﻿Gandhian Pacifism Pacifism is opposition to the practice of war. Many pacifists have a commitment to non-violence in general in society, making a commitment to achieving one's goals only through actively non-violent resistance or non-aggressive means. Among these pacifists, there may also be differing views as to what constitutes violence. There are several different varieties of pacifism including those who believe killing is always wrong, those who believe that any kind of violence is wrong, those who argue that personal violence is always wrong but political violence is sometimes right, and those who justify some person violence but reject war as always wrong. Mohandas K. Gandhi believed in the doctrine of Ahimsa, which stands for non-killing.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable… We may ignore him at our own risk.” King cited Gandhi as one of his biggest inspirations, which should come as no surprise, as Gandhi helped end racism towards as many if not more people than King himself. Gandhi pioneered the use of what he called satyagraha, or political change through nonviolence, and helped bring millions of India’s oppressed to equality. Lord Mountbatten, the last British ruler of India, is quoted as saying, “Mahatma Gandhi will go down in history on a par with Buddha and Jesus Christ.” There is no denying the truth in this statement because of the way he had a profound impact on the lives of those around him, just like these other two famous figures of history. Gandhi may have been very small man, relatively speaking, but he grew to be a giant in the eyes of the world.
Gandhi, Satyagraha, and the Western Mind There is much that can be said about such a great leader like Gandhi. He had many skills that were needed to make a difference in the world. Perhaps the most important quality that he possessed was the attributes of knowledge and common sense. These attributes made him a very levelheaded man who knew how to treat his opponent with respect while stating the issue at hand.
Mahatma Gandhi's Influence and Ideas Mahatma Gandhi was a man of faith and great conviction. He was born into an average Hindu family in India. Like most teenagers he had a rebellious stage when he smoked, spent time with girls and ate meat (forbidden to strict Hindus). The young Gandhi changed as a person while earning a living as a lawyer in South Africa. He came in contact with the apartheid and the future Mahatma began to emerge, one who championed the truth through non-violent resistance.
In chapter 20 Louis Fischer describes Gandhi’s experience while in Yeravda Jail. Through Gandhi’s experience and outlook on being in jail, many themes based around individualistic improvement arise.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi- 2 October 1869 - 30 January 194 was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He is also known as Mahatma which means “The Great Soul”. He was committed to pacifism, that there should be no violence.(1) He had three concepts to follow in his life for independence of India: Satyagraha, Ahimsa and Swaraj.
“ First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” (Mahatma Gandhi). Gandhi was born in 1869 in Porbandar. Throughout his life Gandhi helped those in need. He was taught that everyone and everything is holy. He married at the custom age of 19 and went to London to study law. The thing that helped Gandhi promote nonviolence is that he worked his entire life saying that violence didn’t change the way people acted. He lived his life saying that an eye for an eye only made the whole world blind. Gandhi’s nonviolent movement worked because he had something to prove and everyone else in the world agreed with him.
Gandhi is a strong believer in hinduism and a bit of Jainism. Within both of these religions there is the idea of Ahimsa. Ahimsa means not to kill, it is also the concept of non-violence and the fact that any violence leads to consequences. This is where Gandhi got his ideas of nonviolence and civil disobedience. When the British Government tries to raise land taxes and increase India’s border tax, Gandhi uses the idea of Ahimsa and civil-disobedience to disobey the British Government, yet not violate and laws in a violent way. “‘Ahimsa’ is another Indian word for which there is no exact English word. Ahimsa means nonkilling, but actually it means much more than that. To live according to the doctrine of ahimsa is to feel only love for all living things.”(Gandhi 99) This quote shows what Ahimsa means and how Gandhi would implement it into his everyday life. As Gandhi mainly believes in hinduism, this shows how his religious beliefs affected him and influenced his belief of Ahimsa. Even though Gandhi himself was a Hindu, he did not agree with all of their ideas. He especially did not agree with the Hindu caste system. In which certain castes were assigned certain roles in society, and assigned certain classes of families. Gandhi believed in equality for everyone, and he wanted to rule out the untouchables, the lowest caste of people in hinduism. “Below the four castes are the Untouchables, or outcastes, who
Gandhi was a great man in a lot of ways he was born on October 2, 1869 in Western India. At the age of thirteen he married Kasturbi who was also thirteen before his father died. When he did his mother sent him to law school in England this was in 1888. While he was there he fell in love so to speak with the nonviolent ways of the Hindu scriptures of the Bhagavad-Gita, and in the bible tellings of Jesus.