Non-violence of Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhiji came on this earth with his message of truth and non-violence (ahimsa) at a time when the forces of aggression and violence reigned supreme on earth. Mahatma Gandhi taught us what Christ and Buddha had longed to teach long ago. He became an immortal spirit who guides us through the path of peace and non-violence.
Gandhiji was born in a middle class orthodox Hindu family of Gujarat, at Rajkot. Having received his early education in India, he went to London where he qualified himself as a barrister-at-law.
Ahimsa or Non-violence: Mahatma Gandhi was the exponent of the cult of Ahimsa or Non-violence. Like the Buddha, Christ and Chaitanya he too believed in the ultimate victory of Non-violence over violence.
Force or violence, according to him, is madness which cannot sustain. ‘So ultimately force or violence will bow down before non-violence’. He had waged war not only against British imperialism; rather he declared war on all the forces of unrighteousness, untruth and injustice, all the world over.
Gandhi in South Africa: Having tried his luck in India, as a barrister, Gandhiji went to south Africa, were he set up a substantially sound legal practice. But soon he left practice and got himself engaged in social and political reformation. It was then that the racialism in South Africa was at its climax. The non-Whites were subject to worst form of torture. Gandhiji protested against this wrong attitude of the White government towards the Black peoples of Africa.
Gandhi demonstrated acts of truth and non-violence in South Africa. The non-violent protest of Gandhi got huge popularity. It was here that he cultivated in him the idea of ‘Satyagraha’, which he was to put into practice afterwards, both in South Africa and India. In South Africa, Gandhiji endeavored hard to secure for the colored people, including Indians who were domiciled there, equal rights with the White People. In this context he had to court imprisonment several times.
Gandhi arrived India: After arriving India, Mahatma Gandhi joined the Indian National congress, which was at that time more or less a social institution. He made Congress an organization, which was to play its vital role in the winning of the country’s independence. Before he joined the Congress and took its reins in his hands, it was predominantly an organization of the Upper Middle Class people.
Mahatma Gandhi changed it into a mass-organization, in which the peasants began to take an active part. He firmly believed that freedom can be achieved in a peaceful manner. He wanted all his followers to always maintain truth and integrity. The principles of Ahimsa was practiced in all of the independence movements launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
The Non-cooperation movement got massive support and became the popular non-violence movement. The Indians were requested to avoid using imported goods.
The Civil disobedience movement was a non-violent resistance against the British tax regime.
On 8th August, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi called for immediate independence and launched the Quit India Movement. It remains an important event in the history of India independence.
Religious views: He studied Bhagwad Gita, the Holy Quran and the bible. ‘I see the same God in Gita whom I see in the Bible or whom I want to see in the Quran’. According to him, the best religion of the world is one which contains the best elements of all the creeds of the world.
His religion was peace and non-violence. His sword and the shield, both were love which was based upon non-violence and truth.
Conclusion: Gandhiji was an angelic being, a source of inspiration to his people. He was a messiah for the tortured and oppressed humanity. He is a spirit of non-violence, peace and love.