Gandhian Ideals Motivating Gen X

September 26, 2006

Gandhian – a new religion of the Indian youths

Youth culture and Gandhi. Vegetarianism, sexual abstention, khadi, village reconstruction and Harijan welfare – can these Gandhian ideals really move a new globalised generation?
He wears khadi and chapppals and when he speaks, those around him stop to listen.

And that’s perhaps the only resemblance there is between Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Vimlendu Jha. However, the bond goes deeper.

Vimlendu is Yamuna’s favourite child – a brahmin determined to clean the dirt from a river polluted with religious ritual.

This former student of Delhi’s St Stephen’s College lives by a simple Gandhian philosophy.

“What I have learnt from Gandhi is his policy of non-aggressiveness. I don’t go and shout from the rooftop about the Yamuna because I am passionate about the river and committed to clean it. So I come and clean it myself and inspire people to follow suit,” says Jha.

So you thought Gandhi was an emblem from a long forgotten era and to be Gandhian was to be old and grey. Well not quite so, because this man continues to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

And that’s exactly the road Neethu Vincent is walking. The editor of an international Gandhian newspaper, Yamuna, Neethu and her young reporters are living the words of the Mahatma – “Journalism is for service” – by writing on change and taking the message of Gandhi across the borders.

A Class XI student, Neethu proudly calls herself a Gandhian.

When asked why she calls herself so, she says, “I think Gandhi is the greatest rock star of our era.”

Well not too many people have called the Mahatma a rock star, but for several young people, he is the coolest role model to have.

“Whenever I think about Gandhi, there’s a kind of vibrancy, a need to make a change,” says Neethu.

Two Yamunas and two young Gandhians – the river of Gandhian thought, which we feared had dried up, is flowing again. In the heart of 21st century India, Gandhi still lives.

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One Response to “Gandhian Ideals Motivating Gen X”

  1. calsifer said

    That’s comforting, maybe there is hope.

    BTW, you may need to fix the blog width, your sidebar’s still getting shunted to the bottom. I like the new template though – lot easier on the eyes. =)

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