The world has been changed by Gandhi – celebrating 150 years since his birth

History recognizes Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) as India’s “Father of the Nation”.

But he has been the “Father of Change” throughout the world.

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Peaceful freedom campaigners such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Tibet’s Dalai Lama owe much to this great man.

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I am pictured visiting the Gandhi Ashram in Gujarat

In my own generation it was our opposition to the Vietnam War that led us to study Gandhi and his methods of non-violent protest. In this way he inspired young people in the 1960’s in Australia, USA, Canada and more.

I especially love his message encouraging tolerance: “As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it”. He said: “The golden rule is to test everything in the light of reason and experience, no matter from where it comes.”

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Some more Gandhi messages for specific sectors:

Communities: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”.

Leadership: “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

Careers: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Business: “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

Innovation: “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

Education: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

In our ever-busy lives, Gandhi is a role model in taking time out for the simple things. I saw this in bustling Mumbai at Mani Bhavan (Gandhi House), a three storey home with shuttered windows, a residence that Mahatma Gandhi was able to use. His room is simply furnished, austere. He would sit and read, spin cotton or talk to friends. It was his quiet time.

This was indeed the man who said there was enough in the world for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.

No surprise then that Gandhi’s core approach to life was “You must be the change you want to see in the world”, a message very alive today as we seek to enhance our tolerant, multicultural communities.

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Indian middle-class consumers are spending big this festive season and online shopping is booming

India’s e-Commerce major Flipkart set record sales in the “Big Billion Days” launch of festival season online sales (Navrati and Diwali are in October).

Both e-commerce majors Flipkart and Amazon India had record transactions on their platforms on the first day of their annual festive sale, which started early on Sunday.

Flipkart is now owned by American retail major Walmart.

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Flipkart had demand in all major categories, including beauty, women’s ethnic wear, kidswear, sports, fast-moving consumer goods, baby care, private labels, and furniture on the first day of the sale.

High end phones are in demand – Amazon had big sales in premium smartphone brands OnePlus (pictured), Samsung, and Apple. Large appliances and televisions showed growth.

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The company said the largest number of new customers shopped for fashion, daily essentials, and consumables.

For Flipkart, travel was also the fastest-growing category which saw 12X growth over last year.

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Also, over 2.3 million consumers engaged with games on the platform. There were close to 10 million new app downloads in less than a month in the run-up to BBD 2019.

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Candles of the Diwali celebrations coming up on 27 October – a time of gift giving and family gatherings similar in scale to Christmas