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Like Imam Khomeini, Gandhi was a great mobilizer

New Delhi, A distinguished Indian scholar believes that, like the founder of the Islamic Republic in Iran late Imam Khomeini, Mahatma Gandhi was a great philosopher and mobilizer.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA here, Professor Kapil Kumar who is the Chairperson, Faculty of History School of Social Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, talked about the similarity between the late Imam Khomeini's movement and Gandhi to unite the world-wide oppressed against the oppressors, particularly the US-led West.

He said : Imam Khomeini went for massive mobilization of people which was the second example in Asia after Mahatma Gandhi. However, Imam's total call was based on religion as he was a practicing priest and Gandhi did use all religions to unite Indians but he failed to check partition of the Indian sub-continent on the lines of religion. While, Imam Khomeini succeeded in Iran, Mahatma Gandhi failed in India.

Elaborating on the life style of the Indian leader, he said: Mahatma Gandhi was a great Philosopher and at the same time, a political activist fighting for India's liberation.

'He was a visionary with a vision for the social and economic justice and provided the Indian people with the unique method of fighting through non-violence to achieve independence from British slavery. He was a strategist and a great mobilizer. But his biggest failure was agreeing to the partition plan of the Indian Sub-Continent, for he ultimately surrendered before the very leadership in the Congress, which he had built and supported over the years, when it came to a final decision making in 1947.

To a question on the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy in the today world scenario, Prof. Kapil Kumar said: How far Gandhi's ideology is relevant in the present World scenario is a challenging question to answer. I personally feel that there are more concepts of social justice and rural reconstruction for development of the marginalized nations and societies that are more relevant to be remembered and practiced as his legacy in the contemporary world. Hence, we have to assess Gandhi not only in totality but also in the context and situations that were there during Indian freedom struggle and the context and situations in contemporary times and here, I am confining to his relevance and legacy for the present and future.

The world scenario has changed. New forces of destruction, war and dominance are operating along with the devil of terrorism. New forms of economic domination and control have been devised and above all an era of enslaving the minds in the developing countries has been ushered by the powers that dominate the world. India strongly advocates non-violence, peace and harmony with equality of nations and resource sharing. Yet, circumstances have forced her to retaliate against aggression on its territory and can no more follow the Gandhian principle of offering the other cheek if slapped on one, added the Prof. Kapil Kumar who is also Director, Centre for Freedom Struggle & Diaspora Studies at IGNOU.

Terming the Hindu values of brotherhood as the basis for Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence philosophy, the seasoned historian said: India is one country where all religions flourish with equal constitutional rights, fulfillment of another Gandhian dream of a secular India. Gandhian thought derived its strength from the most ancient Indian concepts of Vasudev Kutambakam (whole world is a family), Sarva Dharma Sambhava (Let all religions flourish) and Om Shanti (let peace prevail). These Vedic concepts emerged and flourished when the UN was not there and nor was the English word secularism. And India is consistent in taking these principles forward without being dominated by the powers by being a spokesperson for those nations still being harassed, a follow up of Gandhian principles for equality of nations, peace and harmony.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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