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Day 39 – Q 3. The virtue of having compassion towards the weaker sections is best formulated in Gandhi’s Talisman. Discuss.

3. The virtue of having compassion towards the weaker sections is best formulated in Gandhi’s Talisman. Discuss. 

गांधी के जंतर में कमजोर वर्गों के प्रति करुणा रखने का गुण सबसे अच्छी तरह से सूत्रित है। चर्चा करें।


Compassion is understanding or empathy for the suffering of others. 

Compassion is an action oriented empathy that helps to alleviate suffering of a person.


Gandhiji’s talisman– I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?

Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.”

One of the last notes left behind by Gandhi in 1948, expressing his deepest social thought.

provides an ethical test to judge everyday actions.

  • This talisman of Gandhiji champions the cause of ‘sarvodaya through antyodaya’ implying the welfare of all through the weakest of the society which lies at the core of Indian Constitution.
  • This talisman is a clarion call to the citizens to develop emotional intelligence so that they are in a better position to assess the needs of fellow (vulnerable) citizens, and work towards their upliftment through individual actions.
  • India of the 21st century is witnessing sectoral violence, socio-economic inequality, low tolerance threshold and increasing consumerism. Global politics is witnessing xenophobia, armed conflicts and multiple refugee crises. Gaindhiji’s talisman can hence be an effective tool to evaluate the relevance of government policies, business priorities and our daily actions with the society. All these entities can assess their actions in public as well as private life against the Gandhi’s talisman to ameliorate ethical dilemmas.

Applying the talisman to our daily lives invariably suggest the following:

  • Government policies must necessarily focus on the vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society even if it requires making special provision for such classes.
  • At personal level, self-serving acts like tax evasion, littering in public places etc. must be shunned. 
  • Derogatory practices in society like manual scavenging, caste-based discrimination, exploitation of women and the poor, dowry, nepotism etc. must be condemned in practice.
  • At societal level, it encourages altruism, compassion and communal harmony towards fellow human beings when encountered with negative vibes of hatred and violence.
  • Businesses and Industries should strive to reduce polluting activities, ensure optimal working conditions and must honestly comply with social security legislations. Further, it encourages business houses to go for Corporate Social Responsibility for achieving greater inclusiveness in the society.
  • Public servants should ensure transparency and integrity in implementation of welfare provisions like PDS, MGNREGA, Old Age Pension Scheme etc. so that their steps lead to swaraj in true sense.


Thus, Gandhiji’s talisman empowers us to judge our actions and is a timeless beacon of inspiration for generations to come. Being compassionate is one of the most vital attributes of Talisman which helps in bringing efficiency in work culture and aid to the welfare of the weaker section.

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