Gandhian Approach to Peace and Non-violence
By Siby K Joseph
Dean of Studies and Research,
Institute of Gandhian Studies, Wardha, India.
…For Gandhi, non-violence was a creed or an article of faith. He subscribed to non-violence on the basis of a deep faith in it. His complete adherence to non-violence was based on principles rather than opportunism or purely based on cost benefit considerations, although he was not unaware of its strategic value. For Gandhi, it was not a weapon of expediency. It was a spiritual weapon and he successfully employed it at the mundane level. He made it clear that it is not a weapon of the weak and the coward. The application of this principle needs greater courage and moral strength. He believed that Ahimsa or Love has a universal application and it can be employed in one’s own family, society and the world at the larger level. Through the technique of non-violence a seeker or Truth tries to convert his opponent by the force of moral character and self suffering. A practitioner of non-violence has to undergo suffering to penetrate into the heart of the opponent. Gandhi looked upon self-less suffering as the law of human beings and war as the law of jungle. How you can avoid pain and suffering is based on a utilitarian thinking, which is the basis of the much of the liberal thinking of the West. Suffering for a worthy cause in non-Western cultures is often seen as liberative, even if it emerged as the result of the application of violence against an oppressor. The redemptive character of self-suffering was emphasized by Gandhi and a constituted a key element of his Satyagraha technique. Gandhi’s commitment to Non-violence evolved also from a careful reading of history and its interpretation. He came to the conclusion that it is Non-violence that has sustained the world so far and will sustain it in future too. READ MORE…