New Delhi, Oct. 1 -- Unless "mainstreamed" as means, some worthy ends will remain as lofty ideals and their realizations will either be distant or elusive. A morally worthy end, according to Mahatma Gandhi, whose 151st birth anniversary is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, can be achieved only by adopting morally pure means.

He did not agree with those who said means are after all means. For Gandhi, means are after all everything.

Control over means

The problems with not prioritizing or undervaluing means, in contrast to ends, according to Gandhi, are many. First, a man is always obsessed with anxiety about the result of his action (ends). Gandhi had said, if our means are pure and our course is just and clear, all anxieties a...