Gandhi’s profound religious belief and sensibility – Gandhi Jayanti (2 October)

It may be argued that what is more representative of his outlook is the stupendously radical idea that if the Muslim prays, he should pray that not that the Hindu should become a Muslim but rather a better Hindu; that if the Hindu prays, he should pray not that the Muslim should return to the Hindu fold but rather become a better Muslim; and thus with the Christians, Sikhs, and others.

In addressing a gathering of Buddhists on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in 1925, Gandhi recalled that Muslims often mistook him for a Muslim, the Jains for a Jain, and his Christian friends for a Christian. The Christian missionaries who met Gandhi soon realized that it was pointless to make an attempt convert him to Christianity since he was a much better Christian than any they had ever encountered. It is Gandhi’s profound religious belief and sensibility that made him resolutely secular; his secularism, and his worldly obligations, each of which was but an attempt to strive for self-realization, deepened his religious belief.  His veneration for other faiths made him more, not less, of a Hindu. The advocates of a militant and muscular Hindu nationalism are in this matter entirely clueless—scarcely surprising given their ferocious disdain for self-reflexivity or anything that may remotely be called thought.

Source: Gandhi’s Secularism in the Age of Muscular Hinduism” by Vinay Lal
Posted on October 1, 2023

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“What becomes evident from a perusal of the art is that the artists and printmakers saw in Gandhi the supreme embodiment of the aspirations of a people striving to be free.”

Quote and image © Vinay Lal (private collection)
P. S. R. Rao, “The Splendour That is India”, Madras, 1947-48 | Learn more >>
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More about Gandhi Jayanti – Wikipedia

National holiday celebrated in India to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year on 2 October to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and is one of the three national holidays of India. Wikipedia

Observed by India

Significance Honours Mahatma Gandhi’s role in Indian Independence.

Observances Community, historical celebration