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Bandhs, hunger strikes only as a last resort: Governor

Special Correspondent

Says Gandhiji taught that both ends and means must be good



HIGHLIGHTING GANDHIAN VALUES: Students performing a cultural programme on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti at Gandhi Mandapam in Chennai on Monday. — Photo: R. Ragu

CHENNAI: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala on Monday expressed anguish over the trend of resorting to bandhs and hunger strikes out of context, though Gandhiji had advocated such actions only during situations that lacked legal remedy.

Addressing a function at Gandhi Mandapam to mark the 137th birth anniversary of Gandhiji, he said the Father of the Nation had taught that the ends did not justify the means, and both must be good. "Most of the tragic conflicts one sees today often results from actions of well meaning persons who are so convinced about the justness of their ends that they are willing to adopt any means to achieve them."

Betrayers

He also made it clear that fasting was for penance and it should not be used as a tool for bargaining or blackmailing. Flaying attempts to use these tools indiscriminately, he said those who employ them out of context betrayed Gandhiji.

Mr. Barnala said Gandhiji believed that non-violence was the most effective force and `Ahimsa' a weapon of matchless potency, a living and life-giving force. He recalled that when the civil disobedience movement turned violent, Gandhiji had called it off. "We must remember that suspicion and violence breed more suspicion and more violence. This vicious circle must be broken."

He called upon educational institutions to take steps to inculcate patriotism in students. He urged students to take a pledge to rededicate themselves to the cause of truth and non-violence, besides fighting against casteism and communalism.

Stressing the relevance of Gandhian principles and teachings, Mr. Barnala said they would provide moral strength to the people to meet the challenges from forces of communalism, provincial loyalties, casteism and linguistic considerations.

The Governor gave away prizes to 30 students from different schools and colleges in and around Chennai city who did well in the essay and oratorical competitions.

Information Minister Parithi Elamvazhuthi said that the Gandhian way of life based on truth and non-violence would always be relevant to society.

Fearlessness

Secretary for Information and Tourism Irai Anbu said Gandhiji was able to inspire people through his fearlessness, which provided the basis for his non-violence. Director of Information and Public Relations S. Kosalaraman highlighted the significance of the exhibition organised at the Gandhi Mandapam as part of the birth anniversary celebrations.

Cultural programmes

Students from colleges and schools presented cultural programmes highlighting the country's unity, peace, non-violence and communal harmony.

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