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When you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you,
apply the following test:--

Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man

whom you may have seen, and ask yourself,

If the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him?

Will he gain anything by it ?

Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny ?

In other words, will it lead to ‘Swaraj’ for the hungry
and spiritually starving millions ?

Then you will find your doubt and your ‘self’ melting away.

Gandhian Philosophy

30 January 2009


A unique person or perhaps the greatest figure of the last ninteen hundred years as characteristically assessed by Louis Fisture, Mahatma Gandhi always insisted on Truth and Non-violence as the inseparable part of humanism.

I have nothing to teach this world,
"Truth and Non-violence as old as hills"
With present phase of globalization, which cannot be stopped, the third world need to look into the evil effects of globalization. We cannot allow our fellow citizens to starve, to lose their employment and to become destitute. It is Gandhi’s Charakha, that can save us from this predicament.
G – Generosity
A – Affection
N- Nonviolence
D- Dedication
H- Honesty
I- Integration

He said “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by ingenuity of man." 

He further said “I don’t believe in shortcuts which involve violence. However much I sympathize with and admire worthy motives, I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noble causes.”

Expulsion of Gandhi from the Train:
Gandhiji, while a layer in South Africa, was in a first class compartment with first class ticket in a train in South Africa. A white man got into the compartment and objected to riding with a man of colour. The guard was called and Gandhi was ejected. He walked on the station platform at midnight waiting for another train. as he paced up and down, he conceived the idea of and method of nonviolence, non-cooperation. Reduced to its simplest term, it is this : I won’t hate you, but I would not obey you when you are wrong. Do what you like I will match my capacity to suffer against your capacity to inflict the suffering- my soul-force against your physical or brutal force. I will wear you down by goodwill.

Two things happened as Mahatma Gandhi paced that platform: it is the most expensive expulsion in human history. The expulsion of Gandhi from that compartment meant the expulsion of white man from an over-lordship of Asia and Africa. The overlords reaped what they sowed – they sowed expulsion and they reaped expulsion. But something more important happened – the birth of the moral equivalent of war. Nations in East and West had been accustomed to setting their differences by war. It was felt that war was an ingrained necessity – there was no alternative. It was fight or flee or be subservient. Then Gandhi told Indians and the people of the world that they need not to adopt any one of these three— one could match soul force against physical force and wear the other down with goodwill.

Gandhiji used the technique of non-violent pressure or passive resistance successfully to achieve the independence of India from the British rule.

Truth and Non-violence :
The force of his words reminds us that we should not rest till we are able to internalize in ourselves the twin principles of Truth and Non-violence in our thought and action. We should be optimistic and hope that we would be able to overcome the present crisis facing the world.

Gandhi is believed to have greater relevance in the present world of modern science and technology that produced geographical neighborhood but become highly individualistic. We feel no longer concerned with each other’s welfare, except in commercial and business terms. Cooperation has been replaced by competition and consumerism. Much intelligence and much energy are going in this effort.

Yet it seems more important than ever that an even greater effort be made to achieve positive and mutually helpful human relationship. This cannot be accomplished by harnessing technical forces but only through himself, working with other men based on Gandhian ideals. Nobel laureate Rabindhranath Tagore has put it beautifully : “Every child brings proof that God has not lost faith in man.”
The whole song expresses the truth that God dwells in everyone and in everything. This had touched Mahatma Gandhi deeply. The way to happiness and prosperity has never been through despair. Only the one who never despairs can have hope and enthusiasm in work. Just as we cannot live with out the ‘Sun’ we can not live in ‘peace’ in the world without Gandhi’s twin ideals of Truth and Non-violence.

Democracy according to Gandhi :
According to Gandhi, real democracy should have meaning not for a few but for all including the poorest and even for the maimed, the blind and the deaf. He did not believe in mere lip sympathy for the ideal which comes so easily. The entire social order should be such that this ideal should be achieved in practice. A genuine democracy calls for a higher degree of seriousness of purpose and a sense of urgency.

Gandhi realized that once people are awakened, they would become a revolutionary force. Their minimum expectations would have to be satisfied otherwise they would explode. This explosion could take many unpleasant and ugly forms. Despite many laws, the whole electoral process and system in India becoming less and less mirror of public opinion. This is true of all other parts of the world as well. Even criminals are acquiring political responsibilities. This power is assuming more and more credible forms. The situation in other countries is not bright either. The voters are bribed and often elections are rigged. The candidates are merchandised rather than elected. One of the saddest aspects of election times is that politics overrides all human considerations.

Of course in order to come out of the present malaise and dilemma, the only remedy lies in adopting the Gandhian path to resolve conflicts. Arnold Toynbee has rightly observed “At this supremely dangerous moment in the human history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way – Emperor Ashoka’s and Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of non-violence and Sri Ramakrishna’s testimony to the harmony of religions. Here we have an attitude and spirit that can make it possible for human race to grow together into a single family and in the atomic age this is the only alternative to destroying ourselves.

Non-violent Behaviour :
The non-violent behaviour on the part of humanity requires the highest form of civilization. Civilization is an act of the spirit. Our legal system has made life too easy for criminals and too difficult for law abiding citizens. The country has forgotten that crime is not a problem to be handles by the police only but by the whole society. The two basic lessons which we are to learn from Indian history are :

Indian people have always taken their moral standards from their rulers and have risen to great heights whenever they have followed in the glow of noble kings or leaders, and
Religions and kingdoms have been destroyed not by adversity but by abasement and corruption is the greatest solvent of public institutions and that poverty possess a far smaller threat.

Politicians should give moral leadership for which people are yearning and waiting, instead of maintaining a system which is poisoned by collective bad faith and polluted by individual self interest. People are served by deception and craftiness instead of vision and imagination. The duty of a citizen is not merely to vote, but to vote wisely. He must be guided by reason and by reason alone. He must vote for the best man, irrespective of any other consideration and irrespective of the party label.

Gandhi as Leader of People :

Gandhi was a leader of his people, unsupported by any authority; A politician whose success rested not upon craft or guile, but simply upon the mortal grandeur of his soul; A fighter who pushed back the mightiest empire on the earth without the use of force: A spirit of profound wisdom and captivating humility, armed with only an iron will and inflexible resolve and a frail man who confronted the brutality of military strength with the dignity of a simple human being.

Gandhi held the view that the life of a good citizen was the life of ‘Karma’ (Duty) – action in the service of the country. “My writings should be cremated with my body,” he said. “What I have done will endure, not what I have said or written.”


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