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RCEP and 'Gandhiji's talisman': What is the link?


New Delhi, Nov 06: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed India's stand of not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to other member countries, he clearly explained the reasons behind the decision.

Among many things that the PM said in his speech at the RCEP Summit, Modi mentioned 'Gandhji's Talisman' which is also known as 'Gandhiji ka Jantar'.

RCEP and Gandhijis talisman: What is the link?

One of the reasons India gave for refusing to sign the RCEP deal was to safeguard the interests of the poor.

India has learnt how to play on the front foot by not joining RCEPIndia has learnt how to play on the front foot by not joining RCEP

PM Modi led government's decision to not join the RCEP is well and truly in the spirit of 'Gandhiji's Talisman'.

'Gandhiji's talisman' or 'Gandhiji ka Jantar' is an advise that can be used when in doubt over an important decision. 'Gandhi Ji's talisman' can help those in powerful positions, bureaucrats and politicians in taking the 'right' decisions.

It is considered as one of the most valuable notes that Gandhiji has left behind for citizens of the country.

Gaindhiji's talisman can serve as an effective yardstick to evaluate the relevance of government policies, business priorities and our daily actions with the society.

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It basically says that when in doubt about taking a decision, one must consider how the decision would impact the poorest of the poor of the country. Gandhiji says one must ask themselves whether the decision they are going to take would make the life of the poorest of the poor any better.

It is a clarion call to those in powerful positions to think about the poor when taking decisions that affect the lives of the masses.

It appears on the initial pages of almost all the NCERT text books. In Hindi books, it is referred to as "Gandhiji ka Jantar".

Full text Gandhi ji's Talisman or Gandhi ji ka Jantar :

"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away."

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