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‘Gram swaraj difficult when villagers migrate to cities’

Expressing concern over fading memory among Indians about Mahatma Gandhi, writer Narendra Rai Derla said here on Tuesday that the Father of the Nation is not being seen in totality but in bits and pieces like “Government Gandhi”, “Prasaarada Gandhi” and “Moorti Gandhi”.

Speaking at the Gandhi Jayanti programme organised by the Department of Information and Public Relations, Mr. Derla said that as a result, many were not turning up for birth centenary programmes of Gandhi.

Mr. Derla said that it would be difficult to establish the Mahatma’s gram swaraj at a time when people from villages are migrating to cities.

Mr. Derla said that there was a need to look at Mahatma Gandhi from the “Aaita” character in the “Gandhi Banda” novel of H. Nagaveni dealing with the visit of the Mahatma to Dakshina Kannada. “Aaita says the region needs Gandhi bhoota and Gandhi daiva to bring all communities together,” Mr. Derla said.

Moral values of the Mahatma can be seen in “Shantiniketan Gandhi” that dealt with the incident when the Mahatma himself cleared in the morning the waste accumulated following his talk the earlier day at Shantiniketan. The Mahatma should be seen from “Banaras Gandhi” dealing with his speech at the Banaras Hindu University where the Mahatma expresses concern over the poor emulating the rich.

Superintendent of Police B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda said that the Mahatma was a philosophical politician who believed and practised secular and democratic principles. “He showed the value of freedom in our lives,” he said.

Minister for Urban Development and Housing U.T. Khader, Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyas Kamath and MLC Ivan D’Souza spoke.

National Service Scheme volunteers from different schools and colleges and Bharat Seva Dal volunteers attended the programme.

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