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Nation forgets Gandhi’s wishes

Mahatma Gandhi had expressed his clear view on the importance of ‘healthy work culture’ in the Harijan newspaper of 15th October, 1938, emphasizing on hard work by the people of the country, for attaining the goal of freedom. He dared to declare as ‘declaring my birthday as a holiday should be treated as a cognizable offence’. This was a clear indication that the “Great Soul’ was confident of the might of his people, which later on succeeded in bringing freedom to the country. His experiments on Swadeshi movement brought good results. But the present situation has completely changed the whole thing and his dreams are shattered.

Unfortunately, with his assassination in 1948, his ideals and teaching were thrown in the wilderness. His followers used his name, teachings and ideals for making wealth and playing politics. His soul might have felt tremendous pain on the day the Government of India declared his birthday, the 2nd October, as a National Holiday. This decision ignoring his wishes was a great ‘dishonor’ to him. From there the ruling parties in the country started distancing from his ideals. No doubt they kept crying for Gandhian philosophy and remembering his ideals at all critical times.

Ignoring his sentiments and ideals for long sixty years, efforts are on to underplay his teachings and increasing holidays from time to time, with intention to make the people idle by reducing their working capability. It is only in India, where maximum holidays are allowed. The practice of demanding more and more holidays in the industries and offices are continuing regularly. It is unfortunate, when the country needs more work for development and prosperity, our people demand more holidays. More holidays means reduction in working capability of our people.

On the one hand, when there is necessity of hard work due to economic globalization to, counter the challenges of multinational organizations, our country prefers reducing working ability of our people. Whereas there is necessity of increasing ‘work culture’ to bring the country at par with developed nations, the tradition of increasing holidays at work places leads to reducing working capabilities of our people. Politicians and trade unionists are equally responsible for this sort of affairs. Mere slogans cannot lead the nation on the path of progress. It needs hard work and foresightedness in planning. Development needs more work and fewer holidays. Developed nations increase production by reducing holidays and increasing working hours to increase per capita working capability. In Indian politics there is a ‘conspiracy’ going on to reduce capability of our people. Power hungry politicians having interest in multinational companies are busy to get the benefit out of this practice. On the other hand our trade union leaders mislead the workforce over various issues demanding to keep their leadership alive. It is unfortunate, these leaders demand more holidays and other benefits instead of encouraging the workers to increase production, so that the industry may be compelled to pay them more. Due to high illiteracy and lack of right understanding, exploitation of workforce is continuing. Working force fail to understand whether their prosperity depends on more work or holidays.

Government of India has adopted the policy of five days working in a week, which ultimately leads to delaying disposal of works. Not only this, out of 365 days of year, about 25 national, 104 Sundays and Saturdays, besides 65 privilege leaves, casual and medical leaves, provisions are already there. By this way about 2oo days of the year a worker enjoys as holidays. The state governments on the other hand declare local and festival holidays in addition to all these. Another fact that Bandh culture has spread in the country at large scale now a days. On various issues and petty matters any organization declares bandh and it is found that the people give good response to that and enjoy extra holidays. As much misuse and negligence of human resources is done in India, nowhere in the world one can find. Several small nations have attained their position in the developed countries because of proper use of human resources and India is lagging behind even after 60 years of independence.. It is not enough to pay homage to the Great Soul by putting flowers on his Samadhi from time to time. It is time to follow his ideals and make the country self sufficient in the fields of agriculture and industries, which can provide work for all and prosperity for the country.

Author info

Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary


Pallavi Barua's picture

One thing which baffles me is that why has the INC (Indian National Congress) become the domain of only the descendents of Jawaharlal Nehru? Where have the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren of great leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Lokmanya Tilak, Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, Lal Bahadur Shastri etc. gone? A few of the above mentioned personalities were the founder members of the INC, what we call as 'Congress' today.


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