94/100 of #100bookpact
Third Class in Indian Railways – Mahatma Gandhi
I had three damn good reasons to read this one, the first and foremost was the title, second the Writer 🙂 and the third one was the most important – we had to travel out for a long long weekend to one of our cousins house warming somewhere deep inside Rajasthan by Train. This was the first book that I have ever read in its entirety during the course of a journey itself, which was an over night train journey of close to 19 hrs. And the first of the three books ever written by the great man, totally loved his sense of humor and the choice of worlds that too in 1916, exactly a 100 years ago. Who in India doest know the story behind his traveling in “Third Class” in Indian Railways, I was shocked to know (as told in the book) that he used to travel deliberately to see what’s going on in the third class. He wrote / spoke and what not to Indian Railways to up the standard of Third Class then and what was the plight of the passengers. Unfortunately and unbelievably – you have to agree with me on this – not much has changed in 100 years, if you have traveled in “General” and if not even in “IInd Class Sleeper”, you would know what I am talking, it is indeed shocking telling with my first hand experience a couple of days ago.
The book just doesn’t cover only the title story about Indian Railways but other stuff too. As it is written pre-independence, we can relate very well with what he is talking about. Especially with his “Ahimsa – Non Violence” movement in great details, his views on it as why he preferred that. Also the “Swadesh” movement and how it impacts the country’s economy and why it should be promoted then and in future too. It stands true even in today’s time – hats off to the Father of the Nation’s futuristic thinking which aptly passes the test of time. Another fantastic chapter he has written on “The Moral Basis of Co-operation” and a hilarious one on “National Dress”, that proved that Gandhiji actually had a great sense of humor, totally loved it. His views on other religions, beliefs and how Hinduism should inspire others and all is too good. This little book of Wisdom (as I would like to call it) has increased his respect in my eyes by leaps and bounds. The book never gets preachy and looks like he is venting out his own personal feelings on all the subjects in a the most subtle ways. After reading this I am so much inclined to read his other works but unfortunately he has only three books to his credit including this one.
I will definitely try to get the other two and read them shortly. Also, I am going to keep this with me and have my kiddo read it once she grows to the level of the book.