Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday urged people to follow Gandhian principles in life but warned against deification of the Mahatma, saying it would lead to making him an object of worship.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday urged people to follow Gandhian principles in life but warned against deification of the Mahatma, saying it would lead to making him an object of worship. Addressing a symposium, “Gandhi Vichar Samagam”, organised on the occasion of the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary, Kumar said now people have given up learning and are content with the “trash being poured out on social media”.
“The society and the nation will stand transformed if our young generation followed even partially what he (Gandhi) stood for…. But he should not be deified. That would stop at making him an object of worship,” the chief minister said. Mentioning Gandhi’s oft-quoted words that the earth can fulfil the needs of all but the greed of none, Kumar told the audience about the seven sins the Mahatma had identified which include wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character and politics without principle.
“Another sin Mahatma Gandhi identified was science without humanity. We are living in a time when people have given up learning, remaining content with the trash being poured out on social media,” he said. Kumar, also the Janata Dal (United) president, said the “faulty approach towards life” neutralises all efforts made to realize the dream of a better life for everyone. “For example, we are carrying on this campaign to bring piped water to every household. But the benefits of such measures can be easily undone if people use water wastefully. We need to pay attention to the falling groundwater table and Bihar is no exception,” the chief minister said.
Climatic changes are staring the people in the face, he said adding that Bihar suffered flash floods in July and excessive rainfall in recent days has led to a flood-like situation in many other areas. “Water-logging was an unknown phenomenon in my native village. But it seems to have changed over the last few years. Our state is home to tourist spots like the hot water springs in Rajgir and the Kakolat waterfall in Nawada. The spectre of these running dry has loomed large,” he said.
This alarming situation has led the government to decide to make efforts for doing its bit to combat climate change, said the chief minister. “The Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali drive was envisaged in this backdrop. The campaign shall raise awareness that jeevan (life) depends on jal (water) and hariyali (greener). The drive would also include removing encroachments from ponds and recharging of such water bodies and dry wells,” he said.