For those lamenting that the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, is a forgotten man and that his ideals have been consigned into oblivion, here is a reality check. No less than 12,000 students from 180-odd schools across the State would be aware of his life and unstinting struggle against the British rule, due to an examination that they wrote a few days ago.
The students wrote an examination based on an abridged version of ‘Satya Sodanai’, an autobiography of Gandhi, on August 30. The examinations were conducted by the Gandhi Study Centre in T Nagar, a forum founded by a Gandhian, T D Thirumalai. True to Bapu’s principles, the examinations were voluntary in nature, with the forum conducting them in schools only after their acquiescence.
Speaking to City Express, chairman of the 40-year old centre, Mohan says that the examinations were held with the intention for cultivating honesty and other ideals associated with Gandhi among the younger generation. Those schools that respond to our communications take part in the process, he says.
The schools are asked to form a two-member committee comprising the headmaster and an in-charge person for conducting the exams. Students register by paying a sum of Rs 40, which includes cost of exam and the book which is provided to them. As many as 45 schools have taken part in the process this year, which has been going on for at least a decade, he adds.
However, there has been a slight drop in the number of students writing the exams this year. “Last year, 13,000 students wrote the exam. Whether this can be attributed to a dip in interest in the Mahatma’s ideals is not certain. But we know that many more forums are conducting similar programmes,” he states.
The centre also conducts correspondence courses with the aid of another book Let us know Gandhi better. The course costs Rs 200 and is open to the public.