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Gandhi's Concept of Human Security

Gandhi's Concept of Human Security

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Published by anuraggangal
Highest form of security is possible in a civilised and gentle world where even armed battalions do not coerce. Until there is widespread voluntary effort towards conflict-transformation by individuals and states alike, the cities of the world will not have rest from armed conflicts, wars and mass murders. Weapons cannot provide security. It is the morale and faith in God and truth that leads to real sense of security. Modern weapons and technology is leading to widening net of insecurity among peoples and modern armies. The Gandhian conception of security can provide a great sense of strength and conviction to modern global citizen. However, for this, a process of transformation has to begin for helping evolve a general confidence in the ways of Gandhian nonviolence.
Highest form of security is possible in a civilised and gentle world where even armed battalions do not coerce. Until there is widespread voluntary effort towards conflict-transformation by individuals and states alike, the cities of the world will not have rest from armed conflicts, wars and mass murders. Weapons cannot provide security. It is the morale and faith in God and truth that leads to real sense of security. Modern weapons and technology is leading to widening net of insecurity among peoples and modern armies. The Gandhian conception of security can provide a great sense of strength and conviction to modern global citizen. However, for this, a process of transformation has to begin for helping evolve a general confidence in the ways of Gandhian nonviolence.

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Published by: anuraggangal on Feb 24, 2009
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05/10/2014

 
 MAHATMA GANDHI’S CONCEPT OF GLOBAL SECURITY AND PEACE
QUEST FOR HARMONY IN AN AGE OF GLOBALISATION AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Anurag Gangal,Director,Gandhian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies,Department of Political Science,University of Jammu,Jammu – 180006,Jammu and Kashmir,INDIA.
I
Introduction: Holistic Security
Security for Gandhi is a holistic phenomenon. In his Ideal society, thereis no room for weapons other than nails of a woman. Security hasnothing to do with weapons of any sort in the Gandhian arrangement of things. As regards atom bomb – of Hiroshima and Nagasaki type – Gandhi says, “ I regard the employment of the atom bomb for thewholesale destruction of men, women and children as the most diabolicaluse of science….. Unless now the world adopts nonviolence, it will spellcertain suicide for mankind.”
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For him, it is more a matter of opting for away of life. Gandhi is in favour of a nonviolent and more civilised lifestyle.Highest form of security is possible in a civilised and gentle world whereeven armed battalions do not coerce. Until there is widespread voluntary effort towards conflict-transformation by individuals and states alike, thecities of the world will not have rest from armed conflicts, wars and massmurders. Weapons cannot provide security. It is the morale and faith inGod and truth that leads to real sense of security. Modern weapons andtechnology is leading to widening net of insecurity among peoples andmodern armies. The Gandhian conception of security can provide a greatsense of strength and conviction to modern global citizen. However, forthis, a process of transformation has to begin for helping evolve a generalconfidence in the ways of Gandhian nonviolence.“Change is the law of nature.” It is a widely and universally accepted factof human life over the ages. This law, however, does not change. Changeinvolves innovation and zest for life. Modern technology is indeed itsmost glaring example. The ultimate end of this surging ahead of moderntechnology is in the “changelessness and timelessness” of the need for
 
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security, prosperity, development and peace. Ephemeral nature of change moves forth towards fulfilling the perennial needs of thisspaceship Earth. ‘What changes’ is subject to a cycle of moving forwardto attain the utmost need and truth. ‘What does not change’ attractsendless exploration for ageless human need of a permanent security.Can there ever be an enduring sense of security “as a living fact” for allindividuals in this world replete with recurring experiences leading toinnovations and acts of mass destruction through terror, mishaps andcold blooded, planned or schematic onslaughts against humanity atlarge?Quest for an answer to this query cannot but lead us to largely anunexplored perspective of nonviolence in the Gandhian conception of realities of human life. Present-day global needs and diverse scenarios of WMDs, depletion of resources, pollution, terrorism, increasingpromiscuity in modern “civil society”, balance of terror and mutualsuspicions among peoples and nations alike appear to be self-defeating.Mahatma Gandhi is a known proponent of nonviolence and peace in theworld. He has widely written on war, peace and security vis-à-visindividuals, states and vaster global perspectives. Gandhi, however, isnot a system builder in thought and action. He is a perceiver of reality asa “practical idealist” interweaving the two cords of human
knowledge 
and
dynamics 
in life. Gandhian vision is alive with holistic perception of truth, foresightedness and
scientific analysis 
.Gandhi sees an inherent linkage between knowledge, virtue or wisdomon the one hand, and security of a civil society comprisingunderstandably connected individual(s), groups, administrative units,
 polis 
of different magnitudes, provinces, sovereign states, internationaland global organisations, on the other hand. There is very clear line of thinking and continued relationship amongst these aspects of security from the level of an individual to an international establishment andglobal order. Security, defence, apt strategic environs and peace have tobegin with the individual first. Other levels of security will have to followsuit. That is why Gandhi says, “There cannot be internationalismwithout nationalism.” This is the Gandhian
order of holistic logic 
thatmust be adopted for a securer and more peaceful world.As such, Gandhi’s view of security for both an individual and a state canbe have meaningful only through certain inter-related measures taken by the world community of nations over a period of time. These measuresare:
 
3
֠
 
Global conventional and nuclear disarmament.
֠
 
Preservation of environment and ecology.
֠
 
Resolving the population, poverty and unemployment menace.
֠
 
 Thinking more of peace than about war and weapons.
֠
 
Globalisation with a human face.
֠
 
Evolving a world culture where smallest should feel the tallest.
 
II
Security without Weapons
Security for Gandhi is not merely strategy and technique of defeating aninvading army. It is not an international, as it were, wrestling amongnations with weapons of mass destruction. Security, for him, does notmean disbandment of modern armies and other disciplined forces. It isalso not merely self-defence. Security, for him, initially is a notion basedon logic of why should there be a threat in the absence of some solidpolitical and economic gain. In other words, gainful motive has to bethere. The nature and perception of such a motive emerges here as moreimportant.
Peace and development through security are the essence of modern conceptionof security.
 
Instead, for Gandhi, security is possible through peace and development only.
  The major difference in these two views is primarily that of emphasis. The Gandhian perspective considers security as a natural corollary of development and peace. It is not weapons and machines but pulsatinghuman beings who are of real significance. Everything else is secondary.An inherently ever widening twenty-first century contradiction andsecurity predicament is there in available stockpiles of weaponsproviding a peculiar sense of security replete with threats of completehuman extinction.
Modern security is possible through mutual assureddestruction (MAD).
What a dilemma it is
!
 This trend shows a specificdirection of thinking. This needs transformation. That is why Barash andWebel say:However one judges the desirability of peace orlegitimacy of (at least some) wars, it should beclear that peace and war exist on a continuum of violent / nonviolent national behaviours andthat they constantly fluctuate. Neither should betaken for granted, and neither is humanity’s

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