Comments on M.K. Gandhi’s “Non-Violent Resistance”

nonviolence-is-not-to-be-used-ever-as-the-shield

Reading Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s Non-Violent Resistance echoes an interesting example of the contribution of religion on promoting peace and non-violent movement. In the last several years, world community has been shocked by 9/11 tragedy in U.S. Since then, religion has been under the spotlight of international eyes. Religions were suspected as the root of violence, such as terrorism. Terror actions were very easily associated to religion. Thus, issues on violence based on religion has raised in public discussion sphere.

On the other hand, long before this Gandhi has sounded that religious values could also contribute promoting peace, non-violent movement and social justice. Gandhi as an Indian charismatic leader at the dawn of 20th century, has brought many changes on Indian struggle against British colonialism. Gandhi fought in political, philosophical and religious ‘ways’. As he graduated from a law school in England, Gandhi fought in politics by his law and political knowledge. Gandhi also became a religious leader for Indian people who also appreciated and embraced Hindu religion. Gandhi received two predicates at the same time, both as a political leader and religious leader. He is revered as the father of Indian Nation. These factors has made him became a heroic and charismatic leader in India at that time, although in later discussion there were some controversies over him. Thing that caught my attention is Gandhi’s ‘strategy’ emphasising symbiosis values of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam religion on peace, non-violence, love and social justice (p. 111). He extracted these values and ideas as the root of his actions. He learned Christianity to offend Englishman on how to practice the true Christian value that full of compassion, love and justice to others. And he learned Buddhism and Islam to embrace his fellows Buddhist and Muslim in Indian society to struggle together as one nation. This demonstrates that religions could cooperate to promote and support peace, love and social justice.

Gandhi dug deeply the meaning of peace from his philosophy and religious believe. For him, reactive action without deep understanding will remain in vain for a struggle against colonialism. There should be a deeper understanding, therefore people could have strong persistency on non-violent resistance. That is why Gandhi planted “Satyagaha principle that also could have meaning as ‘devotion to the truth’. If it is a devotion, accordingly it would be a lifetime struggle on achieving peace and justice.

Other thing that I fascinate Gandhi is his way to conduct dialogue with the British colonialist representation in India, in this case on the Examination by Lord Hunter (pp. 19-29). Gandhi has shown his persistence on non-violent resistance. Dialogue or negotiation to the oppressor has been an effective strategy to show the oppressor what human right, equality, justice and truth should be. Peace that meant by Gandhi has its reference to the appreciation of human dignity. On the contrary, arbitrary actions shown by British colonialist to the people of India irritated him and encouraged him to speak up non-violently.

And how does Gandhi`s Satyagraha speak for today`s context? It will be a very long discussion. But one more point that I learn from Gandhi is his non-violent resistance and his systematic political strategy to organize Indian people to insist the truth, peace and justice that he began from his philosophy and religious foundation. []

Reference

Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand, Non-Violent Resistance, (New York: Schocken Books, 1951).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s