World needs Mahatma’s ideology today, say expats in UAE

Despite being born decades after Gandhi’s death, they admire and are inspired by his teachings and ideology

DUBAI /ABU DHABI


As one of the most influential leaders in history, does Mahatma Gandhi’s name and fame mean anything to international millennials? Do young people outside India know about Gandhi’s philosophy and his teachings and do they believe these hold relevance in today’s times?

Gulf News speaks to millennials in the UAE.

Shah Alam, 22, salesman from Pakistan

“I learnt about Gandhi through my colleagues and friends because both countries – India and Pakistan — used to be one nation. So whenever we remember Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Quaid-i-Azam, we also talk about the freedom struggle of Gandhi. Gandhi faced many difficulties when he lived in South Africa and fought the British with courage and matchless zeal. He lived a very simple life based on selflessness and truth. But in today’s world, Gandhi’s ideology and thoughts are missing.”

Jerry Aban, 17, hairdresser from Philippines

“I have never heard about Mahatma Gandhi. Of course, it’s important to know about the world’s greatest leaders. I don’t know much about southeast Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but I believe that everybody should know about their country’s history and stories of other great leaders in the world who devoted their lives for their country’s freedom struggle.”

Charles Lores, 23, Filipino civil engineer

“I studied about Gandhi in history classes in high school in the Philippines. We used to have a week for studying India’s history. I studied that he led the non-violent freedom struggle of India. He propagated peace and non-violence. These values are very important, especially now. We see countries fighting and people resorting to violence. We can’t expect everyone to agree with everyone. It’s important to teach principles and beliefs of leaders like him to the young generation. It is good if such stories are taught in history classes.”

Abdul Rahman Al Beloushi, 21, Emirati, filmmaking student

“I have read about Gandhi. I don’t remember studying about him. I have read books with stories about him. Most of them were translated into Arabic. I have read that he inspired people and he used to help the poor. I remember reading that he said, for example, you need to appreciate what you have; you need to be patient and work hard. These are things that the new generation generally doesn’t do. They just want to get everything done easily. Our generation is not aware of history like the old generation. Leaders like Gandhi and [Abraham] Lincoln were against racism. Their great actions had big impact on people. Learning about such leaders is always a good to instil values and have good principles in life.”

Samar Mouazen, Lebanese, 19, interior designing student

“I know Gandhi is famous and his quotes are inspiring. I never studied about him. He was a very humble man and he brought about big changes for his country and he is known as India’s Father of the Nation. His principles still have relevance and have impact on people today. Youngsters of today, in schools or universities, should be taught more about leaders like him to grow up as good citizens and leaders.”

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