Swachh Bharat Abhiyan must be taken as social movement: SC Judge Sanjiv Khanna

‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, the cleanliness drive launched on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2014, must be taken as a “social movement” for a clean and hygienic India is “healthier and happier,” Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjiv Khanna said on Monday.

Justice Khanna was speaking at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association to celebrate the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in the apex court’s premises.

“We launched the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ on Gandhi’s birthday. It is a social movement and it has to be taken as a social movement. Unless it is taken as a social movement it will not be able to achieve its aims and objectives,” he said.

“Clean and hygienic India is healthier and happier,” Justice Khanna added, drawing a big applause from the audience.

He said some people become immortal by their words and deeds and underlined the various facets of Gandhi’s philosophy, including non-violence, satyagraha, fasting for social and communal harmony, ill will towards none, and simplicity in life.

Justice Khanna said Mahatma Gandhi was revered across the world and the true tribute for the father of the nation was to imbibe his words and put his thoughts into action.

“As he once said, carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny,” he said.

He cited two other quotations of Mahatma Gandhi and said they are especially relevant for the judiciary.

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“Facts mean truth, and once we adhere to truth, the law comes to our aid naturally,” the judge said, quoting Gandhi.

Referring to the contributions of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, the apex court judge said he was “a true Gandhian” who lived by his words and thoughts.

Justice Khanna highlighted the difficult circumstances when Shastri became the second prime minister of the country.

Shastri remained honest and humble while having selfless devotion to the country, he said.

Several bar leaders including SCBA Secretary Rohit Pandey and lawyers were present at the function.

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