I was 6 years old when Gandhi was assassinated on this day in 1948 . I have a very vague memory of walking with my young friends in a procession wearing a black badge on my shirt along the road next to my house . I experienced Gandhi indirectly when I visited the  Birla House and Raj Ghat in Delhi , and the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad  while serving in the Army.  I could take my father – a lawyer, along on all these visits and it was a great pilgrimage for my father because he experienced  Gandhiji and everything the great man stood for , directly. Inspired by the Mahatma and emulating his simplicity , my father always wore white  and I have never seen him resorting to any ostentation in his personal habits.

Gandhiji lived his life for the downtrodden and the poor masses represented by the real India  and died for a cause which he believed  would have transformed this country from mutual hatred and sectarianism . He communicated his thoughts eloquently and I like the following three messages  which are widely  quoted  –

”  Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man , and ask yourself , if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him ”

” The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems ”

” A customer is the most important visitor on our premises . He is not dependent on us , we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work , he is the purpose of it .  He is not an outsider in our business , he is part of it . We are not doing him a favor by serving him , he is  doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so. ”

All these thoughts are so very relevant in all walks of life , now and for ever in the future  and Gandhiji ‘s  Martyrdom will never go wasted.

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