Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said that while everybody was ready to deify Mahatama Gandhi very few were willing to follow his thoughts and attributed present days crises in agriculture and environment to ignoring paths shown by him. “Every Indian has respect for Gandhiji, believes in his deification and if somebody talks against Bapu they feel bad. But very few are willing to follow Gandhiji’s vichar (thoughts),” Kumar told a national symposium here. Gandhiji’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi, Gandhian Razi Ahmad, chief of Gandhi Sanghralay in Delhi Kumar Prashant and scholar Madhukar Upadhyay were on the dias with Kumar. The Bihar chief minister, whose government is celebrating the centenary of Gandhiji’s ‘Champaran Satyagraha’, said his views are more relevant today. Due to this, the government has decided to knock at the doors of every household in the state to make the younger generation in particular aware of Gandhiji’s life and views.
“Present day crisis in agriculture as well in environment are mainly due to the ignorance shown to Gandhiji’s growth model. Rampant use of technology and unplanned development portend badly for mankind’s survival,” he said. In an oblique dig at the NDA government in the Centre, Kumar highlighted how GM mustard is being encouraged despite the fact that introduction of biotechnology in cotton earlier ruined farmers.
On environment, he said that bird species like the house sparrow was fast diminishing in numbers due to harmful rays emanating from cell phone towers set up to cater to the excessive use of mobiles. He also pointed to the “sorry” condition of Ganga river and said that cleaning it was not possible without ensuring smooth flow of its water.Kumar expressed anxiety over deteriorating social environment due to growing intolerance.
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The Bihar chief minister said that his government was treading on the path shown by Gandhiji and referred to the liquor ban in the state and women empowerment to drive home his point. Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatama Gandhi, said one does not become Gandhian merely by being born into his family but by treading on the Gandhian path. “Gandhiji’s paths cannot be treaded by merely having a 56 inch chest but it requires to have lion’s heart,” he said in an apparent swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Referring to Hindu Mahasabha building a temple for Nathuram Godse in Mumbai, he said instead of protesting against it he believed in going to it and unmasking the believers of Bapu’s killers. Tushar Gandhi, Kumar Prashant and Razi Ahmad hailed the prohibition by Nitish Kumar in Bihar, which they said displayed a trait of Gandhiji in him.