Gandhi can never be ignored. The father of the nation compels our netas not only to swear by him, but also to take a critical look at the current developmental discourse.
The city witnessed Gandhians and political leaders coming together to revisit the Gandhian model and its relevance to the nation in the present context. The occasion was a three-day national convention on two most vital tasks put forth by Mahatma Gandhi during his last days, organised by Bharath Nirman Pratishtan recently.
Inaugurating the meet, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology of ‘Back to Villages’ was very much relevant today. The senior BJP leader said, “Gandhi aimed that villages should be given more importance and propounded ‘Back to Villages’. Unfortunately, most of our political leaders showed their back to the villages and moved forward to urbanisation.” He said Gandhiji’s thoughts were native and were derived from our civilisation.
“Hence, he put forth the idea of village upliftment. Until his last breath, he advocated that Rama Rajya will not happen until Grama Rajya happens.”
Quoting legendary Telugu poet Gurazada Apparao’s lines, ‘A country is not made of land but its people’, Naidu said education, employment and entertainment were all turned only towards urban areas and called for getting them into the hinterland.
Recalling his days as minister during the Vajpayee Government, he said, “When the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee asked me to choose any of the ministries in that BJP-led NDA government, I wished to choose agriculture. But it was already given to an alliance party. Then I chose Rural Development. Hearing this, the Vajpayee was surprised and said ‘There are some persons who really wish to develop rural areas’. We brought some good schemes in order to uplift the rural areas at that time.”
Education and health are the two aspects in which very government, intellectuals and activists must concentrate, he added.