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A Study on the India’s Greatest Non-Violence


Freedom Fighter Mahatma Gandhi
WAFAA HADI HABEEB

Master in Modern and Contemporary history


Department of Geography
College of Arts, University of Al-Qadisiyah
University Mail ID: info@qu.ed.iq
Abstract: truth and moral courage. Gandhi’s system of

The study on the India’s Greatest Non- Satyagraha was based on nonviolence, non

Violence Freedom Fighter Mahatma co-operation, truth and honesty. Gandhi

Gandhi. The Gandhian strategy is the used non violence in India’s freedom

combination of truth, sacrifice, non- struggle as main weapon and India became

violence, selfless service and cooperation. independent from British rule. But he

According to Gandhi one should be brave insisted that the weapons must be non

and not a coward. The study also breifs violent and moral ones. The adoption of

about the early phase and great leaders of peaceful method made one superior and put

indian freedom struggle and ther role in the enemy at a disadvantage but the

achieving freedom. Gandhi should present condition is the opponent must be dealt with

his views, suggestions and thoughts without mutual respect and love. Gandhi believed

being violent. One should fight a war with that only through love an enemy could be

the weapons of truth and non violence. permanently won.

According to Gandhi’s thoughts, non- Keywords: Freedom, India’s, Independent,

violence is ultimate solution of every kind of Non violence, Mahatma Gandhi, Satyagraha

problem in the world. It is a holistic

approach towards life, based on the ideals of

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INTRODUCTION: long nonviolent struggle against British rule

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was in India, which eventually helped India,

‘a man of millennium’ who imparts the wins its independence in 1947. By the

lesson of truth, Non- violence and peace. efforts of Gandhi India became independent.

The philosophy and ideology is relevant still Gandhi initiated non violence activities like

today. The philosophy of Gandhi was based Quit India movement and non-operation

on truth, sacrifice, non- violence selfless movement. Gandhi could never have done

service and cooperation. In modern times, what he did alone – but with his ability to

nonviolent methods of action have been a identify a seed here, a seed there and nurture

powerful tool for social protest. According it, he was able to create a forest of human

to Gandhi one should be brave and not a change. He understood that it was not

coward. He should present his views, enough to be a leader, but to create leaders.

suggestions and thoughts without being In quite simple and clear words,

violent. One should fight a war with the Gandhism consists of the ideas, which

weapons of truth and non violence. Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi put forth before human

said that “There is no god higher than truth.” world. Along with that, to the maximum

According to Gandhi’s thoughts non- possible extent, Mahatma Gandhi treated his

violence is ultimate solution of every kind of individual life in accordance with these

problem in the world. Gandhi was single ideas. Clearly, Gandhism is a mixture of

person who fought against the British with Gandhi’s concepts and practices. I do not

the weapons of truth and Non- violence by hold merely his theory to be Gandhism. The

persuading countrymen to walk on the path basic ground ship of Gandhism happens to

of non- violence. Gandhi leading a decades- be non- violence. The non-violence is the

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most ancient eternal value. This non- other one’s intellect, speech or action per

violence is the ground of ancient-most own thought, utterance or deeds and not to

civilization and culture of India. Mahatma deprive some one of his life.” Mahatma

Gandhi said on this very account while Gandhi fully agrees with above- mentioned

making his concepts and practices based on derivation of non-violence. He himself has

non-violence: “I have nothing new to teach said, “Non-violence is not a concrete thing

you… Truth and non-violence are as old as as it has generally been enunciated.

hill.” As we know, non-violence and truth Undoubtedly, it is a part of non- violence to

are two sides of the same coin. After abstain from hurting some living being, but

knowing Gandhism, it is imperative for us to it is only an iota pertaining to its identity.

know clearly the concept of non-violence The principle of non-violence is shattered by

also as it accords the ground for Gandhism. every evil thought, false utterance, hate or

Gandhi’s importance in the political world wishing something bad unto someone. It is

scenario is twofold. First, he retrieved non- also shattered per possession of necessary

violence as a powerful political tool and worldly things.” In this chain Mahatma

secondly manifestation of a higher spiritual Gandhi clarified in an edition of Young

goal, culmination in world peace. For India: “…To hurt someone, to think of some

Gandhi, means were as important as the end evil unto someone or to snatch one’s life

and there could be only one means - that of under anger or selfishness, is violence. In

non-violence. contrast, purest non-violence involves a

As a situation opposite to violence is tendency and presuming towards spiritual or

non-violence, we can firmly state, “Total physical benefit unto every one without

non-violence consists in not hurting some selfishness and with pure thought after cool

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and clear deliberations… The ultimate every level. Not only this, it is this very

yardstick of violence or non-violence is the system, which provides maximum

spirit behind the action.” There are many opportunities of public progress and

examples of their use like resistance, non- development. People can themselves decide

violent resistance, and civil revolution. in this system the mode of their welfare.

Mahatma Gandhi had to struggle in his However, even though being theoretically

whole life, but he never disappointed, he the best system of government, if we peruse

continued his innate faith in non-violence the democratic nations, we first of all find

and his belief in the methods of Satyagraha. that there is non-equal development of the

The significance of Satyagraha was soon citizens. We subsequently find that these

accepted worldwide. Martin Luther King nations are more or less victimized by

adopted the methods of Satyagraha in his regionalism. They have problem relating to

fight against the racial discrimination of the language. They are under clutches of

American authorities in 1950. Gandhism is terrorism and communalism. There is also

very much contextual today on this accord. the problem of negation of human rights in

It is significant. We should grasp importance these nations. There are other vivid

of Gandhism while analyzing it. problems akin to mention above and peace

Presently a big portion of the world is far away so long as these problems exist.

happens to be under Democratic system of All citizens must have equal development

Government. Theoretically, this system and they should have communal harmony

stands out to be the best up to now. This is a towards making all citizens collective and

truth. It is the best because people are unified partners in progress. But, in reality,

connected with it directly or indirectly at it is not so. It is essential that the nations of

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democratic system of government should be Satyagraha

free from above- mentioned problems, must Satyagraha -A holistic approach

be capable of ensuring equal development of towards life, based on the ideals of truth and

their all citizens and the citizens concerned moral courage. “Satyagraha’s goal is

must march forward on path of progress in winning over people’s hearts, and this can

unified way along with rendering be achieved only with tremendous patience,”

contribution to world peace. Satyagraha is more than a political tool of

Gandhi demonstrated to a world, resistance. The similarities of the Satyagraha

weary with wars and continuing destructio n to some of the greatest philosophical and

that adherence to Truth and Non-violence is religious tenets of the world have been

not meant for individuals alone but can be observed and much written about. However,

applied in global affairs too. Gandhi’s vision in the specific context of India, Satyagraha

for the country and his dreams for the was an immense influence. It went a long

community as a whole still hold good for way in instilling among the Indians a dignity

India. He got the community to absorb and for hard labor and mutual respect. In the

reflect true values of humanity and to traditional Indian society torn apart by caste

participate in tasks that would promote the and creed based discriminations, Satyagraha

greater good. These issues are still relevant stated that no work was lowly. It

to what free India is and represents. The championed secularism and went a long way

main cause of worry today is intolerance and in eradicating untouchability from the heart

hatred leading to violence and it is here the of India's typically stratified society.

values of Gandhi need to be adhered to with Satyagraha glorified the role of women as an

more passion. important member of the society. All in all,

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Satyagraha instilled in the Indian mind a that end was marked by experiments on

dignity and a self respect that is yet himself and learning from his own mistakes.

unprecedented in its modern history. Fittingly his autobiography was titled 'My

Gandhi’s system of Satyagraha was based Experiments with Truth.' Gandhi strictly

on nonviolence, non-cooperation, truth and maintained that the concept of truth is above

honesty. Gandhi used non violence in and beyond of all other considerations and

India’s freedom struggle as main weapon one must unfailingly embrace truth

and India became independent from British throughout one's life.

rule. Gandhi pioneered the term

Truth - The most powerful weapon: Satyagraha which literally translates to 'an

Gandhism is more about the spirit of endeavor for truth.' In the context of Indian

Gandhi’s journey to discover the truth, than freedom movement, Satyagraha meant the

what he finally considered to be the truth. It resistance to the British oppression through

is the foundation of Gandhi’s teachings, and mass civil obedience. The tenets of Truth or

the spirit of his whole life to examine and Satya and nonviolence were pivotal to the

understand for oneself, and not take Satyagraha movement and Gandhi ensured

anybody or any ideology for granted. that the millions of Indians seeking an end to

Gandhi said: “The Truth is far more British rule adhered to these basic principles

powerful than any weapon of mass steadfastly.

destruction.” Truth or 'Satya' was the NON-VIOLENCE:

sovereign principle of Mahatma Gandhi's Non-violence does not mean

life. The Mahatma's life was an eternal inaction or apathy. Sometimes, the

conquest to discover truth and his journey to consequence of one's inaction may be as

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terrible as that of one's action. Moreover, not There is a kernel of truth in the

infrequently, ‘Killing with the mind' is as a saying that with the end of the cold war,

sine qua non for participating in direct democracy is spreading worldwide. But one

violence. The victim must first be need not be political scientist to realise that

victimised, demonised and dehumanised. there is (much) more to the story. In my

Consequently, violence is redeemed, if not view, the dominant form of democracy is

glorified. Non-violence means engaging in one in which the risk has been taken out; the

an outgoing struggle or movement for risk, that is, of undermining the vested

justice, freedom and peace mindfully and interest of the rich and powerful.

compassionately. At present, non-violence is A ‘safe' and hollow form of

not merely ethically and morally pertinent democracy is spreading worldwide: a

and essential: it is the very prerequisite for democracy that shockingly tolerates gross

human survival and environmental income inequalities, that narrowly

sustainability. Put another way, non- circumscribes dissent in the mainstream, that

violence is closely related to the democratic marginalises democratic grassroots

participation of ordinary citizens in matters movements, that is top-down, that is geared

that affect their lives, the more an issue towards advancing the interest of property

impacts a group of people, the more and not of the people, that treats the poor

influence that group must have in dismally as if they are not worthy citizens,

influencing it. Non-violence entails a re- etc. As such, freedom has increasingly

examination of the concept of citizenship. become a devil's gift: it refers to the freedom

For example, the citizen must know when to to starve, the freedom to lead unfulfilling,

obey and when to challenge the state. unrewarding, and humiliating lives, the

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freedom to work in hazardous conditions begins to blossom like a flower that is

with terrible pay, the freedom to die for lack unable to resist blossoming when the sun

of rudimentary medical attention, the shines into its heart. Applied broadly,

freedom not to have anything to save, and so mindfulness can be used to overcome

on. Needless to say, this form of democracy negative forces that undermine the

is politically unstable. In so doing, the ruling wholesomeness of life such as consumerism,

circles may even employ reactionary means sexism, militarism, and so on. Equipped

to tow the rabbles in line. Non-violence is a with mindfulness, we would not fall into the

crucial way to help restore meaning and trap of hating the oppressors and we would

substance to what we call democracy today, be able to use our newfound understanding

to constructively answer the reverberating to destroy oppressive systems and violent

wails or cries of suffering in the world. structures. Pursuing the noble eight- fold

Before we engage in non- violent path will help one cultivate seeds of peace.

direct action we first need to understand that Peace is something that will fantastically

violence is often the culmination of greed, emerge like a jack-in-the-box. With seeds of

hatred and delusion. As Thich Nhat Hahn peace within ourselves, the process of

has consistently pointed out, mindful transformation into wholesome thoughts

breathing is a means that can develop greed, begins, contributing to renunciation,

hatred and delusion that arise within oneself. compassion and wisdom.

Once enveloped and irradiated with metta or Equally important, simultaneously

loving kindness, these feelings will with the cultivation of seeds of peace within,

gradually crack, and it will be possible to we need to envisage and struggle for

see their root causes. Henceforth, the mind alternative futures, relying on non-violence.

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working from the grassroots- that is Success through nonviolent action can be

organising from the bottom up -- we must achieved in three main ways. Firstly,

endeavor to challenge the centers of power, accommodation may result when the

to show that the emperor has no clothes on. opponent has not experienced a change of

As Elise Boulding has observed, "We need heart but has conceded some or all points in

images of peoples of the planet living gently order to gain peace or to cut losses.

but adventurously on the earth, walking the Secondly, nonviolent coercion may result

ways of peace in a future still filled with when the opponent wants to continue the

challenges. It is essential to spend time struggle but cannot do so because they have

dreaming the possible shapes of that future lost the sources of power and means of

as it is to learn the skills of peace-building to control. Thirdly, conversion may result

maintain it..." when the opponent has changed inwardly to

Dynamics of Nonviolence: the degree that they want to make the

At the level of practice. nonviolent activists changes desired by the nonviolent activist.

consider political oppression and economic Although preferable to coercion based on

exploitation to be the direct result of the physical force or threat, the first two types

'acquiescence' of the oppressed and of conflict outcome imply a contest of

exploited. Therefore, nonviolence aims to power between the parties. In these cases,

empower the disempowered by providing productive outcomes (ones in which all

them with an accessible 'weapon' with which parties are satisfied with the result) will

to alter the power relationship. In addition, it rarely be arrived at. Conversion, on the other

allows for the possibility that power hand, operates outside the framework of the

relationships may be sidestepped altogether. interplay between power and powerlessness

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the touching of the conscience involves a compatibility of Islam with modern western

totally different dynamic. knowledge. The diversity among India's

ACHIEVING FREEDOM BY NON- Muslims, however, made it impossible to

VIOLENCE MOVEMENT: bring about uniform cultural and intellectual

By 1900, although the Congress had regeneration.

emerged as an all- India political The nationalistic sentiments among

organisation, its achievement was Congress members led to the movement to

undermined by its singular failure to attract be represented in the bodies of government,

Muslims, who felt that their representation to have a say in the legislation and

in government service was inadequate. administration of India. Congressmen saw

Attacks by Hindu reformers against themselves as loyalists, but wanted an active

religious conversion, cow slaughter, and the role in governing their own country, albeit

preservation of Urdu in Arabic script as part of the Empire. This trend was

deepened their concerns of minority status personified by Dadabhai Naoroji, who went

and denial of rights if the Congress alone as far as contesting, successfully, an election

were to represent the people of India. Sir to the British House of Commons, becoming

Syed Ahmed Khan launched a movement its first Indian member.

for Muslim regeneration that culminated in Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first

the founding in 1875 of the Muhammadan Indian nationalist to embrace Swaraj as the

Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, Uttar destiny of the nation. Tilak deeply opposed

Pradesh (renamed Aligarh Muslim the then British education system that

University in 1920). Its objective was to ignored and defamed India's culture, history

educate wealthy students by emphasising the and values. He resented the denial of

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freedom of expression for nationalists, and for encouraging acts of violence and

the lack of any voice or role for ordinary disorder. But the Congress of 1906 did not

Indians in the affairs of their nation. For have public membership, and thus Tilak and

these reasons, he considered Swaraj as the his supporters were forced to leave the party.

natural and only solution. His popular But with Tilak's arrest, all hopes for

sentence "Swaraj is my birthright, and I an Indian offensive were stalled. The

shall have it" became the source of Congress lost credit with the people. A

inspiration for Indians. Muslim deputation met with the Viceroy,

In 1907, the Congress was split into Minto (1905–10), seeking concessions from

two factions: The radicals, led by Tilak, the impending constitutional reforms,

advocated civil agitation and direct including special considerations in

revolution to overthrow the British Empire government service and electorates. The

and the abandonment of all things British. British recognised some of the Muslim

The moderates, led by leaders like Dadabhai League's petitions by increasing the number

Naoroji and Gopal Krishna Gokhale, on the of elective offices reserved for Muslims in

other hand wanted reform within the the Indian Councils Act 1909. The Muslim

framework of British rule. Tilak was backed League insisted on its separateness from the

by rising public leaders like Bipin Chandra Hindu-dominated Congress, as the voice of

Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, who held the same a "nation within a nation".

point of view. Under them, India's three At the request of Gokhale, conveyed

great states – Maharashtra, Bengal and to him by C.F. Andrews, Gandhi returned to

Punjab shaped the demand of the people and India in 1915. He brought an international

India's nationalism. Gokhale criticised Tilak reputation as a leading Indian nationalist,

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theorist and organiser. He joined the Indian escalated until Gandhi demanded immediate

National Congress and was introduced to independence in 1942 and the British

Indian issues, politics and the Indian people responded by imprisoning him and tens of

primarily by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. thousands of Congress leaders. Meanwhile,

Gokhale was a key leader of the Congress the Muslim League did co-operate with

Party best known for his restraint and Britain and moved, against Gandhi's strong

moderation, and his insistence on working opposition, to demands for a totally separate

inside the system. Gandhi took Gokhale's Muslim state of Pakistan. In August 1947

liberal approach based on British Whiggish the British partitioned the land with India

traditions and transformed it to make it look and Pakistan each achieving independence

wholly Indian. on terms that Gandhi disapproved.

Gandhi took leadership of the Khilafat movement

Congress in 1920 and began escalating In 1919, Gandhi, with his weak

demands until on 26 January 1930 the position in Congress, decided to broaden his

Indian National Congress declared the political base by increasing his appeal to

independence of India. The British did not Muslims. The opportunity came in the form

recognise the declaration but negotiations of the Khilafat movement, a worldwide

ensued, with the Congress taking a role in protest by Muslims against the collapsing

provincial government in the late 1930s. status of the Caliph, the leader of their

Gandhi and the Congress withdrew their religion. The Ottoman Empire had lost the

support of the Raj when the Viceroy First World War and was dismembered, as

declared war on Germany in September Muslims feared for the safety of the holy

1939 without consultation. Tensions places and the prestige of their religion.

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Although Gandhi did not originate the All- could not reverse the rapid growth of

India Muslim Conference, which directed communalism after 1922. Deadly religious

the movement in India, he soon became its riots broke out in numerous cities, including

most prominent spokesman and attracted a 91 in Uttar Pradesh alone. At the leadership

strong base of Muslim support with local level, the proportion of Muslims among

chapters in all Muslim centres in India. As a delegates to Congress fell sharply, from

mark of solidarity with Indian Muslims he 11% in 1921 to under 4% in 1923.

returned the medals that had been bestowed Non-cooperation

on him by the British government for his In his famous book Hind Swaraj

work in the Boer and Zulu Wars. He (1909) Gandhi declared that British rule was

believed that the British government was not established in India with the co-operation of

being honest in its dealings with Muslims on Indians and had survived only because of

the Khilafat issue. His success made him this co-operation. If Indians refused to co-

India's first national leader with a operate, British rule would collapse and

multicultural base and facilitated his rise to swaraj would come.

power within Congress, which had With Congress now behind him in

previously been unable to influence many 1920, Gandhi had the base to employ non-

Indian Muslims. In 1920 Gandhi became a cooperation, nonviolence and peaceful

major leader in Congress. By the end of resistance as his "weapons" in the struggle

1922 the Khilafat movement had collapsed. against the British Raj. His wide popularity

Gandhi always fought against among both Hindus and Muslims made his

"communalism", which pitted Muslims leadership possible; he even convinced the

against Hindus in Indian politics, but he extreme faction of Muslims to support

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peaceful non-cooperation. The spark that wedge between the Swaraj Party and the

ignited a national protest was overwhelming Indian National Congress, and expanding

anger at the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (or initiatives against untouchability,

Amritsar massacre) of hundreds of peaceful alcoholism, ignorance, and poverty. He

civilians by British troops in Punjab. Many returned to the fore in 1928. In the preceding

Britons celebrated the action as needed to year, the British government had appointed

prevent another violent uprising similar to a new constitutional reform commission

the Rebellion of 1857, an attitude that under Sir John Simon, which did not include

caused many Indian leaders to decide the any Indian as its member. The result was a

Raj was controlled by their enemies. Gandhi boycott of the commission by Indian

criticised both the actions of the British Raj political parties. Gandhi pushed through a

and the retaliatory violence of Indians. He resolution at the Calcutta Congress in

authored the resolution offering condolences December 1928 calling on the British

to British civilian victims and condemning government to grant India dominion status

the riots which, after initial opposition in the or face a new campaign of non-cooperation

party, was accepted following Gandhi's with complete independence for the country

emotional speech advocating his principle as its goal. Gandhi had not only moderated

that all violence was evil and could not be the views of younger men like Subhas

justified. Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, who

Salt Satyagraha sought a demand for immediate

Gandhi stayed out of active politics independence, but also reduced his own call

and, as such, the limelight for most of the to a one-year wait, instead of two.

1920s. He focused instead on resolving the

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The British did not respond. On 31 by the unilateral inclusion of India in the

December 1929, the flag of India was war without consultation of the people's

unfurled in Lahore. 26 January 1930 was representatives. All Congressmen resigned

celebrated as India's Independence Day by from office. After long deliberations,

the Indian National Congress meeting in Gandhi declared that India could not be

Lahore. This day was commemorated by party to a war ostensibly being fought for

almost every other Indian organisation. democratic freedom while that freedom was

Gandhi then launched a new Satyagraha denied to India itself. As the war progressed,

against the tax on salt in March 1930. This Gandhi intensified his demand for

was highlighted by the famous Salt March to independence, calling for the British to Quit

Dandi from 12 March to 6 April, where he India in a speech at Gowalia Tank Maidan.

marched 388 kilometres (241 mi) from This was Gandhi's and the Congress Party's

Ahmedabad to Dandi, Gujarat to make salt most definitive revolt aimed at securing the

himself. Thousands of Indians joined him on British exit from India.

this march to the sea. This campaign was Gandhi was criticised by some

one of his most successful at upsetting Congress party members and other Indian

British hold on India; Britain responded by political groups, both pro-British and anti-

imprisoning over 60,000 people. British. Some felt that not supporting Britain

World War II and Quit India more in its struggle against Nazi Germany

Gandhi initially favoured offering was unethical. Others felt that Gandhi's

"nonviolent moral support" to the British refusal for India to participate in the war was

effort when World War II broke out in 1939, insufficient and more direct opposition

but the Congressional leaders were offended should be taken, while Britain fought against

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Nazism, it continued to refuse to grant India Mahadev Desai died of a heart attack 6 days

Independence. Quit India became the most later and his wife Kasturba died after 18

forceful movement in the history of the months' imprisonment on 22 February 1944;

struggle, with mass arrests and violence on six weeks later Gandhi suffered a severe

an unprecedented scale. malaria attack. He was released before the

In 1942, although still committed in end of the war on 6 May 1944 because of his

his efforts to "launch a nonviolent failing health and necessary surgery; the Raj

movement", Gandhi clarified that the did not want him to die in prison and enrage

movement would not be stopped by the nation. He came out of detention to an

individual acts of violence, saying that the altered political scene—the Muslim League

"ordered anarchy" of "the present system of for example, which a few years earlier had

administration" was "worse than real appeared marginal, "now occupied the

anarchy." He called on all Congressmen and centre of the political stage" and the topic of

Indians to maintain discipline via ahimsa, Muhammad Ali Jinnah's campaign for

and Karo ya maro ("Do or die") in the cause Pakistan was a major talking point. Gandhi

of ultimate freedom met Jinnah in September 1944 in Bombay

Gandhi and the entire Congress but Jinnah rejected, on the grounds that it

Working Committee were arrested in fell short of a fully independent Pakistan, his

Bombay by the British on 9 August 1942. proposal of the right of Muslim provinces to

Gandhi was held for two years in the Aga opt out of substantial parts of the

Khan Palace in Pune. It was here that forthcoming political union.

Gandhi suffered two terrible blows in his Principles, practices and beliefs
Gandhism designates the ideas and
personal life. His 50- year-old secretary
principles Gandhi promoted. Of central

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importance is nonviolent resistance. A the conclusions I have arrived at are not

Gandhian can mean either an individual who final. I may change them tomorrow. I have

follows, or a specific philosophy which is nothing new to teach the world. Truth and

attributed to, Gandhism. M. M. Sankhdher nonviolence are as old as the hills.

argues that Gandhism is not a systematic Truth and Satyagraha

position in metaphysics or in political Gandhi dedicated his life to the

philosophy. Rather, it is a political creed, an wider purpose of discovering truth, or Satya.

economic doctrine, a religious outlook, a He tried to achieve this by learning from his

moral precept, and especially, a own mistakes and conducting experiments

humanitarian world view. It is an effort not on himself. He called his autobiography The

to systematise wisdom but to transform Story of My Experiments with Truth. Bruce

society and is based on an undying faith in Watson argues that Gandhi based

the goodness of human nature. However Satyagraha on the Vedantic ideal of self-

Gandhi himself did not approve of the realization, and notes it also contains Jain

notion of "Gandhism", as he explained in and Buddhist notions of nonviolence,

1936: vegetarianism, the avoidance of killing, and

There is no such thing as 'agape' (universal love). Gandhi also

"Gandhism", and I do not want to leave any borrowed Christian-Islamic ideas of

sect after me. I do not claim to have equality, the brotherhood of man, and the

originated any new principle or doctrine. I concept of turning the other cheek.

have simply tried in my own way to apply Gandhi stated that the most

the eternal truths to our daily life and important battle to fight was overcoming his

problems...The opinions I have formed and own demons, fears, and insecurities. Gandhi

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summarised his beliefs first when he said true spirit of democracy, we cannot afford to

"God is Truth". He would later change this be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of

statement to "Truth is God". Thus, satya faith in one's cause." Civil disobedience and

(truth) in Gandhi's philosophy is "God". non-cooperation as practised under

The essence of Satyagraha (a name Satyagraha are based on the "law of

Gandhi invented meaning "adherence to suffering", a doctrine that the endurance of

truth" is that it seeks to eliminate suffering is a means to an end. This end

antagonisms without harming the usually implies a moral upliftment or

antagonists themselves and seeks to progress of an individual or society.

transform or "purify" it to a higher level. A Therefore, non-cooperation in Satyagraha is

euphemism sometimes used for Satyagraha in fact a means to secure the co-operation of

is that it is a "silent force" or a "soul force" the opponent consistently with truth and

(a term also used by Martin Luther King Jr. justice

during his famous "I Have a Dream" Relevance of Gandhian Strategy in Modern

speech). It arms the individual with moral Context

power rather than physical power. In modern times, nonviolent methods of

Satyagraha is also termed a "universal action have been a powerful tool for social

force", as it essentially "makes no protest. There are many examples of non

distinction between kinsmen and strangers, violence like civil resistance, non- violence

young and old, man and woman, friend and resistance, and civil revolution. Here certain

foe." Gandhi wrote: "There must be no movements particularly influenced by a

impatience, no barbarity, no insolence, no philosophy of nonviolence should be

undue pressure. If we want to cultivate a mentioned, including Mahatma Gandhi

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leading a decades-long nonviolent struggle today’s progress that has made “corruption”

against British rule in India, which so popular. Violence is definitely not the

eventually helped India win its answer to burning issues. The need for the

independence in 1947, Gandhi had to pay day is to shut down the egoistic attitude and

for his ideals with his life, but he never mutual distrust. Non-violence can be a good

veered from his innate faith in non-violence force if practiced. If we “shoot the

and his belief in the methods of Satyagraha. messenger” we can’t progress. There is no

The significance of Satyagraha was soon room for patronage among equals. M. N.

accepted worldwide. Martin Luther King Roy, who founded Radical Humanism, said:

adopted the methods of Satyagraha in his “When a man really wants freedom and to

fight against the racial discrimination of the live in a democratic society he may not be

American authorities in 1950. able to free the whole world... but he can to

He dreamt that of ethics and values a large extent at least free himself by

practiced in daily lives. But more than half a behaving as a rational and moral being, and

century after independence is it really so? if he can do this, others around him can do

But should we judge Gandhi and the same, and these again will spread

nonviolence only by the test of short-term freedom by their example.” If that is the

success? If there lies inbound strength in goal, then Gandhi is more relevant than

truth that could free us from the chains of ever. In present times, there are some live

the British rule then why can’t it rid us of examples which show the success of Non-

the corruption prevalent everywhere? It’s violence resistance by using Ghandhian

not the principles that have become strategy.

irrelevant rather it is the impatient nature of

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On 5 April 2011, a 73-year-old man in Though estimates of its popularity are hard

central Delhi stopped eating. The man in to gauge, it is fair to say that the Anna

question was Kisan Baburao Hazare, and he Hazare movement spread beyond Delhi and

was protesting the Congress- led central to the rest of urban India, which is why the

government’s lacka-daisical attempts to Congress Party soon capitulated. On 8 April

punish those guilty of large-scale corruption. the govern¬ment agreed that five members,

His specific demand was that “civil society” chosen by Anna Hazare, would be part of

should have a say in drafting a stringent the Lokpal Bill drafting committee. Neither

anti-corruption law, the Lokpal Bill. The Anna Hazare’s methods nor the cause were

government draft was eyewash, he claimed; particularly original. Yoga guru Baba

outside partici¬pation was the only way to Ramdev had previously fasted on the

ensure an anti-corruption law with any teeth. corruption issue; he fasted again soon after

Hazare, “Anna” to his followers, was by no Anna Hazare’s fast ended. The move to

means the only man on a hunger strike there. enact an effective anti-corruption bill also

But he was onto something. While the has an old genesis. In the 1960s itself, the

government was drowning in a flood of idea of the Lokpal was suggested by the first

corruption scandals – most prominently, the Administrative Reforms Commission. Even

2G spectrum allocation controversy and the before Anna Hazare’s fast, Aruna Roy and

Commonwealth Games fiasco – Anna other civil society members had been Anna

Hazare’s perfectly timed protest managed to Hazare is one of India's well-acclaimed

ride the wave. A throng of civic activists, social activists. A former soldier in the

movie stars, and well- heeled supporters Indian army, Anna is well known and

from the urban middle classes took his side. respected for upgrading the ecology and

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economy of the village of Ralegan Siddhi and migration to urban slums. Inspired by

which is located in the drought prone Hazare’s unique approach of salvaging a

Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra state. hopeless village, the state government has

On the extraordinary 12th day of Anna implemented the `Model Village’ scheme as

Hzare’s anti corruption fast, the parliament part of its official strategy. Hazare is now

responded with extraordinary grace to show synonymous with rural development in

what it could do to honor a crusader’s urge. India. Integrated village Development

After over eight hours of debate around the Project as a part of Golden Jubilee

structure of Lokpal Bill the Government and celebration of ”Bharat Chhodo Andolan

the opposition in both the Loksbha and “Adarsh Gaon Yojna“was started under his

Rajya Sabha came together to agree ”in- chairmanship - “Model Village “project.

principal” to the three major demands the Watershed development is one of the key

activist had raised in his letter to Prime tools contributing towards the overall

Minister Manmohan Singh as a condition to objective of reducing poverty through

end his protest. Anna Hazare’s previous sustainable development.

achievements which are based on truth and The common man is put to lot of hardships

Satyagrha are following: and it has become difficult to make both

The erstwhile barren village has ends meet as prices of essential commodities

metamorphosed into a unique model of rural are rising constantly due to corruption.

development due to its effective water Hazare believes that our freedom is at the

conservation methods, which made the teeth of danger due to corruption and unless

villagers self-sufficient. Earlier, the same it is eliminated, the country will not be free

village witnessed alcoholism, utter poverty in its true sense. Therefore, a peaceful war

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has been waged against corruption with the of his campaigns, against alcoholism or

help of immense support from people. untouchability, make the Gandhian connect

Right to Information includes the citizens’ between social reform and political

right to - inspect works, documents, and emancipation. His preaches non-violence is

records, take notes, extracts or certified comfortable with religious idioms (a portrait

copies of documents or records, take of Bharat Mata hung behind him while he

certified samples of material, obtain fasted for the Jan Lokpal Bill), 14 and

information in form of printouts, diskettes, makes personal probity the centre piece of

floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any the campaign. Yet, while the movement

other electronic mode or through printouts. claims Gandhi’s morals and employs his

The citizens can obtain the above from all methods, its political vision is as far as can

government departments to ensure be from Gandhi himself. Ironically, this is

transparency. All they need to do is to what makes it so successful in21st century

invoke the Right to Information (RTI) Act. India. Understanding this neo-Gandhian

The state of Maharashtra leads in RTI activism, “Gandhigiri” is key to

activism and use, thanks to Anna Hazare’s understanding the Anna Hazare movement.

inspiring leadership. Two makers of modern India were quick to

Gandhigiri The public face of the distance themselves from Gandhi’s idea of a

movement, Anna Hazare, describes himself state. As has been well chronicled,

as a Gandhian. His social movement, Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision of a modern,

centered in Ralegaon Siddhi in rural centralized, powerful Indian state that could

Maharashtra, harks back to Gandhi’s bring about both economic prosperity as

Phoenix farm and Sabarmati ashram. Many well as social justice was anathema to

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Gandhi’s union of village republics. Gandhi, Gandhi’s conviction of nonviolence and

an early critic of modernity, was truth as his mission. By adopting

disillusioned with the violence and nonviolence, social, political, economic and

illegitimacy of the State. Independent India religious conflicts shall be removed.

is a testament to exactly the reverse impulse: Undoubtedly, the social doctrine of non

of a centralized state driving large violence that has emerged from Gandhian

development projects in the name of the ideas has now become the key to forge and

greater common good. sustain the new social and political order.

Conclusion: Today, there is need to adopt Ghandhian

The study concludes that Gandhi dreamed of philosophy and ideology in overall world to

a new world of non-violence with overall remove all kind of problems and creating

peaceful environment. Non-violence is a peaceful environment. Gandhi is not the

universal phenomenon and it has great past, he is the future.

relevance and significance. It is the ultimate


Gandhism is very much contextual today on
solution of all kinds of problems and
this accord. It is significant. Let us grasp
conflicts in the society, nation and world.
importance of Gandhism while analyzing it
However, its result depends upon its
in brief.
understanding and proper application. The

present scenario of violence and exploitation Gandhi inspires an alternative vision of

all over the world has raised an important politics and resistance at a time when

issue. Any nation which has been suffered oppression is not only getting more overt

with communalism, dictatorship, corruption and physical but also more insidious. His

and power games really needs to go back to ideology of nonviolence is a good point to

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