Bishwa Nath Singh:
During his first leg in our country, Noble Peace Prize recipient US President Barack Obama along with his wife after visiting Gandhi Memorial at Mani Bhawan,Mumbai on the eve of Diwali on the 6th of November 6,2010 paid an eloquent tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and very emphatically addressed him as world hero and cons...idered Mahatma Gandhi as his Mentor Guru and admired his Gandhi an doctrine of non-violence .Let us examine the very concept of non-violence as envisaged & practiced by Mahatma Gandhi in brief that may be of interest to all including our distinguished visitor to our country to promote bilateral relations in between US & India.
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
On April 6, 1930, after having covered over three hundred eighty kms on foot from his Ashram to the sea, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi arrived at the coastal village of Dandi in India, and collected salt. It was a simple act, but one which wa...s illegal under British colonial rule of India. Gandhi was openly defying the British Salt Law. Within a month, people all over India were making salt illegally, and more than one lakh of people were sent to jail; many fell victim to police violence, but none retaliated or even defended The Salt March of 1930 was a vital step toward India’s independence from Britain. Gandhi, who was known to many as Mahatma( meaning great soul), had led the masses of India into a program of massive disobedience to British law; what was most important to Gandhi Ji however, was that Indians use neither violence nor hatred in their fight for freedom. Elements of Gandhi’s philosophy were rooted in the Indian religions of Jainism and Buddhism. Both of these advocate ahimsa (non-violence), which is “absence of the desire to kill or harm. Though, it is of common belief that life is dear to all but Ahimsa(non-violence) is a way of living and thinking which respects this deeply.Gandhi Ji was both religious (and open-minded, and saw the different religions as paths to the same goal. He was inspired by the teachings of Jesus, in particular the emphasis on love for everyone, even one’s enemies, and the need to strive for justice. He also took from Hinduism the importance of action in one’s life, without concern for success; the Hindu text Bhagavad-Gita says, “On action alone be thy interest, / Never on its fruits / Abiding in discipline perform actions, / Abandoning attachment / Being indifferent to success or failure” For Gandhi, ahimsa was the expression of the deepest love for all humans, including one’s opponents; this non-violence therefore included not only a lack of physical harm to them, but also a lack of hatred or ill-will towards them. Gandhi rejected the traditional dichotomy between one’s own side and the “enemy;” he believed in the need to convince opponents of their injustice, not to punish them, and in this way one could win their friendship and one’s own freedom. If need be, one might need to suffer or die in order that they may be converted to love Gandhi also firmly believed that if violence was used to achieve any end – even if it was employed in the name of justice – the result would be more violence. But such pragmatism in matters of non-violence was unimportant to Gandhi. Gandhi Ji always believed that non-violence was not simply a political tactic which was supremely useful and efficacious in liberating people from foreign rule. Gandhi’s main tactic in his fight against the British was what he called Satyagraha, which means the power of truth. Gandhi Ji always advocated and developed Satyagraha as the practical extension of ahimsa and love; it meant standing firmly behind one’s ideals, but without hatred. Satyagraha took the form of civil disobedience and non-cooperation with evil. Civil disobedience involved breaking a specific law if it was believed to be unjust, and then facing the consequences. The Salt March of 1930 was Gandhi’s greatest successes in civil disobedience. Salt was necessary to the life of Indian farmers’ cattle, and the British monopoly on salt production had led to massive taxes on the vital substance. The other element of Satyagraha, non-cooperation with evil, consisted of pulling out all support for an unjust system, such as the British rule of India. This tactic need not break any law, but might include boycotting British products, refusing to work for British employers, pulling one’s children out of British schools, refusing to supply the British with services, and not paying taxes In 1920, after the British army massacred four hundred unarmed demonstrators, Gandhi organized a nation-wide Satyagraha which used non-cooperation techniques. In1922 it had erupted into violence. A mob of Satyagrahis, lit fire to a police station, killing two dozen police officers trapped inside. Gandhi called off the entire Satyagraha and apologized for their blunder as he had mistakenly believed that his followers truly understood non-violence Gandhi’s program of Satyagraha had two aims: firstly to earn Indian independence, and secondly to do it non-violently. In these, Gandhi was successful. India became independent in 1947, with scarcely any violence toward the British, and Gandhi’s leadership was crucial. The struggle had been difficult and long, but, in the end, Britain simply lowered its flag over India and left. Unfortunately, however, Gandhi’s dream was not fulfilled while two nation theories were adopted and India got independence on the 15th of August 1947..On creation of a separate Muslim state of Pakistan., widespread distrust and hatred was growing between Hindus and Muslims and, on the eve of India’s independence, riots erupted all over India. The country became a bloodbath, in which it was estimated that a million lives were lost .Many had thought that Gandhi’s non-violence had failed.In those months of chaos and terror, Gandhi spent his time in the most violent areas: Each night he preached Peace and Love and prayed. Gandhi Ji moved from village to village through the heart of that violent madness, Gandhi Ji was a great soul with full of passion in his heart.. In a world seemingly dominated by violence and hatred, Mahatma Gandhi reincarnated the ancient idea of Ahimsa, non-violence, as the only way of living in peace. His example influenced and inspired many later peaceful struggles, for example the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite India’s shortcomings, Gandhi never lost faith in Ahimsa: Barack Obama,US President take him as a world hero and consider him as his mentor Guru though he had not seen him as Gandhi Ji had died before he was born. Let us pay our most respectful homage to Mahatma Gandhi and carry out his legacy in our life truthfully to have godly bliss!
Vishwa Dhinoja i heartly love gandhibapu and respect him.