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Mahatma Gandhi, the power of nonviolence

Mohandas Karamchad Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, western India. In the first 20 years of his existence he behaved exactly like a descendant of a wealthy family: High School, College in Mumbai and then he sailed to London to obtain the entry qualification to the legal profession.

After coming back to India, he went to South Africa on business, where for the first time he came to know how Indians were subjugated: he was forced to get down from a train and couldn’t rent a room.

Because of the humiliation he suffered in 1894, when he was 24, he started the Natal Indian Congress, an organization that aimed to fight discrimination against Indians in the Union of South Africa.

By reading many religious texts, he realised that the highest degree of religiousness is sacrifice; that’s why when he was 37 he decided to take vows in agreement with his wife, but against his religion.

In the same period, he started to fast as a means of self-purification and political motivation.

These purification practices are included in his non-violent approach, known as satyagraha, which means truth force and they are the only weapons that it is possible to use; some said that non violence is the weapon of the weak, but Gandhi, on the contrary, used to say: “Non violence is a weapon of the strong”.

Gandhi’s political commitment

He was arrested many times. In September 1906 he led his fellow Indians in a nonviolent protest against the policemen who wanted to keep a file on every one of them and he was put in jail for seven years; between 1921 and 1923, he was again imprisoned because he promoted civil rebellion; in 1930 he was put in jail for one year because he illegally produced salt from saltwater to protest against the government monopoly on salt production.

He supported peace armies during both World Wars, was against the independence of Pakistan from India and wanted Indian religious communities (Hindu and Muslim) to coexist peacefully. That’s why he was assassinated at the age of 78, on 30 January 1948, by a militant Hindu nationalist.

Gandhi was a great patriotic Indian, if not the greatest. He was a man of an unbelievably great personality. He certainly does not need anyone like me praising him. Furthermore, his efforts for Indian independence are unparalleled. Most noteworthy, there would have been a significant delay in independence without him. Consequently, the British because of his pressure left India in 1947. In this essay on Mahatma Gandhi, we will see his contribution and legacy.

Contributions of Mahatma Gandhi

First of all, Mahatma Gandhi was a notable public figure. His role in social and political reform was instrumental. Above all, he rid the society of these social evils. Hence, many oppressed people felt great relief because of his efforts. Gandhi became a famous international figure because of these efforts. Furthermore, he became the topic of discussion in many international media outlets.

Mahatma Gandhi made significant contributions to environmental sustainability. Most noteworthy, he said that each person should consume according to his needs. The main question that he raised was “How much should a person consume?”. Gandhi certainly put forward this question.

Furthermore, this model of sustainability by Gandhi holds huge relevance in current India. This is because currently, India has a very high population. There has been the promotion of renewable energy and small-scale irrigation systems. This was due to Gandhiji’s campaigns against excessive industrial development.

Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence is probably his most important contribution. This philosophy of non-violence is known as Ahimsa. Most noteworthy, Gandhiji’s aim was to seek independence without violence. He decided to quit the Non-cooperation movement after the Chauri-Chaura incident. This was due to the violence at the Chauri Chaura incident. Consequently, many became upset at this decision. However, Gandhi was relentless in his philosophy of Ahimsa.

Secularism is yet another contribution of Gandhi. His belief was that no religion should have a monopoly on the truth. Mahatma Gandhi certainly encouraged friendship between different religions.

Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi has influenced many international leaders around the world. His struggle certainly became an inspiration for leaders. Such leaders are Martin Luther King Jr., James Beve, and James Lawson. Furthermore, Gandhi influenced Nelson Mandela for his freedom struggle. Also, Lanza del Vasto came to India to live with Gandhi.

The United Nations has greatly honored Mahatma Gandhi. UN has made 2nd October as “the International Day of Nonviolence.” Furthermore, many countries observe 30th January as School Day of Nonviolence and Peace.

The awards given to Mahatma Gandhi are too many to discuss. Probably only a few nations remain which have not awarded Mahatma Gandhi.

In conclusion, Mahatma Gandhi was one of the greatest political icons ever. Most noteworthy, Indians revere by describing him as the “father of the nation”. His name will certainly remain immortal for all generations.

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