'Gandhi more relevant than ever in terror-hit world'
Abu Dhabi - Yajnik said the need of the hour was for children to follow and learn from great leaders.
With the rise in incidents of terrorism and violent extremism, Mahatma Gandhi's words - 'an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind' - are coming true and his teachings become more relevant than ever, an Indian author said during the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF).
Birad Rajaram Yajnik, while examining his book, Exploring the Life of the Mahatma, felt that the time has come to use non-violence as a powerful weapon to achieve peace and stability in the world.
"Gandhi is more relevant than ever. When someone is hitting you, he will stop only when he loses the will to hit you more. But then someone practising non-violence shouldn't be seen as a coward.
"You see, Gandhi always carried a stick in his hand. The reason is not his old age as he carried a stick when he was 30 years old, too. What he is trying to tell everyone is that he has the ability to hit but he won't. That is true ahimsa (non-violence), which is a prerogative of the brave," said Yajnik, the curator of the Zayed-Gandhi Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Referring to Gandhi as a 'world citizen' with qualities of perseverance, compassion, integrity and courage, Yajnik said the need of the hour was for children to follow and learn from great leaders.
"If you look at any great leader, like Sheikh Zayed, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, they all have the said qualities. They always thought from people's perspective. That's the reason why people love them so much even until today.
"They are not interested in what they are getting but their objective in life is to make an impact in the lives of others," said Yajnik, who is here with his 14-year-old daughter Adya.
"It is important to explain to children that Gandhi was just like us. Follow his teachings and you can become the next Gandhi," he added.
Yajnik is also the curator of the Mahatma Gandhi Digital Museums in Hyderabad, Delhi, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg.
Check out Gandhi heritage portal
In a bid to woo the millennials, Publications India, under the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is promoting the online version of 'Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi' - the entire writings of the great leader from 1884 till his assassination in January 1948.
"This has taken 38 years in the making. This is a series of 100 volumes. Now all of them are available on www.gandhiheritageportal.org. We just want people of all ages to find time to go through the portal and know more about the Father of the Nation. This is the most authentic collection you will find anywhere," Rajendra Bhatt, director of Publications India, said after presenting a pen drive collection of 100 volumes to Birad Rajaram Yajnik, the author of 'Exploring the Life of the Mahatma'.
Bhatt said the project was started by the Indian government in September 1956 and was finished on October 2, 1994.