If you’re interested in the Gandhian way of life, you could be able to immerse yourself in it very soon.
The Indian government is working to roll out Gandhi-themed homestays across the country, where guests and tourists will live just as Mahatma Gandhi did. They will eat a strict diet of plant-based and vegetarian meals, live without possessions, and focus on self-restraint, self-help, and non-violence.
The initiative is in honor of Gandhi’s 150th birthday celebrations. Born in 1869, Gandhi is one of India’s most well-known historical figures. Throughout the 1930s and 40s, he led India’s independence movement. A lawyer and anti-colonial nationalist, his nonviolent approach — centered around powerful speeches and peaceful protest — inspired civil rights movements around the world.
In the spirit of non-violence, Gandhi did not eat meat. He also did not consume dairy, however, it is reported that he drank goat’s milk later on in life during recovery from an illness.
India’s tourism and cultural ministries have asked New Delhi’s Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to Gandhi, to help with its mission, which was initially put forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Educating Tourists About Gandhism
According to the Economic Times, the museum is reaching out to Gandhi ashrams across India to ask if they have the logistics and resources to offer homestays. The idea is to encourage more international tourists to come to India and learn about Gandhi and his way of life.
A government official told the Economic Times, “early morning prayers, walks, garden work, cooking and cleaning, bath and shave without soap, spinning the charkha, meditation, writing letters, bhajans, rural visits, simple food, and khadi clothes are part of the daily routine we are looking at.” He added, “but the institutions can put together their own programmes to make them more engaging.”
“As regard to food,” he continued. “Gandhi thought deeply about his food and has talked about his abstinence from salt, cow milk, or even his preference for oatmeal. But he didn’t impose his food choices on anyone so we are okay with only vegetarian food.”
Currently, 15 institutions where the programme can take place have been identified, but the government and Gandhi Smriti is hoping for more. They are currently talking with 500 institutions across the country to see if they can also host the programme.