A LETTER TO 'BAPU'

A LETTER TO 'BAPU'

5 mins 10.3K 5 mins 10.3K

Dear Bapu,

Taking advantage of this golden opportunity, I want to pour my heart out to you. Please permit me to share my feelings with you.

Bapu, the study of your life is an education in itself. You have influenced and ispired the multitude across the world of which I am a minuscule. Your journey has taught me the importance of non-violence, self reliance, brotherhood, determination, good Samaritan approach, respect for elders and patriotism. I want to recall some of those beautiful incidences here with you.

You aptly said, "I don't have a message. My message is my life". I drew unconventional inferences and inspiration from your life. The philosophy of non-violence given by you is of paramount importance. The passive resistance or satyagraha was born and evolved in South Africa. Once while travelling to Pretoria, you were thrown off a train, assaulted by a coachman, all because of your color. But these assaults didn't dishearten you and brought the best in your personality, you developed the philosophy based on truth, love and non-violence.

You employed this way of civil protest in India that was staggering to attain freedom from the British rule. You successfully led the peasants of Champaran district against the exploitation of Indigo planters. After which Rabindranath Tagore gave you the title of 'Mahatma'. It was you who started the first mass movement in India, the Non Cooperation Movement. The movement gained popularity but when it became violent, you withdrew the movement, remaining true to your stance on non-violence. But the quest for independence didn't stop here. You launched the salt Satyagraha or Dandi March. Alongwith 78 followers, you started the famous march from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12, 1930 for the small village Dandi to break the Salt law. The movement became so popular that it sparked off patriotism among the Indian soldiers and this was followed by Civil Disobedience Movement. Then started the Quit India Movement where you asked the Britishers to go back and gave a call for "Do or Die" which served as the final signal to the British dominion in India. Amidst all of these incidences you also undertook a 21 day fast in jail, your condition deteriorated after 13 days and all hopes of your survival was given up. However, as a result of your moral strength and spiritual stamina, you survived and completed the 21-day protest.

You were a unique leader. At your behest, the masses were ready to lay down their lives for the freedom of the country. You lost yourself in the multitude in such a way as if you were one with them; one who worked for the emancipation of the underprivileged; a Samaritan who organised campaigns to erase poverty and social evil such as untouchability and caste discrimination. You once said, "The removal of untouchability is one of the highest expressions of Ahimsa". You also fought for equality of harijans on par with higher castes. You used legal and extra legal methods but never adopted immoral or dishonest means to reach your goals. You earnestly believed in simplicity. By living a simple life, you were able to devote your life to higher purpose.

Now, I would love to tell you how I inculcated these ideologies into my life. You correctly stated, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever", which means to live with passion and as if every single thing that we do makes a difference and I vehemently follow this belief. I believe in giving my best everyday and work hard to achieve my goals. I this process I face many obstacles and hindrances but I always stay strong and determined because you once said,"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will". You have always preached this belief that we may encounter failures but we should never give up which was evident from your inspirational words, "My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet". You firmly believed in self reliance, learning from which I started earning from a very young age as a part-time worker, which made me self-dependent. Your simple and profound message "Be the change you want to see in the world" was of immense help. I always work towards maintaining peace and tranquility in the society. However, I always take a firm stand against unjust, dishonest, immoral or nefarious activities.

Many great leaders of the world follow your path such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi and Barack Obama to name a few. You are an international leader, you have inspired the world and 2nd Oct, your birth anniversary is observed as the'International Day of Non-violence'.

These stories paint a portrait of a great person, a prominent and influential personality which is of you Bapu, the Father of our Nation.

Thank you Bapu for leading an inspirational life which has now become a way of life. Thank you for the endless battles that you fought for India's freedom. Thank you for enlightening us with patriotism.

Finally, I will end this letter with a pledge.

I pledge to respect and nurture my country. I shall always contribute in nation building and maintain peace and harmony. I shall sacrifice and endure for my nation whenever required.

Your disciple

Ankita Bhatt


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