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Community service, community mobilisation will be 'real tributes' to Mahatma Gandhi on 150th anniv: PM

Community service, community mobilisation will be 'real tributes' to Mahatma Gandhi on 150th anniv: PM

New Delhi, Aug 25 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said community service and community mobilisation are virtues which people should imbibe in their lives in a way to pay 'real tributes' to Mahatma Gandhi as the nation celebrates the father of the Nation's 150th birth anniversary this year.

Addressing the nation through his Mann Ki Baat programme broadcast on All India Radio, Mr Modi said community service would be the real way of paying true tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, the Karyanjali, the offering of deeds.

‘’Mahatma Gandhi shared an unbreakable bond with truth; he shared a similar unique bond with the spirit of service. Whoever, needed him, and wherever, Gandhiji was present to serve,’’ PM Modi added.

He emphasised not only on the spirit of service, but also on the inner happiness it led to. Service as a virtue is meaningful when it is performed with a sense of joy-‘Seva Parmo Dharmah’. But simultaneously, deep inner joy, the essence of ‘Swantah Sukhaayah’ is inbuilt in the spirit of service.



In all the programmes of 'Gandhi 150', Mr Modi asked the people to come together unitedly, no matter what profession or field they belong to 'join hands and let the entire neighbourhood move together.'

Expressing his desire, the Prime Minister said '...If there is a football team, then the entire team. Of course we’ll play football, but along with it, we’ll pick up a deed to perform in conformity with one of Gandhi’s ideals of service. There could be a Ladies’ club! Routine tasks of a modern day Ladies’ club shall be taken up, but besides that, let all members of the Ladies’ club come together and perform an activity of service.'

Saying that a lot can be done on people's end, Mr Modi explained: 'Collect old books, distribute them amongst the poor, spread the glow of knowledge. And I do believe that perhaps 130 crore countrymen are endowed with 130 crore ideas and there could be 130 crore endeavours. There is no limit- whatever that comes to your mind- but only with a genuine wish, a noble intention, within the realms of harmony, and with complete dedication… that too for the sake of enjoying that rare inner bliss, the core of ‘Swaantah Sukhaayah’.'

'One attribute has always been part & parcel of Mahatma Gandhi’s being – and that was his sense of service and the sense of duty towards it. If you view his life in entirety, you will note that he served communities in South Africa that were bearing the brunt of apartheid – in those times, it was, by no means a small feat,' he added.

The Father of the nation served farmers in Champaran who were being discriminated against, the Prime Minister said, adding that the Mahatma served mill workers who were being underpaid.

'He served the poor, the destitute, the weak and the hungry… he took it as life’s prime duty. There were many myths associated with leprosy then. In order to dispel them, he closely served people suffering from leprosy,' PM Modi said while highlighting some important instances of Mahatma’s life.

Presenting shining examples through the medium of service in his own life, he set examples of the sense of service for others to learn- not through words, but through deeds, Mr Modi said.

He said, 'Gandhiji shared an unbreakable bond with truth; he shared a similar unique bond with the spirit of service. Whoever, needed him, and wherever, Gandhiji was present to serve.’’

Gandhi’s life emphasised not only on the spirit of service, but also on the inner happiness it led to, Mr Modi said, adding that ‘’service as virtue is meaningful when it is performed with a sense of joy-‘Seva Parmo Dharmah’. But simultaneously, deep inner joy, the essence of ‘Swantah Sukhaayah’ is inbuilt in the spirit of service. We can understand this from Bapu’s life.’’

Mr Modi also asked people for an introspection, joining hands with more people of the society, from all strata, from all age groups; people from villages, cities, men, women, we should ask ourselves. 'As an individual, what can I add to the effort? What value addition could be there from my side? And being collective acquires its own strength.'

He also urged people to visit at least one place associated with the Mahatma in the days to come. It could be any site… such as Porbandar, Sabarmati Ashram, Champaran, the Ashram at Wardha or spots in Delhi related to Mahatma Gandhi.

Sharing an interesting piece of information through the broadcast, Mr Modi said, 'There is a famous art show called the Venice Biennale’, where people from the world over congregate. This time, in the India Pavilion at the Venice Biennale’, a very interesting exhibition based on memories of Gandhiji was organised. Of special interest were the Haripura Panels. You may remember that in the Haripura Congress Session in Gujarat, Subhash Chandra Bose being elected as President is recorded in history. These Art Panels have a beautiful past.'

'Before the Haripura Session, in 1937-38, Mahatma Gandhi had invited the then Principal of Shantiniketan Kala Bhavan, Nandlal Bose. It was Gandhiji’s wish that the lifestyle of the people of India be depicted through the medium of art and this artwork may be exhibited during the session. This is the same Nandlal Bose whose artwork adorns our Constitution; lends to the Constitution a new, unique identity,' said the Prime Minister.

UNI AE SY 1405

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