Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday proposed the 'Einstein Challenge' to ensure that the ideals of Bapu are remembered by future generations. PM Modi proposed the challenge in a column written for The New York Times on Mahatma Gandhi's 150 birth anniversary. The column published on Gandhi Jayanti is titled 'Why India and the World Need Gandhi'.
"As a tribute to Gandhi, I propose what I call the Einstein Challenge. We know Albert Einstein’s famous words on Gandhi: 'Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth'… I invite thinkers, entrepreneurs and tech leaders to be at the forefront of spreading Gandhi’s ideas through innovation," Modi wrote in The New York Times.
PM Modi added, "In Gandhi, we have the best teacher to guide us. From uniting those who believe in humanity to furthering sustainable development and ensuring economic self-reliance, Gandhi offers solutions to every problem."
Hailing Gandhi's unique ability to become a bridge between some of the greatest contradictions in human society, PM Modi wrote, "In 1925, Gandhi wrote in 'Young India': It is impossible for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e., when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man.'
PM Modi added that Gandhi "envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was never narrow or exclusive but one that worked for the service of humanity."
PM Modi also wrote about how Gandhi influenced prominent world leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela.
"For Mr. Mandela, Gandhi was Indian and South African. Gandhi would have approved. He had the unique ability to become a bridge between some of the greatest contradictions in human society."
PM also highlighted how Gandhi combined ordinary objects like charkha and khadi with "mass politics".
He wrote, "Who else could have used a charkha, a spinning wheel, and khadi, Indian homespun cloth, as symbols of economic self-reliance and empowerment for a nation? Who else could have created a mass agitation through a pinch of salt..."
PM Modi also added that Gandhi was never tempted by power.
"There have been many mass movements in the world, many strands of the freedom struggle even in India, but what sets apart the Gandhian struggle and those inspired by him is the wide-scale public participation. He never held administrative or elected office. He was never tempted by power."
"For him, independence was not absence of external rule. He saw a deep link between political independence and personal empowerment. He envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity. When the world spoke about rights, Gandhi emphasized duties."