The philosophical justification of the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy is rooted in the combination of traditional values and the progressive worldview

13:00 12.01.2024 •

Mr. Subrata Das, Minister of Education, Embassy of the Republic of India in the Russian Federation, giving an interview to "International Affairs" journal, highlighted the importance of educating the younger generation on the basis of studying and promoting the moral heritage of the two great non-violence apologists, Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy.

Two great and truly noble souls of the modern era, Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy, had similar approaches to life and existence..

The commonality of their thinking increased as a result of their correspondence.

Mahatma Gandhi, non-violence advocate, called Tolstoy the greatest preacher of non-violence.

Their ideas have become even more relevant today, in times of rampant consumerism and as the world seeks to address the environmental and ecological issues. 

As social reformists, both of them sought universal human progress via drawing strength from existing realities. The wisdom of putting into practice what they preached came naturally to them. In the case of Mahatma Gandhi, it led to India's independence movement by means of non-violence and civil resistance. 

Both of them tirelessly championed the rights of the underprivileged, as well as the vulnerable social caps.

Scholars have shed light on the evolution of the interaction between Tolstoy and Gandhi, commencing in 1893 when Mahatma Gandhi, under Tolstoy's influence, initiated his studies in Britain. After his arrival in South Africa in 1909, Mahatma Gandhi started the correspondence with Tolstoy and, moreover, actively studied Tolstoy's writings. According to Mahatma Gandhi, Tolstoy's work "Tsatstvo Bozhiye Vnutri Nas" made a lasting impression on him. His farm in South Africa was named in Tolstoy's honor. 

After his return to India, Gandhi continued to look to Tolstoy as a mentor, considering him a prominent figure who had a profound influence on the world of the XX century. As advocates and practitioners of nonviolence, both Gandhi and Tolstoy shared formidable spiritual partnership that continued even after Leo Tolstoy's demise.

This deeply resonated with Mahatma Gandhi's combat against colonialism.

While scholars continue to carry out research on the ideas of Gandhi and Tolstoy, it is crucial to convey these ideas to the younger generation so as to provide the right impetus and inspiration.

In this context, the great work done by the organization "BRICS. World of Traditions" within the framework of the International and Inter-Regional Socio-Cultural Program "BRICS People Choosing Life", as well as the role of Delhi Public School, Dwarka, and School 1409, Moscow, are by all means notable.

It is heartening to witness the commendable work done for the sake of familiarizing students with the philosophy of two of the greatest socio-political leaders of our age.

The Embassy of the Republic of India in the Russian Federation highly appreciates the significance of this socio-cultural program that encompasses a series of events in a number of Russian, as well as other BRICS countries regions and that aims to create a common cultural and educational community bringing together like-minded people from all the BRICS nations.


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