffected by such a call. He was only 18 then, but decided to enter public life through social service and not to join politics directly. However, in the same year he participated in the Mumbai session of the Indian National Congress and extended full support to the Swadeshi Moment in the ensuing year. He was one of the members of the reception committee of the historical Surat session of the Congress in 1907, which was held under the Presidentship of Sir Phirozeshah Mehta.
Kanjibhai Desai extended full support to all national activities from time-to time between 1907 and 1927 including actively participating in the Home Rule League Movement [1915-6] and the Non-Cooperation Movement, started by Gandhiji in 1920. Yet his life was fully changed during the Bardoli Kisan Satyagraha, started by Vallabhbhai Patel in 1928. Kanjibhai not only actively participated in this historical movement, but played a vital role in planning strategies and their implementation for the success of the Satyagraha. From there he emerged as a leading public figure of Gujarat. With a firm determination he stayed in the forefront during Civil Disobedience Movement [1930], Individual Satyagraha [194-41] and Quit India Movement [1942]. He was arrested every time he participated in nationalistic activities and imprisoned for months and years. Not only this, by following the footsteps of the father his daughter Rohiniben and both sons Pramodbahi and Hitendrabhai also joined non-violent battle for freedom under the leadership of the Mahatma. Kanjibhai Desai used to say, “The English Rule in India is the extreme of injustice. Never bow before injustice; for seeking justice be ready always to bear any kind of atrocity…” 
After freedom, as the first Chairman of the Gujarat State Samaj Sikshan Samiti [1947-61], Kanjibhai Desai started a number of projects related to adult and women-education; through this he also started work to propagate Khadi and prohibition in villages. Moreover, with the sole purpose of self-reliance for women he founded the Surat Mahila Sahakari Udyoga Mandir in 1948.
He created history by converting lease of lands into permanent ownership to his tenants and, thus, set an example to be followed by other indigenous Zamindars all over India. For this, a title of Socialist Zamindar was bestowed on him.
Kanjibhai Desai was elected as a member to the Constituent Assembly [1946-50], the Interim Parliament [1950-2] and the first Lok Sabha [1952-7]. Moreover, succeeding Sardar Patel he served the Gujarat Prantik Congress Committee as its third President till the day of his passing away on December 26, 1961. As a parliamentarian and provincial party chief his work for the masses was, and still is, incomparable and a source of inspiration particularly for the youth. His contribution in completion of the two known power projects of Gujarat namely Kakrapara and Ukai will be remembered for a long.
Disciplines, service to the poor and being honest in public life were the chief qualities of his personality. Morarjibhai Desai in his rich tribute to Kanjibhai Desai had said, “He sacrificed his all in the service of the people. For the cause of the nation he not only left all his comforts, but even from time-to-time sold out his land… Kanjibhai was a humble and matchless servant of the people and I have not found any other in my life, who could be compared to him in this regard…”                

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Wonderful Experience- Dr. Ravindra Kumar

At the invitation of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation located in the city of Medellin, Colombia [South America], I had the opportunity to visit the city on the first fortnight of September, 2011.
Particularly, to witness a week of celebrations organized by the Foundation. Mahatma Gandhi Foundation was established on October 2, 2002 by Mr. Harivadan Shah, a noble, enthusiastic and successful businessman from India. Mr. Shah from a young age had been impressed by the two fundamentals of Ahimsa-based Gandhian philosophy namely, the Trusteeship and the Sarvodaya they encouraged him to establish the Foundation. From its very beginning, the Foundation, not only provides assistance to the people of Columbia, youth in particular, with the purpose of making them self-reliant, is continuously conducting various programmes related to awareness in the field of education for people living in very remote areas of the country. Undoubtedly, the work and efforts of the Foundation is praiseworthy and commendable. In my opinion the establishment of this Foundation is important mainly for the following two reasons:

1.      In a country like Colombia that for decades has been severely affected by violence and war an attempt to introduce Columbians to a peace driven philosophy such as that of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. It will also require the help of other peace loving nations and their contributions will create an atmosphere of trust and harmony. Moreover, this type of effort will dramatically increase cooperation among people belonging to different communities, groups and ethnicities; and
2.      Universal principles like that of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, which emerged in India during ancient times and is now rapidly gaining popularity due to the continuously increasing process of globalization and thus rapidly converting the world into a global village becoming a reality, such kind of work plays the vital role.
Mrs. Hasita Shah, wife of Mr. Shah extends all cooperation and helps in any way that she can when it comes to the carrying out of the day-to-day activities of the Foundation, which is a subject of great satisfaction to her. The positive environment also leads to a happy and cooperative attitude of the subordinates and coworkers of Mr. Shah who participate with enthusiasm in all activities and events of the Foundation. I personally observed this during my participation in the weeklong festival in September, 2011 in which I had a wonderful experience.
It goes without saying, these types of efforts inspire unprecedentedly. Much can be learned from such excellent work particularly by those people of Indian origin who are living in other parts of the world.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Swami Vivekananda: Life and Views in Brief –Dr. Ravindra Kumar

“In Buddha we had the great, universal heart and infinite patience, making religion practical and bringing it to everyone’s door. In Shankaracharaya we saw tremendous intellectual power, throwing the scorching light of reason upon everything. We want today that bright sum of intellectuality joined with the heart of Buddha, the wonderful infinite heart of love and mercy. The union will give us the highest philosophy. Science and religion will meet and shake hands. Poetry and philosophy will become friends…” -Swami Vivekananda 

Swami Vivekananda [1863, 12 January–1902, 4 July], was a great Vedic-Hindu thinker-philosopher, reformer and revolutionary saint of contemporary-modern times, who dedicated his entire life to the spiritual and social upliftment of the common man. His socio-religious approach and ideas were quite clear and universal as is evident from his own short statement quoted at commencement of this discussion. Moreover, he worked till his last breath for the welfare of the masses according to his approach and ideas. This distinctiveness of Swami Vivekananda makes him matchless on the one hand and to a large extent it becomes a mammoth task to analyze his works and views.
As already mentioned, Swami Vivekananda was a great Vedic-Hindu thinker, scholar and saint; he was one of the best elucidators and propagators of the Vedanta. In his lifetime he was true and the best representative and exponent of the Vedanta that speaks of the Divyata [divinity] of the self to remind us of the potential of man.* In a nutshell, Swami Vivekananda was the leading messenger and ambassador of the Vedanta in contemporary India. To quote one of his noteworthy statements on the Vedanta:
“The Vedanta recognizes no sin, it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta, is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.”
The Vedanta believes in a Supreme Authority [Power], who is the Creator and all-pervading [universal]. He is the Supreme Soul having universal consciousness, and is called by different names including Brahman, Parbrahman, Ishwara, Isam, Parmatama, Prabhu and Purushottama by the Vedic people or the Hindus. Swami Vivekananda himself admitted:
“As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.”
Further, he accepted Him as the ever gold. He called on each and every human being to fully develop self-confidence in him and through this to recognize God. He desired man to realize and grow from inside, to identify the self and its power**, and to make constant efforts to become the gold accepting it be the goal of life. This is the glorification of the Supreme Authority –God in one way or the other.
All the Vedantic concepts, or in other words the basics of the Vedanta, and particularly pertaining to God, soul [self], Jagata [world],Karma, and simultaneously the great Vedantic ideas like human-unity, the highest sense of harmony among people or the responsibilities and duties of man, became the basis of Swami Vivekananda’s ideas. He put forth these ideas before all and called for their adoption in day-to-day practices to make life worthy and meaningful.
While doing so, he, quite interestingly, stressed on accepting and adopting love and mercy, i.e., Karuna [in wider sense the union of pity and friendliness] of Gautama Buddha. In fact, this is the real and concrete message of the Vedanta itself. The broadness, practicability and straightforwardness like that of Gautama Buddha and intellectual power like that of the great expounder of the Vedanta, Shankaracharaya, could convey the true message of the Dharma [duty-bound righteousness]. According to Swami Vivekananda this was the way to overcome the wary and weary world. This is still the need of the hour to make man realize self, be conscious and self-reliant.
The Atman [self]*** emerges as the most important concept in the philosophy of the Vedanta. In the Kothopnishad [hymn-20] is has been glorified as the greatest of the great. The purpose behind this glorification is for humans to acquire ability and power, to encompass and realize his duties and responsibilities to achieve the most important goal in life; to make him perceive clarity and truth, and through this to develop the spirit of universalism in him so that the pathway of universal welfare could transform into reality. Isavasya Upanishad’s stress that “the person who indeed clearly perceives all creatures and objects in the Atman [soul] only, and accepts in all creatures and objects the [presence of] Atman [soul], he does not wish or want concealment”, could be observed in this very perspective.
It has been mentioned there:
“Yastu Sarvani Bhutanyatmanyevanupasyati
Sarvabhutesu Catmanam Tato Na Vijugupsate”
            To realize and identify the self and to move forward for universal welfare in fact is the essence of the message of the Vedanta. For its proper understanding and also grasping this in life, the way shown by Gautama Buddha, which is full of Karuna [compassion], immeasurable patience and practicability [imbued by the law of change] is inevitable. Simultaneously, tremendous intellectual power found in Shankaracharaya is required to overcome all suspicions and superstitions.
Hence, the goal of life could be achieved by self-realization and soul-force. Further, dedication to the welfare of humanity could be ascertained. This is the message of the Vedanta, which Swami Vivekananda put forth beautifully in the prevailing circumstances in his lifetime. He practiced these till his last breath, which is itself the best introduction of his approximately thirty-nine years’ of worldly life and views. Swami Vivekananda also emphasized the need of refinement of ideas in prevailing situation of space and their adoption as per the demand of time, which distinguish his message and vision.      
*Swami Vivekananda himself admitted, Vedanta says that within man is all knowledge even in a boy it is so and it requires only an awakening and that much is the work of a teacher.” 
**In this regard he said, “You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
***Ātman is in fact a Sanskrit word which means self' [soul in general]. In the Vedic- Hindu philosophy, in the Vedanta school of thought in particular denotes to one's true self beyond identification with phenomena. In order to attain Moksha [liberation] a human being must acquire self-knowledge [atma-jnana], is to say realize experientially that one's true self is identical with the transcendent permanent -self [God], Brahman

Friday, November 18, 2011

Essentialism of Spirituality to Blossom Individual and the World- Dr. Ravindra Kumar

Spiritualism [of which spirituality is a prime attribute] is in fact the science of self-realization. It is also known as self spiritual science. Vyasa from India, along with other great scholars, also defined it minutely in the Shanti-Parva [book of peace] of the Mahabharata.* Analyzing the state and action of mind, heart and senses, he has particularly mentioned about the superiority of self [soul or atman]. Besides illuminating its importance and role in life, he has scrutinized its effect on human deeds or practices.  
From the word meaning viewpoint, we clearly observe spiritualism to originate from the word spiritual, which again is made of spirit. Spirit is derived from Latin spiritus, which generally relates to self or soul; it is the atmatatva. Moreover, if there is a wish to define spiritual and spiritualism in brief, that too having the atmatatva in the centre, it is the search or realization of self and thus grows to being familiar with the reality of life.
In the Eastern World, India has been for centuries, and still is, the spiritual mentor [Guru] of the world. Spirituality, as mentioned in the context of Vyasa, from ancient times has been the most important aspect of Indian philosophical tradition. It is the main subject in the teachings of the Vedas. This aspect is found in other Vedic-Hindu treatises, the Upanishads in particular. Indian seers and saints, scholars and thinkers of repute from ancient, medieval, contemporary and modern periods including Vardhamana Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Guru Nanak Dev and Swami Vivekananda spoke at length on this.
In the Vedic–Hindu tradition spirituality is generally associated with the monotheistic belief system –“Ekam Sad Viprah Bahuda Vadanti Agni Yama Matarishvanam Aahum”**, which is further connected to Dharma. Dharma is duty-bound righteousness. The concept of Dharma is quite broad. It is worth adopting –Yatoabhyudaya Nihshreyasa Siddhi Sa Dharmah!*** For, it has also been said, “Dharmo Dharayate Prajah.” It does not matter if different methods of meditation, yoga, prayer and worship are linked with it. Dharma is above a religious community.**** It is the means to bring harmony in life. It is the pathway to connect the self with God –ataman with Paramatma. Spirituality, categorically calls for identifying and realizing the self and detaching it from the body. Thereafter, the first stage is to proceed with righteous acts and efforts to attain self development and then to dedicate to the welfare of humanity as a whole.
Spirituality is, thus, the treasure house of Dharma [righteousness, duty-bound deeds], self-identification and self-realization. Thereby, it is above the Dharma as Dharma itself is above a religious-community. Even the first step towards spirituality, or in other words experiencing or processing towards this goal, paves the way to self-progress, and simultaneously it harmonizes with the idea of universal welfare. Not only this, it inspires for concrete action. Further, if the highest state of spirituality is achieved, its result will not only be astonishing, but definitely matchless. The examples of Tirthankara Mahavira, Shakyamuni Gautama and Aadi Shankaracharya are well before us. Therefore, raising any question about the necessity and importance of spirituality in man’s life, as a whole, is needless or useless since spirituality associates simultaneously to human welfare.
Ramakrishna Paramahansa has rightly pointed out that spirituality stops all former feelings and, thus, brings the mind into the state of rest that is necessary, because a restless mind cannot think uninterruptedly. Making the mind free of outer sensory emotions [indriya-vishyak], spirituality fills the brain with fresh and virtuous [full of sadaguna] feelings [sanskaras], which are undoubtedly the basis of self-development; they help pave the way to ascertain the wellbeing of the world.
Further, having spirituality as the nuclei, Paramahansa has also said, “In the state of solitude [which is itself an important and the best point in the process of spirituality], a human being makes himself free from hundreds of those desires or lusts, which continuously try to surround him…***** It makes him alert, gets realized of his hidden personality and leads him to self identification... It calls for performing noble and righteous acts, and thus, paves the way for self-progress, and ascertains man’s indulgence in the wellbeing, progress and liberation of others.”
This is the reality of spiritualism to prove its own significance in the rise of individual and the universe!                     

*The Shanti Parva is the twelfth among the eighteen Parvas of the Mahabharata. It consists of three sub-Parvas and the whole Parva is regarded as the most important and timely as it brings one hundred messages from four interrelated sources –the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita and the Mahabharata. Moreover, it deals with world peace; how peace in the world could prevail.          
**Meaning there by, “There is, but only one Truth [God] –Sages however call it by different names such as Agni, Yama, Vayu…”
***As Rishi Kanaad has rightly expounded in the Vaisheshik philosophy.
****As Hinduism of today, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism etc. 
*****In this regard it has been pointed out, “Kshudh Trirt Aashah Kutumbinya Mayi Jeevati Na Anyagaah! Taasaam Aasha Mahasaadhvi Kadaachit Man Na Munchati!! Meaning thereby, “Hunger, Thirst [Trut] and desire [Aasha] are like man's three wives. Until he is alive these three will never leave him or go elsewhere. In comparison of the three, desire [Aasha] is a Mahasaadhvi, because it never ever leaves the man. Unlike hunger and thirst, which disappear for some time after eating drinking, desire is the thing, which never disappears from man's mind!”

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Non-Violence [Interview of Dr. Ravindra Kumar to El Colombiana-A National Daily of Colombia, South America]

"La Noviolencia está hoy vigente": Kumar

EN SU MISIÓN de propagar la filosofía y métodos gandhianos de la Noviolencia en el mundo, se encuentra en Medellín el profesor hindú Ravindra Kumar. Sostiene que aunque cada época tiene conflictos, el pacifismo logra soluciones cuando hay movilización social.

Juan Carlos Monroy | Medellín | Publicado el 4 de octubre de 2011

Asu espalda, las imágenes de Mahatma Gandhi, la madre Teresa de Calcuta y del pastor Martin Luther King que inspiran a los seguidores de la Noviolencia a transmitir su mensaje de paz y resistencia social en el mundo.

En medio de esa misión llegó a Medellín el profesor hindú Ravindra Kumar, vicecanciller de la Universidad de Meerut (India), escritor y experto en el método gandhiano para la resolución de conflictos por vías pacifistas.

Kumar es el invitado internacional del Segundo Festival de la Noviolencia que se realiza esta semana, al tiempo que participará en conferencias y talleres en cuatro universidades. EL COLOMBIANO diálogo con él.

En un mundo con viejos y nuevos conflictos armados, religiosos y étnicos, ¿qué tan vigente está la filosofía de la Noviolencia?
"Los tiempos cambian y los conflictos también. No estamos en la misma época de Gandhi cuando consiguió la independencia de la India con una revolución pacífica. Con cada época vienen sus propios problemas y conflictos para el ser humano y las sociedades, pero el principio no cambia, que no es otro que procurar con amor y respeto buscar la solución de los conflictos, sin violencia, mediante la voluntad política y la movilización de las sociedades tras un fin pacífico".

La violencia en Colombia involucra organizaciones criminales, actores armados ilegales y narcotráfico. ¿Tiene validez el método gandhiano?
"Ese es un problema mundial y no solo de Colombia. Las mafias existen y nosotros en Asia lo vivimos en países como Tailandia. Se requiere voluntad política, líderes que asuman causas como Gandhi y King y voluntad de los pueblos para solucionar sus problemas sin generar más conflictos, lo que garantiza una paz duradera. Eso se logra con educación, así como existe educación académica, tecnológica o sexual, también se debe enseñar en las escuelas la Noviolencia".

¿Se requiere que surjan esos personajes excepcionales para solucionar problemas que originan conflictos?
"Los liderazgos son importantes siempre, por la capacidad de movilización y el ejemplo que encarnan, pero no se necesita que nazca otro Gandhi. Cada vez hay más activismo de organizaciones sociales, en los que la gente se une en solidaridad para buscar soluciones a los problemas en sus países. En todo el mundo hay ejemplos de comunidades que lograron detener violencia o cambios a problemas sociales, raciales o medioambientales. Incluso gentes de distintos países, gracias a un mundo globalizado".

A veces se confunde la Noviolencia con actitud pasiva o para mártires.
"Es cierto, pero se trata de todo lo contrario, porque requiere mucho coraje mover conciencias, movilizar personar y sociedades completas. No es siendo pasivos como se consigue solucionar un conflicto o cambiar algo que no funciona bien. Eso requiere voluntad, organización social y a veces sacrificios y gente dispuesta a eso. Así se logró ahora en Egipto para cambiar una dictadura por democracia".

Un país en conflicto como Colombia tiene una estrategia militar. ¿Considera legítimo el uso de la fuerza'
"Los Estados deben tener un orden social y por eso existen los ejércitos y las policías. Pero esa respuesta no debe ser desproporcionada ni violentar a las mismas personas que se busca proteger. No puede ser una respuesta indefinida, debe restablecer un orden para emprender soluciones a los problemas de fondo que puedan originar esos conflictos. Es algo que lleva mucho tiempo".

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gandhian View of Civilization-Dr. Ravindra Kumar

Civilization, which is Sabhyata in Indian term, is derived from the word Civil, Sabhya.  From its word meaning viewpoint, it generally denotes the skillfulness in practice. Undoubtedly, when this word is associated with man, it identifies his characteristics. As culture introduces attributes or qualities [Samskaras] of an individual, a group of individuals, community, society or nation, approximately in the same manner through civilization evolutionary characteristics of people of a particular region or a country are known. In other words, practices and development of people is observed.          
Civilization is a subject of continuous development and this development, as Radhakrishnan describes, is a matter of mind. [Kumar, Fundamentals of Civilization, page 17/ Radhakrishnan, Speeches and Writings, May 1962-May 1964, page 430] With a firm and constructive approach, stepping forward on the pathway to advancement at all levels and in all walks of life is an essential condition of making a civilization. A state contrary to it can emphatically be the ground of fall of a civilization. The pages of the whole available history verify this fact. So many civilizations developed in different parts of the world from time-to-time. Some of them touched such heights that even their remains, and particularly ruined structures fill us with great surprises today. They force us to rethink about their unique system and techniques used in those days, when despite the lack of development in the field of science and technology and limited available resources in which making arrangement was not an easy task, they added dimensions one after the other to the pathway to progress. They urge us to study and analyze fundaments of thousand years’ old civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, China, Babylonia and India.      
For years, archeologists and historians have been studying and analyzing all of these civilizations. They have been adopting different methods for the purpose. But, still they have not arrived at any unanimous conclusion in this regard. Despite all this, one thing is quite clear, and that is for the making of civilization development is necessary, and for development a high mentality is essential. I repeat that this is the only truth about those civilizations, which developed in various parts of the world from time-to-time. Moreover, the fall of various civilizations could also be analyzed having the above arguments in the centre.
For the development and stability of a civilization it is necessary that it should be free from the state of isolation. Furthermore, it goes forward on the basis of coordination with others as per the demand of time. Despite numerous differences, it adopts liberal attitude and accepts and assimilates whatever is good in others. In this regard, the following statement of Mahatma Gandhi is worth mentioning:
“This is not to say that we may not adopt and assimilate whatever may be good and capable of assimilation by us…”
Gandhian View
Mahatma Gandhi seems fully in consonance with all the three chief fundamentals of civilization-Ahimsa [non-violence], morality and freedom while he talks, discusses and ventures to analyze it. In other words, he himself seems committed to develop civilization having these three in the centre. Moreover, everybody knows Gandhi’s commitment to Ahimsa. Despite this, his following short statements in context of non-violence, which besides being an eternal and natural human value, is also the first and essential fundamental of civilization, makes everything clear in this regard:
“Man has made constant development toward Ahimsa.”
“For progress, humanity paced forward towards non-violence.”
Mahatma Gandhi was determined to make Ahimsa conducive in prevailing situations and on the basis of it to step forward on pathway to development. This was the way of making and stabilizing civilization. In this regard particularly in Indian context he said:
 “I believe absolutely that India has a mission for all in the world. She is not to copy…blindly, but showing way of peace and progress on the strength of Ahimsa.”
Not only this, in context of a new building of Swarajya in India, or in other words in context of the remaking of a refined and evolutionary civilization, he also clarified:
“In my Swarajya basic genesis of civilization will remain intact. I will write many new things for India, but on my own slate [in its own circumstances and the basis of its traditions and values].”
His indication is clear. He is all for Ahimsa, which has from ancient times been an accepted Dharma in India. Moreover, it is the means of security of existence and development.
Morality is the second fundamental of civilization. Like Ahimsa morality was also important for Mahatma Gandhi, which is evident from his commitment to it. In this regard his following statement is worth quoting: 
“If Swarajya was not mean to civilize us, and to purify and stabilize our civilization, it would be nothing worth. The very essence of our civilization is that we give a paramount place to morality in all our affairs, public or private.”
In fact, superior human virtues are discovered through morality. That is why; morality is a value dedicated to one’s duty and to the welfare of all. Simultaneously, it is an essential condition of humankind; therefore, one of the chief fundamentals of civilization. In the Vedic-Hindu philosophy and the way of life it is an indispensable part of duties to be performed by its followers. Along with this, wellbeing of civilization is possible by keeping it intact in day-to-day human practices. Hence, it has been said that if morality is accepted as a supreme law of being, “all other laws will get clear automatically.”
Freedom is the third among the chief fundaments of civilization. It is an important condition of life not only for human beings but all living beings. Although, through the ages different opinions or views have been put forth by thinkers or philosophers about it; Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx and many others have defined it from their own respective viewpoint, but undoubtedly freedom, in its real meaning, completes when the one assures others’ freedom at the time of enjoying it for self. Enjoying freedom on the cost of others is of no worth; it is not fruitful. If someone does so, “he goes against the basic spirit of freedom.”   
How much Mahatma Gandhi was concerned of freedom, whole world knows. The whole Gandhian philosophy and actions of the Mahatma well prove his sincerity, longing and commitment to freedom. In this regard his following statement is worth mentioning here:
“If individual freedom goes, then surely all is lost; for, if the individual ceases to count, what is left of society? Individual freedom also can make a man voluntarily surrender himself completely to the service of society. If it is wrested from him, he becomes automation and society is ruined. No society can possibly be built on denial of individual freedom.”
Thus, freedom is necessary for growth or development. Freedom with equality is inevitable for each and everyone for the making of a true civilization and its stabilization. Therefore, accepting all the three chief fundamentals of civilization as the nucleus, Gandhi steps forward in this regard and draws the attention of the world in general and India in particular to the following three points:
  • Civilization is a subject of conformity according to time and space;
  • Civilization is not a subject of imitating others; blind following in the name of civilization never brings fruits; and
  • In the making and developing of civilization only that should be accepted from others, which contributes in strengthening indigenous civilization and simultaneously, which suits in prevailing circumstances, and helps in coordination with basic indigenous elements.
Undoubtedly, Gandhi’s views in the making, developing and strengthening civilization seem important. Furthermore, the relevance of these ideas of Gandhi for the whole world in general, and especially for a country of diversity like India becomes more important today when India is ready to play the vital role in the world affairs and the whole world is looking towards India.