On Gandhi Jayanti, revisiting Mahatma Gandhi's famous Talisman test
New Delhi, Oct 02: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the name needs no introduction. The whole world respect Gandhiji for his teachings, principles, and efforts in helping India's Independence. 2022 marks the 153rd birth anniversary of the leader, who inspired the world with his ideas.
On this Gandhi Jayanti, let's remember Mahatma Gandhi's talisman, which is more relevant than ever today.
'Gandhi Ji's talisman' or 'Gandhi ji ke Jantar' is an advice by the Father of the Nation that can be used in situations of doubt. It is considered one of the most valuable notes that Gandhi ji has left behind for citizens of the country.
"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 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 yourself melt away."
It also appears on the initial pages of most of the NCERT textbooks. In Hindi books, it is referred to as "Gandhiji ka Jantar". It basically says that when in a doubt about taking a decision or a step, one must consider how a particular action would impact the poor of the country. Gandhiji says one must ask themself if the step they are going to take would make the life of the poor any better.
Gaindhiji's talisman can serve as an effective yardstick to evaluate the relevance of government policies, business priorities, and our daily actions with society. 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.