Gandhi: Nonviolence as a tool for World Peace

Mohamed Hegazy
Tuesday 25 Jul 2023

Throughout history, there have been individuals whose inspiring actions and thoughts captivate our hearts and minds, and one such person who had a profound spiritual impact on humanity is Mahatma Gandhi.

 

While I typically write about Mahatma Gandhi on his birth or death anniversary, the current state of the world has compelled me to shed light on his inspiring philosophy.

In today's rapidly changing world, Gandhi's successes serve as a beacon of hope for those striving to achieve positive change. As a living symbol of peaceful resistance and social justice, his unique and innovative philosophy demonstrated the power of strong will and fortitude in effecting change without resorting to violence.

Across generations, Gandhi's thoughts have revolutionized humanity's mindset, demonstrating that dialogue and rationality can be more effective than military force. His ideas, which upheld the values of peace, love, and cooperation, left a lasting impact on the world.

In today's world, facing challenges such as climate change, poverty, and inequality, many see the potential to draw on Gandhi's principles to bring about a more just and peaceful world.

Gandhi's philosophy remains a living legacy, inspiring present and future generations to strive for peace and positive change. His teachings remind us that true power lies in the struggle for truth and human values.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable global challenges of our time, we find strength and hope in Gandhi's approach and lessons. Let us embrace his inspiring philosophy and take steps forward with strong will and belief to achieve the positive change we aspire to.

Gandhi's philosophy emerged during the 20th century, inspired by the discrimination and racism he faced in South Africa. He devised new ways to confront abuse of power, including the famous "Satyagraha" or civil disobedience and peaceful resistance.

His philosophy influenced India's struggle for freedom and extended to national and social liberation movements worldwide. The International Day of Nonviolence, celebrated every October 2nd, commemorates Gandhi's birthday and his most important principle, resistance without shedding blood.

Today, Gandhi's moral principles and values are more relevant than ever in a world plagued by violence, injustice, and terrorism.

His message, adopted by world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, emphasizes listening and learning from others to lead effectively.

Gandhi's granddaughter, Sukanya Bharatram, notes that his teachings extend beyond struggle movements and politics, resonating with people of all religions, social classes, and skin colours.

Gandhi practised the moral principles of truth and non-violence after careful consideration, basing all his philosophical ideas on these values.

His concepts, including social equality, love of the world, purity of means, principles-based education, and peaceful resistance, are of great importance in modern times.

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Gandhi's birth alongside the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth, we honour their ideals and values and emphasize their relevance to our contemporary world.

Modern society's aggression, possessiveness, exploitation, and violence stem from social diseases.

Adopting Gandhi's ethics is the only way to rid ourselves of these evils. Regardless of the problem's complexity, Gandhi's doctrine always provides a remedy.

His social philosophy aimed to establish a new peaceful world order, with a decentralized economic, political, and social system that prioritizes individual freedom and dignity.

Gandhi recognized that Indian unity was crucial to successfully challenge British rule, but religious and caste divisions had rendered the people incapable of waging a unified struggle.

He worked to address sectarian and class divides, willing to do anything to achieve this goal. Gandhi's influence extended far beyond India's borders, as he believed that violence leads to the annihilation of humanity.

In his article, The Relevance of Gandhism Today, Dheeraj Kir Das describes Gandhi as a saint and moral revolutionary leader.

Gandhi's influence on the modern world is unparalleled. He is not just a political philosopher, but a human being who carried a message and philosophy of life, according to some. Although his methods were once considered impractical and inapplicable, Gandhi's philosophy and struggle methods have endured.

Gandhi's philosophy and methods were initially dismissed as effective only for helping India gain independence from British rule, yet they ultimately proved successful. While some recognized the power of truth and non-violence, many remained unconvinced. Nevertheless, Gandhi's political philosophy remains of great importance.

As a practical thinker with a love for humanity, Gandhi advocated for self-sacrifice, non-violence, and non-cooperation with colonialists. He believed that violence breeds hatred and vengeance, while non-violence avoids such negative emotions.

Gandhi's comprehensive philosophy touched on every aspect of human life, reflecting his love for individual and national freedom. He was a multifaceted social reformer with a clear vision and approach to solving India's problems.

Gandhi's inspiration transcended borders, offering a peaceful, just, wise, and balanced means of confronting the world's clashes and confrontations. His thoughts were intended for all of humanity, not limited to a particular country or region, and aimed at achieving desired goals through non-violent means.

Gandhi liberated his people and humanity from colonialism, leading the world to embrace freedom, justice, equality, and peace. He embodied noble ideals and high morals, with a powerful message. His struggle to liberate India and promote these principles continues to inspire a prosperous future, making him a hero and peacemaker.

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* The writer is a former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister and a former ambassador to India.

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