Saluting the Father of the Nation - Gandhiji

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Remembering some of  his thoughts: (collected from resources with heartfelt credits to the creators)

Gandhi's Views on Education:

The twentieth century thinking in India is greatly influenced by one man -- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Here are some of his views on the education in general and his ideas for educating the illiterate masses of India in particular.

The Purpose of Education:

“The purpose of education is to bring out the best in you”

Ideas to Educate the Masses:

“I say without tear of my figures being challenged successfully, that today India is more illiterate than it was fifty or a hundred years ago, and so is Burma, because the British administrators, when they came to India, instead of taking hold of things as they were, began to root them out. They scratched the soil and began to look at the root, and left the root like that, and the beautiful tree perished. The village schools were not good enough for the British administrator, so he came out with his program. Every school must have so much paraphernalia, building, and so forth. Well, there were no such schools at all. There are statistics left by a British administrator which show that, in places where they have carried out a survey, ancient schools have gone by the board, because there was no recognition for these schools, and the schools established after the European pattern were too expensive for the people, and therefore they could not possibly overtake the thing. I defy anybody to fulfill a program of compulsory primary education of these3 masses inside of a century. This very poor country of mine is ill able to sustain such an expensive method of education. Our state would revive the old village schoolmaster and dot every village with a school both for boys and girls. ”
(Mahatma Gandhi at Chatham House, London, October 20, 1931)

On Literacy:

“Literacy is not the end of education, not even the beginning. They are not related”
“Literacy must be one of the many means for intellectual development, but we have had in the past intellectual giants who were unlettered”
“It is a superstition to think that the fullest development of man is impossible without knowledge of art of reading and writing. While that knowledge undoubtedly adds grace to life, it is in no way indispensable for man's moral, physical or material growth.”

On Importance of Development of Skills:

“Literary education must follow the education of the hand --the one gift that distinguishes man from beast.”

Bhagvad Gita:

Self realization or liberation may be the goal of Hindu philosophy. But for Gandhi, Gita's stress is on attaining liberation through selfless action. Renunciation of all desire of action was ultimate message, he writes.

Gandhi on Bhagawad Gita:

"The Gita is the universal mother. She turns away nobody. Her door is wide open to anyone who knocks. A true votary of Gita does not know what disappointment is. He ever dwells in perennial joy and peace that passeth understanding. But that peace and joy come not to skeptic or to him who is proud of his intellect or learning. It is reserved only for the humble in spirit who brings to her worship a fullness of faith and an undivided singleness of mind. There never was a man who worshipped her in that spirit and went disappointed. I find a solace in the Bhagavad-Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there , and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies -- and my life has been full of external tragedies -- and if they have left no visible or indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagavad-Gita."

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