You are on page 1of 10

Gandhiji described as the seven social sins: Politics Without Principles. Wealth Without Work.

Commerce Without Morality Education Without Character Pleasure Without Conscience. Science Without Humanity. Worship Without Sacrifice.

It is easy to be violent, but non-violence requires courage

Mahatma Gandhi said, “There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared for kill for”.

Courage is always required to transform evil into good. More than half a century ago, Gandhi sought to break the cycles of violence and reprisal. What distinguishes us from brute beasts, he said, is our continuous striving for moral self-improvement. Humanity is at a crossroads and must choose, he asserted, violence (the law of the jungle) or nonviolence (the law of humanity).

Courage is always required to transform evil into good. Now is the time for each of us to bring forth such courage: the courage of nonviolence, the courage of dialogue, the courage to listen to what we would rather not hear, the courage to restrain the desire for vengeance and be guided by reason. He was courageous enough to confess his guilt, as he was courageous enough to refuse to take off his turban when the judge of the court in South Africa ordered him to do so. He was courageous enough to refuse to move from his first class seat. He wanted to know the conditions of poor peasantry. He went to them and the people crowded around him by hundreds. The police ordered him to leave but he refused and when he was taken to court he explained why he disobeyed the police then courageously and very wisely asked the judge to punish him. The court did not know what to do with him so they released him.

an empty vision. Many revered his name. without it. nonviolence meant an overflowing love for all humanity. Gandhi owned incredible strength and patience. but it can be traced sometime before when he was a young lawyer in South Africa No one abhorred violence more than Gandhi. a way of life that emanated from the very marrow of his being. When the Untouchables joined his Ashram and the others antagonized them. His sacrificing character is also seen in South Africa when he gave up a financially good position to join with the poor Indians he was working for. Gandhi's peacefully inclined character is not just obvious from his non-violent policy of non co-operation with the British or refusing to obey unjust laws however calmly accepting any given punishment. calling it sentimental and unrealistic. . Gandhi was patient enough to wait for help until it came with the help of the Moslem merchant. Last but not least. But for many of his followers. a tactic for winning India's independence from Britain. At the same time no one knew more deeply that violence can only be countered by nonviolence. Others scorned his conviction. For Gandhi.In this little body. It made life possible. No question he was really patient and sacrificing to bear all the suffering and imprisonments he had gone through. Gandhi did not yield but did even a more unexpected reaction by moving a whole group to an area where Untouchables lived. Some criticized Gandhi for coddling the terrorist. hatred can only be defeated by love and compassion. Just as fire is extinguished by water. nonviolence was simply a political strategy. but few truly shared his beliefs. he could not have lived even a moment.

Martin Luther King Jr. often amplified by the media. spreads throughout society. you only hurt yourself. The Mahatma taught that "the strong are never vindictive" and that dialogue can only be engaged in by the brave. it is supreme courage. a peaceful society will be born. Nonviolence is the highest form of humility. he continued. He will perceive in the course of his search that he has no need to be violent. but on the Dharma. Man may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness. peaceful heart. a willingness to listen to others is born. A culture of violence.C. the principles of Buddhism. he will fail to find the truth he is searching for. from humiliation. mutual understanding is born. By engaging in reprisals. much as the cool beams of the moon bring soothing relief from the maddening heat of the day.Violence solves nothing. he converted to Buddhism. from humility. There is no half way between truth and nonviolence on the one hand and untruth and violence on the other. deciding that he would base his rule not on military force. He declared that a person whose spirit is in turmoil cannot truly practice nonviolence. cannot long remain violent. A truthful man. The rage that results from injured self-respect. was a student of Gandhi's philosophy.. and from mutual understanding. a spirit parched with an unquenched thirst for meaning in life. a spirit splintered and frayed by the frustration of powerlessness. it is supreme courage. King Ashoka was a wise and virtuous monarch of Ancient India (around the third century B. which delights in crushing and beating others into submission. Violence is born from a wounded spirit: a spirit burned and blistered by the fire of arrogance. a spirit shriveled and shrunk by feelings of inferiority. from a willingness to listen to others. erupts as violence. he replied that indeed it was. word. Indeed lying is the mother of violence. The essence of Gandhi's teachings was fearlessness. When Gandhi was asked whether a nonviolent state was possible. Gandhi believed that the way of the peace is the way of the Truth. It has been my hope that the light of India--a country known in the East since ancient times as "the land of moonlight"-will help spread the spirit of peace. Nonviolence is the highest form of humility. humility is born. He pointed to Ashoka's reign as an example and asserted that it must be possible to reproduce the ancient king’s achievement. and deed. The American civil rights leader Dr.) After witnessing first hand the cruel realities of war. From a healed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make steady progress towards it. and he will further discover that so long as there is the slightest trace of violence in him. Gandhi .

Unless we realize this. . He who trembles when he sees two people fighting is not nonviolent but a coward. he said. It is a conscious. . deliberate restraint put upon one's desire for vengeance. In the new era of the 21st century. .believed that the attainment of freedom whether. . The 20th century was a century of war. A nonviolent person will lay down his life in preventing such quarrels. with nonviolence. unless we widely promote and deeply implant the understanding that violence can never be used to advocate one's beliefs.8 Gandhi said that individual conviction is the essence of carrying out nonviolence. . humanity must be guided by the overriding principle that killing is never acceptable or justified--under any circumstance. Cowardice is wholly inconsistent. . must be in exact proportion to the attainment of non-violence by each. nor between religions. nonviolence is needed for protection of atman for the protection of one's honour. they only harm themselves in the act. for a man or for a nation or the world. Violence is needed for protection of external things whereas. Nonviolence cannot be learnt by staying at home. we will have learned nothing from the bitter lessons of the 20th century.4 Gandhi replied that the exercise of nonviolence requires far greater bravery than that of swordsmanship. . a century in which hundreds of millions of people died violent deaths. The real struggle of the 21st century will not be between civilizations. It will be between barbarity and civilization in the truest sense of the word. This power was trained and utilised by Gandhi to foster the principle of nonviolence in bringing about India's freedom without blood shed. It will be between violence and nonviolence. Nonviolence presupposes the ability to strike. Nonviolence is superior to violence because it is diametrically opposed to violence. the sun does not wreak vengeance upon little children who throw dust at him.

Troops stationed there were having conflicts with the colonists. killing five. . As Britain tried to tighten their reign on the colonies. and shots were fired. This would prove to be a necessary step. boycotting goods and rebelling against the troops stationed in the colonies. the colonists rebelled. In response to the colonists' disregard for taxation. violence broke out in Boston in the form of the Boston Massacre. In response to this. which then escalated into violence. which said that Parliament had the full authority to make laws and collect taxes in the colonies as they saw fit .The American Revolution sprung out of increased British taxation. The money raised from this would be used to pay for the army Also in 1770. because within a year there was a spark to start the American Revolution. Parliament passed the Declaratory Act in 1766.

It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man". For only the strong can rein in their senses and their emotions. not the one carrying the gun or the one carrying a bomb on him. Oct 2 is International Day of Non-Violence. This is the message that needs to be disseminated to one and all today -. who said. In some countries. is comfortable with the philosophy of Gandhi. which is working to bring peace to the world. on the other hand.the greatest champion of nonviolence the modern world has seen. the minds of children are being poisoned by adults into hating people just because they belong to another religion or another race or another nation. Nonviolence needs intelligence. so easy. often goaded by politicians hungry for power. Anyone can become violent. Afghanistan. You need not be strong to be violent. you don’t even need courage. you certainly don’t need intelligence.the International Day of Non-Violence. real courage. The non-violent man is the real man. For only the intelligent can see the bigger picture – that we are all the same underneath our skins. Citizens of different racial origin or religious practices live in a constant state of suspicion or are at each other’s throats. International Day of Non-Violence has been observed since 2007. only the brave can return love for hatred. is difficult. because it is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi -. Why is there so much violence? Because it is so.There is armed conflict in Syria. anyone can abuse a young child. violence continues to wreck lives. that we are all the same once shorn of our consciousness of colour and religion. But non-violence requires real strength.The UN. Non-violence. "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. Somalia and a number of other countries. Iraq. Pakistan. anyone can become a suicide bomber. Young people are destroying their God-given life by becoming suicide bombers and stupid men are inciting them into committing this ugly act. .

In modern times. M.mkgandhi. But who is to bell the cat? Has any government the right to require such a stupendous national sacrifice? Martyrdom for a whole people? This question is asked as if the same kind of sacrifice is not asked for by governments from their people when they call them to arms! The political leaders of all countries have always compelled people to take the risks of war. Roy. and civil revolution. Non-violence can be a good force if practiced. It is therefore that I said at the beginning that the question before us as national entities is a moral one and not merely external or organisational. He would have advised that this question of India's disarmament should be irrespective of what others did or did not. is subject to time. N. every institution. non-violent future. But even if physical extinction was the result it would be welcome in the service of humanity. death. kala. they take refuge behind the people’s will. he would have wanted and advised the Indian nation to dispense with its fighting forces whatever the consequences.org/articles/grelevance. This is the sentence: “There are many causes that I am prepared to die for http://www. it must be done irrespective of consequences. He had the faith to believe that India making such a sacrifice could never die. who founded Radical . If the UN can persuade all nations to do this. But when it comes to the question of taking risks in the cause of peace. If each child can memorise and take to heart just one thought. More than this nobody can expect or wish for. which after all are fewer as evidenced by India’s struggle. it will go a long way towards reducing conflict in the future. every individual.htm If Gandhi would have been alive today. In this mortal world everything.violence resistance. It may be said. introduce lessons on non-violence.Every school should. non. in fact. There is no room for patronage among equals. There are many examples of non violence like civil resistance. it would be the first step towards a better. If we “shoot the messenger” we can’t progress. nonviolent methods of action have been a powerful tool for social protest. If it was good. one sentence. The only thing that one can aspire for is a glorious death in a good cause.

A throng of civic activists. Watershed development is one of the key tools contributing towards the overall objective of reducing poverty through sustainable development. “Gandhigiri” is key to understanding the Anna Hazare movement. While the government was drowning in a flood of corruption scandals – most prominently. there are some live examples which show the success of Non-violence resistance by using Ghandhian strategy. which is why the Congress Party soon capitulated. the state government has implemented the `Model Village’ scheme as part of its official strategy. Two makers of modern India were quick to distance themselves from . Inspired by Hazare’s unique approach of salvaging a hopeless village. Aruna Roy and other civil society members had been Anna Hazare is one of India's well-acclaimed social activists. Integrated village Development Project as a part of Golden Jubilee celebration of ”Bharat Chhodo Andolan “Adarsh Gaon Yojna“was started under his chairmanship . In the 1960s itself. Anna is well known and respected for upgrading the ecology and economy of the village of Ralegan Siddhi which is located in the drought prone Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra state. Hazare believes that our freedom is at the teeth of danger due to corruption and unless it is eliminated.“Model Village “project. Even before Anna Hazare’s fast. but he can to a large extent at least free himself by behaving as a rational and moral being. Therefore. the idea of the Lokpal was suggested by the first Administrative Reforms Commission. movie stars. Hazare is now synonymous with rural development in India. Though estimates of its popularity are hard to gauge. the 2G spectrum allocation controversy and the Commonwealth Games fiasco – Anna Hazare’s perfectly timed protest managed to ride the wave. . Ironically. On 5 April 2011. then Gandhi is more relevant than ever. the country will not be free in its true sense. and if he can do this. . said: “When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic society he may not be able to free the whole world .” I f that is the goal.Humanism. and these again will spread freedom by their example. it is fair to say that the Anna Hazare movement spread beyond Delhi and to the rest of urban India.. a 73-year-old man in central Delhi stopped eating. and well-heeled supporters from the urban middle classes took his side. this is what makes it so successful in21st century India. others around him can do the same. A former soldier in the Indian army. a peaceful war has been waged against corruption with the help of immense support from people. In present times. Understanding this neo-Gandhian activism. The common man is put to lot of hardships and it has become difficult to make both ends meet as prices of essential commodities are rising constantly due to corruption.

Gandhi is not the past. There are other vivid problems akin to mention above and peace is far away so long as these problems exist. It is the best because people are connected with it directly or indirectly at every level. By adopting nonviolence. Any nation which has been suffered with communalism. Conclusion Gandhi dreamed of a new world of non-violence with overall peaceful environment. However. we first of all find that there is nonequal development of the citizens. which provides maximum opportunities of public progress and development. But. dictatorship. Not only this. People can themselves decide in this system the mode of their welfare. this system stands out to be the best up to now. it is not so. its result depends upon its understanding and proper application. Presently a big portion of the world happens to be under Democratic system of Government. The present scenario of violence and exploitation all over the world has raised an important issue. must be capable of ensuring equal development of their all . This is a truth. It is the ultimate solution of all kinds of problems and conflicts in the society. They are under clutches of terrorism and communalism. Today. Theoretically. These nations should get themselves rid of these problems. the social doctrine of non violence that has emerged from Gandhian ideas has now become the key to forge and sustain the new social and political order. We subsequently find that these nations are more or less victimized by regionalism. There is also the problem of negation of human rights in these nations. in reality. He is an early sign of what we can be. even though being theoretically the best system of government. political. it is this very system. if we peruse the democratic nations. corruption and power games really needs to go back to Gandhi’s conviction of nonviolence and truth as his mission. Independent India is a testament to exactly the reverse impulse: of a centralized state driving large development projects in the name of the greater common good. economic and religious conflicts shall be removed. Nonviolence is a universal phenomenon and it has great relevance and significance. It is essential that the nations of democratic system of government should be free from above-mentioned problems.Gandhi’s idea of a state. Undoubtedly. he is the future. there is need to adopt Ghandhian philosophy and ideology in overall world to remove all kind of problems and creating peaceful environment. However. They have problem relating to language. all citizens of them must have equal development and they should have communal harmony towards making all citizens collective and unified partners in progress. nation and world. social.

He got the community to assimilate and reflect true values of humanity and to participate in tasks that would promote the greater good. His ideology of nonviolence is a good point to start from. He is relevant not yesterday or today but forever! . Gandhi demonstrated to a World.citizens and the citizens concerned must march forward on path of progress in unified way along with rendering contribution to world peace. Let us grasp importance of Gandhism while analyzing it in brief. It is significant. It may not succeed. but it opens a world of possibilities and encourages us to think outside the box. weary with wars and continuing destruction that adherence to Truth and Non-violence is not meant for individuals alone but can be applied in global affairs too. only to be tested and embraced later. Gandhi inspires an alternative vision of politics and resistance at a time when oppression is not only getting more overt and physical but also more insidious. Gandhi’s vision for the country and his dreams for the community as a whole still hold good for India. Gandhism is very much contextual today on this accord. His life also illustrates how radical ideas are first dismissed. These issues are still relevant to what free India is and represents. The main cause of worry today is intolerance and hatred leading to violence and it is here the values of Gandhi need to be adhered to with more passion.