First President of India on Bapu
.... it will be only a partial view of his life if we think that he was merely a political leader. His political career assumed importance because he fought for the freedom of the country with his unique weapons of truth and non violence. Not that others before him did not think of freedom of the country or work for it: in fact, many devoted their whole life to this mission. That unique contribution of Gandhiji’s lay in the fact that he placed in our hands weapons that brought us our freedom. Non-violence and Satyagraha, on which he insisted, were not intended only for political purposes; he looked upon them as the fundamental principles of his life and applied them to every question that came up to him for consideration. He did not claim, at any time to have evolved a philosophy or a system of philosophy. He was never tried of saying that instead of writing a thesis, he was engaged in the actual application of his principles to concrete problems that came up before him; and if we turnover the pages of his writings, we can see him devoting column after column to very small and minor items. To him a small item was not unimportant if it involved a question of principle...He therefore, insisted upon ahimsa, the principle of living and letting others live. He said that if we adopted non violence against the British Government, it was all the more necessary that we applied it to our own lives and did not fight among ourselves on the basis of religion, caste, sect or creed. Gandhiji also wanted that the rich people should regard themselves as trustees of their wealth for the sake of the poor....His ahima was tested at the last moment and he stood the test very successfully ...It is a matter for regret, and shame that with Gandhiji’s passing away we have been somewhat sliding down the scale.....
(Dr. Rajendra Prasad. 16/11/1955)
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