PM proposes ‘Einstein Challenge’ as tribute to the Mahatma

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New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) In a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has penned an op-ed piece in The New York Times, calling Gandhi as the “best teacher” and proposed an “Einstein Challenge”.

Enumerating his government’s work in the field of sanitation, eliminating poverty and renewable energy, Modi invited thinkers, entrepreneurs and tech leaders to be at the forefront of spreading Gandhi’s ideas through innovation, as part of the “Einstein Challenge”.

We know Albert Einstein’s famous words on Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

“How do we ensure the ideals of Gandhi are remembered by future generations? I invite thinkers, entrepreneurs and tech leaders to be at the forefront of spreading Gandhi’s ideas through innovation.

“Let us work shoulder to shoulder to make our world prosperous and free from hate, violence and suffering. That is when we will fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream, summed up in his favourite hymn, ‘Vaishnava Jana To’, which said that a true human is one who feels the pain of others, removes misery and is never arrogant,” Modi said.

“The world bows to you, beloved Bapu!”

In the piece titled, ‘Why India and the world need Gandhi’, he wrote: “In Gandhi, we have the best teacher to guide us. From uniting those who believe in humanity to furthering sustainable development and ensuring economic self-reliance, Gandhi offers solutions to every problem.”

“We in India are doing our bit. India is among the fastest when it comes to eliminating poverty. Our sanitation efforts have drawn global attention. India is also taking the lead in harnessing renewable resources through efforts like the International Solar Alliance, which has brought together several nations to leverage solar energy for a sustainable future. We want to do even more, with the world and for the world.”

Referring to the Dandi March, he wrote: “…Who else could have created a mass agitation through a pinch of salt! During colonial rule, Salt Laws, which placed a new tax on Indian salt, had become a burden. Through the Dandi March in 1930, Gandhi challenged the Salt Laws. A small lump of natural salt from the Arabian Sea shore led to the historic civil disobedience movement.”

“There have been many mass movements in the world, many strands of the freedom struggle even in India, but what sets apart the Gandhian struggle and those inspired by him is the wide-scale public participation. He never held administrative or elected office. He was never tempted by power.

“For him, independence was not an absence of external rule. He saw a deep link between political independence and personal empowerment. He envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity. When the world spoke about rights, Gandhi emphasized duties,” Modi wrote in the piece.

–IANS

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