ARTICLES : Relevence of Gandhi

Read articles written by very well-known personalities and eminent authors about their views on Gandhi, Gandhi's works, Gandhian philosophy and it's relevance today.


Gandhi Meditating

ARTICLES


Relevance of Gandhi

  1. Gandhi is Alive and Still Relevant
  2. Taking up Sarvodaya As Our Duty
  3. Gandhi Will Live On
  4. Mahatma Gandhi Today
  5. The Influence of Mahatma Gandhi
  6. Gandhi's Message and His Movement 50 Years Later
  7. The Relevance of Gandhi
  8. Good Bye Mr. Gandhi- Awaken Thy Moral Courage
  9. Relevance of Gandhian Ideals In The Scheme of Value Education
  10. Gandhi And The Twenty First Century Gandhian Approach To Rural Industrialization
  11. Gandhi's Role And Relevance In Conflict Resolution
  12. Gandhi In Globalised Context
  13. The Gandhian Alternatives And The Challenges of The New Millennium
  14. Gandhian Concept For The Twenty First Century
  15. Champions of Nonviolence
  16. Science And Technology In India: What Can We Learn From Gandhi?
  17. Passage From India: How Westerners Rewrote Gandhi's Message
  18. Time To Embark On A Path To New Freedom
  19. Increasing Relevance of The Mahatma
  20. Gandhi's Challenge Now
  21. The Legacy of Gandhi In The Wider World
  22. Quintessence of Gandhiji's Thought
  23. Recalling Gandhi
  24. Mohandas Gandhi Today
  25. The Relevance of Gandhian Satyagraha in 21st Century
  26. Relevance of Non-Violence & Satyagraha of Gandhi Today
  27. India, Gandhi And Relevance of His Ideas In The New World
  28. Relevance of Gandhi's Ideas
  29. The Influence of Mauritius on Mahatma Gandhi
  30. Why Gandhi Still Matters
  31. The Challenge of Our Time: Building Sustainable Communities
  32. What Negroes Can Learn From Gandhi
  33. Relevance of Gandhi
  34. Towards A Non-violent, Non-killing And Peaceful World : Lessons From Gandhi
  35. Gandhian Perspective on Violence And Terrorism
  36. GANDHI - A Perennial Source of Inspiration
  37. An Observation on Neo-modern Theories of Global Culture
  38. The Techno-Gandhian Philosophy
  39. Global Peace Movement and Relevance of Gandhian View
  40. Technology : Master or Servant?
  41. Gandhis of Olive Country
  42. Gandhian Strategy
  43. The Effect of Mass Production and Consumerism
  44. Gandhi's Relevance Is Eternal And Universal
  45. Service To Humanity
  46. Relevance of Gandhi: A View From New York
  47. Gandhi And Contemporary Social Sciences
  48. India After The Mahatma
  49. Pax Gandhiana : Is Gandhian Non-Violence Compatible With The Coercive State?
  50. GANDHI : Rethinking The Possibility of Non-Violence
  51. Aung San Suu Kyi : In Gandhi's Footsteps
  52. Gandhi: Call of The Epoch
  53. Localization And Globalization
  54. Significance of Gandhi And Gandhism
  55. Understanding GANDHI
  56. Gandhi, Peace And Non-violence For Survival of Humanity

Further Reading

(Complete Book available online)
  1. Why Did Gandhi Fail?
    from GANDHI - His Relevance For Our Times
  2. Gandhi's Political Significance Today
    from GANDHI - His Relevance For Our Times
  3. India Yet Must Show The Way
    from GANDHI - His Relevance For Our Times
  4. The Essence of Gandhi
    from GANDHI - His Relevance For Our Times
  5. The Impact of Gandhi on U. S. Peace Movement
    from GANDHI - His Relevance For Our Times

Significance of Gandhi and Gandhism

Dr. Ravindra Kumar

“I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.”

– M K Gandhi

The above short statement of the Mahatma is itself sufficient enough to elucidate the stature of Gandhi and the spirit in the root of Gandhism besides proving its significance for the present and all times to come. Further, this statement is, despite being short, capable of illustrating the source and basis of his life and ideas for those who are, more or less, familiar with life of Gandhi, and Gandhism. Even though, as I have observed during my continuous visits to various places of the world, people of the present generation, youth in particular, desire to learn more and more about Satya and Ahimsa, the core points of Gandhian philosophy, it is necessary to make a fair analysis of life of Gandhi on one hand, and Gandhism, having this short statement in the centre, on the other.
The word Gandhi is about that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who on the basis of his exemplary and inspiring life and works became an icon and ideal not only for his contemporaries all over the world, but equally for generations to come. The legacy he has left through his actions, which he successfully carried out on the strength of the supreme human value of Ahimsa, in fact, makes him relevant for all times to come.
Gandhism is, in quite clear and simple words, an amalgam of Mahatma Gandhi’s views and practices, actions. It consists of ideas, which Mahatma Gandhi presented before the world, and his actions, which he described as his experiments with truth. We know he to the maximum possible extent treated his individual life in accordance with his ideas, therefore, those who hold merely his ideas to be the Gandhism, they are not correct. In this regard, Mahatma Gandhi cannot be compared to Karl Marx whose thoughts are termed as Marxism. As the Mahatma has simultaneously been a man of action, it is unfair if merely his ideas are named as Gandhism.
Now, after becoming reasonably familiar with the reality of the both, Gandhi and Gandhism, and accepting their indivisibility from each-other, it will not be inappropriate if with the purpose of analyzing the subject in hand in easy manner, we go forward by keeping the word Gandhism as the nuclei.
Gandhism, as is evident from the short statement quoted in the beginning of discussion in hand, is entirely based on Ahimsa, non-violence. Ahimsa is the most ancient, perpetual, individual as well as social, welfaristic and all-timely value. It is a religion in grandeur. It is permanently present in human nature. Moreover, it is an essential condition for existence, the basis of development and the achievement of goal in life. It is a soul force, a virtue of the soul. The soul itself is a part of truth. Hence, being a permanent, eternal and all-timely, and a virtue of the soul simultaneously, Ahimsa is a truth-based value; truth is perpetual, it is permanent. Therefore, the following statement of Mahatma Gandhi seems worthy of consideration here in this regard:

“Truth and non-violence are the two sides of the same coin. Both have the same value. Difference lies in approach only. On one side there is non-violence; on the other side is truth.” [Harijan Sewak: July 13, 1947]

In this very context another statement of the Mahatma also seems distinctive and exemplary. He says:

“My love for non-violence is superior to that for every other thing, mundane or supra-mundane. It is equaled only by my love for truth, which is to me synonymous with non-violence through which and which alone I can see and reach truth.” [Essentials of Gandhian Thought, page 9]

Thus, it is clear that the life, work and ideas of Mahatma Gandhi remained to a large extent in uniformity with his own statement quoted in the beginning of discussion. His actions-experiments remained continue in search of truth. The Mahatma made efforts continuously for the welfare of one and all. Indeed, Ahimsa was the only means in search for truth and to achieve whatever Gandhi could in the larger interest of humanity. Truth remained intact in all of his actions carried out for the establishment of justice, equality and freedom on the strength of Ahimsa in South Africa, or in India. The distinctive success of Gandhi’s own actions, and triumph of those movements, which were carried out by others in different parts of the world by applying the Gandhian way in its refined form and as per the demand of time and space, well proves itself the importance, validity and significance of the Gandhian way, Gandhism, in current perspective. Therefore, it is inevitable that the Gandhian way should be analyzed properly, with honestly, sincerity and without having prejudice. If it is done accordingly, its relevance will become apparent; the Gandhian way, Gandhism, will pave the way to resolve unprecedentedly. Nevertheless, some of the points, which can be signified for those from the present generation who have high hopes from Ahimsa-based Gandhian way, Gandhism, or who desire solution of problems through it, are as follow:

  • To accept Ahimsa by understanding the basic spirit at the root of non-violence, making intent underlying the act the acid test of Ahimsa in particular;
  • To identify the strength of Ahimsa, realizing its necessity and inevitability in life with sincerity;
  • To have patience toward outcomes of Ahimsa, having full faith and trust in it and to get enough courage produced by non-violence;
  • To accept Ahimsa as a dynamic force, making it the basis of one’s day-to-day practices and to proceed accordingly and continuously;
  • To be ready to resolve disputes, conflicts and struggles through Ahimsa and activities related to it, realizing the fact that non-violence is the only means to resolve problems or there is no other effective means available to accord success in this regard except Ahimsa [and its activities];
  • To accept Ahimsa as the basic source of establishing cooperation at larger scale, acknowledging the reality of solution through cooperation and to take the way of non-violent non-cooperation with the purpose of ascertaining cooperation; to persist as a non-co-operator until the goal is not achieved, cooperation is not ascertained, but to be ready meanwhile to absorb success even if it is partly; and
  • To accept the triumph achieved through Ahimsa as win-win state, taking it not the victory of one and defeat of the other as Vinobha Bhave has rightly pointed out, “One man’s victory is other man’s defeat is true in the realm of violence. In the spare of non-violence one man’s victory is also another man’s victory.”

Moreover, Ahimsa is all-welfaristic; it is a means to reach truth, truth is truth and it is for all in equal amount. Therefore, accomplishments made on the strength of truth are for one and all.
This is the message of Gandhi, the Mahatma to the world. In his life he acted himself accordingly, in consonance with his ideas. As Gandhi’s works and views are dedicated to Ahimsa; they are for the welfare of one and all, Sarvodaya, therefore, they are significant in current perspective and will be so in all times to come if are refined as per the demand of time and space, and applied accordingly. Ponder over it and apply it, results will themselves prove the relevance of Gandhism.

Indologist Dr. Ravindra Kumar is former Vice Chancellor of CCS University, Meerut [India]