Gandhi’s probity should be an example for everyone

A recent article appeared in the Times of India that featured Arun Gandhi's grandchildren Kasturi and Vivan.  It speaks to the importance of MK Gandhi being a much-needed role-model to the people, especially the children, in our turbulent and uncertain times.

Bapu's probity should be an example to all

Source: Bella Jaisinghani | Times of India

Noun: The quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency. 

Whenever Mahatma Gandhi was discussed during a history lesson, Kasturi Gandhi felt the collective gaze of the class on her. "To this day, I am constantly reminded of my ancestry, especially when Bapu's extreme sense of probity is held up as an example during any debate on corruption in public life," she says.

Kasturi Gandhi Great Great Gandaughter of Mahatma GandhiBut she and her elder brother Vivan, the grandchildren of Arun Gandhi who is the grandson of Bapu, are always conscious of the legacy left behind by their ancestor. The vast library in the Santa Cruz home of their father Tushar Gandhi has not only helped them acquaint themselves with their great great grandfather, but also spurred them to introspect.

While Vivan Gandhi is a third-year student of law at Pravin Gandhi College in Juhu, Kasturi is a second-year student at St Xavier's College, Mumbai. Vivan often shares nuggets of information about Gandhi with his friends. "Once he gave his grandson, Arun, a new pencil after the old one was completely worn out. After a few days, he asked for a new pencil, saying the one was frayed. Bapu took a look at the stub and said it could still be used. He urged him to utilize it till the end before he bought him another," smiles Vivan. "My friends are intrigued by this anecdote. After all, a pencil is not expensive and Bapu was not stingy. I explain that Bapu's aim was to inculcate the value of conserving things and preventing wastage."

While his classmates at Jasudben ML School never treated him differently or specially, Vivan's college friends are more curious. "We talk a lot about the history of Indian Independence," says Vivan. "More often than not, it is with friends that I discuss these things than with family. As my father knows way more than I do, I turn to him when certain questions come to my mind. I do know enough about Bapu and I would not be uncomfortable speaking about him before an audience."

Kasturi is also familiar with Bapu's autobiography as well as books written by Arun. “It's inspiring to learn about Bapu's little ways and habits. We owe him so much," she says. Kasturi, incidentally, studies psychology, literature and anthropology and hopes to take up journalism. Her profile as media manager of her college culture fest Malhar, she hopes, will give her a leg up in that direction.

Interestingly, both siblings follow Kennedy's adage of "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." The endemic corruption in society distresses them both. But they also question the propensity of the average citizen to pay bribes to get his work done in two short steps instead of five. "We shouldn't blame politicians alone. We too need to introspect," says Vivan.

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  1. i love gandhis and east indian style rotis but the quality has been steadily going down the past few months..1. I think its unreasonable to criticize Gandhis for taking 20 minutes to serve you your roti. If you want fast food go elsewhere Gandhis makes no pretense of offering it.

  2. I think this is among the most vital info for me. Gandhi’s probity is an example for the planet! Good job, cheers

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