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Gandhi's 'miracle' was defeating colonialism with an Indian idea: M J Akbar

Akbar made the remarks while addressing the inaugural function of a three-day conference on maritime security

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar addresses a press conference in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Photo: PTI
File photo of Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar. Photo: PTI

The "miracle" of lies in the fact that he used the Indian idea of "satyagraha" to destroy the European and not in leading the first mass movement of people, Union minister said on Thursday.

"The miracle of Gandhi was not, in my view, that he led the first mass movement of the people. The miracle of Gandhi lay in the fact that he took the Indian idea in order to destroy the European colonialism," the Union Minister of State for External Affairs said while addressing an event.

Akbar was addressing the inaugural function of a three-day conference on maritime security, organised by the "Forum for Integrated Security" (FINS) in South Goa.

"....Before that, people wondered how can you defeat It was an Indian idea called 'satyagraha' and 'satyagraha' is not merely non-violence, it is power of truth and amazingly somebody who articulated something as philosophical, not conventionally understandable, turned it into an idea," the minister said.

Claiming that salt was equated to salary, Akabar said thatGandhiji's Dandi Salt March in 1930 was an important aspect of the last push.

"Salt is equated to salary. Still we say 'apka namak khaya hai."

The minister said there were "deeper resonances" to the actions undertaken by Gandhiji during that time.

"India was created not by the strength of an alternative army, not by military force. It was a mass movement inspired by a mass reality and motivated by the people and therefore India became genuinely people's republic," the former journalist said.

Referring to the changing security scenario, the minister said one should understand the "collateral" while using the word security.

"Security for whom? There was an age, not too long ago, that the only definition of security was security for elites who fought between them, by them, for them. Majority of the people were by-standards. But the world has changed significantly. Today, security no longer means the security of elite, it means security of the masses," he said.

Akbar said one has to look at the sea map of the country while discussing security.

"When you look at the map of India, you are automatically trapped in the land map of the country, but if you are discussing strategy and security, you have to look much more than the land map of India.

"In fact, I would suggest that the land map of India is far more secure than the sea map. Sea map of India is much bigger than the land map. Land map of India will indicate size of India and the sea map of India will indicate its reach," he added.

First Published: Fri, October 13 2017. 10:35 IST