BA LLB First year first semester notes unit-II Gandhism

BA LLB First year first semester notes unit-II Gandhism
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Q1. Discuss Gandhiji Philosophy and technique of non-violent resistance.

Define Satyagrahia and examine its philosophy and technique.

Ans. Uniqueness of Ghandhiji’s Non-Violence – Ahimsa or non-violence is a very old principle in human ethics. Some of the greatest. But there is significant difference between Gandhiji and the ancient teachers. The latter sought salvation in renunciation and personal sacrifice in the service of humanity and in an organized way. And it was in this wider field of collective human activity that he sought to

introduce the principle of ahimsa. He transformed in into a fighting force and substituted if for the time honoured force of organized violence.

Ethical Basis of Non-Violent Resistance – The basis of Ghandhiji’s ahimsa is his faith in the essential unity of man and all that lives. He believes that other living being are ourselves in different forms. Therefore Ahimsa is to me adjured in every circumstance, even for the realization of just and moral ends. For Gandhiji there is no wall of separation between ends of means. As the means, so the ends. “Realization of the

means, so the ends. “Realization of the

goal”, me observes, “is  exact proportion to that of the means .”  “of after all everything.”

Meaning of the Non-Violent Resistance — In Ghandhi’s words, non-violent resistance or satyagraha means “holding on to truth It is, therefore, called ‘Truth-force’. Violence being always immoral ahimsa in positive sense, i.e., love is the only means left to man for gaining his ends. Love, There, is the essence of satyagraha. It is, therefore love force. Gandhiji describes it as “a coin on whose face you read love and and on the reverse you read ‘truth.”

Non-Co-operation and Civil Disobedience – According to Gandhiji the tree of satyagraha has two branches-non-co-operation and civil disobedience. These two forms can be used both against individuals and organized institutions lie the state or government. If the citizen believes that the government has become corrupt and immoral and if he fails to bring error home to it by petitions and the like, it becomes his duty to withdraw co-operation from it. It was on this basis that Gandhiji stated. Non Co-operation Movement of 1920-21. Non-co-operation included suttender of titles and honorary offices and the boycott of educational institutions, councils, law courts and foreign goods. It was conceived by Gandhiji as a measure of discipline and sell-sacrifice in as much as it amounted to the renunciation of the benefits which the people received from the government. It was not retaliatory in any sense.

Civil disobedience is another branch of tree of satyagraha. It means the civil breach of immoral law. It is one fierce than non-co-operation as it is more active and aggressive. Submission to the law, according to Gandhiji, is the price a citizen pays for his personal liberty; submission to wrong law, therefore, is an immoral barter for liberty. When a government, becomes lawless is an organized manner, civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty of the votary of ahimsa. Civil disobedience, says Gandhiji, “is a most powerful expression of soul’s anguish and an eloquent protest against the continuance of an evil state.”

Civil disobedience however, is different from the criminal breach of law. The law-breaker is motivated by selfish ends. He breaks the law in order to escape the inconveniences and material loss involved

submission to it, and therefore, does so surreptitiously and tries to avoid the penalty. The civil resister is generally a law abiding citizen. He

disobeys a law when it is unjust. Moreover, he never tries to escape punishment, rather he invites it and takes it ungrudingly. Conceived in this spirit, civil disobedience is also a measure of sell-purification and not a vindictive or retaliatory one.

Rules of Satyagraha and Qualification of Satyagraha. In the light of the above principle. Gandhiji elaborated the rules of satyagraha. Self discipline, self-control, sell-purisication and a recognized status in the person offering it, were the main qualification for satyagraha. Celibacy, control of the palate, non-possession were some of the vows prescribed for a Satyagraha. Fearlessness was another virtue the satyagrahi had to 


The important rules of satyagraha are the civil resister is to harbour no ill-will, he is to suffer to anger of the opponent, he is to put up with assaults, he must submit to arrest, if civil authorities want to arrest him; he is not to resist the removal or attachment of his property, he should never retaliate; he should never insult the opponent; if in the course of struggle one insults an official or commits assault on him, the civil resister has to protect him even at the cost of his life. As a prisoner the satyagrahi is to act with utmost honesty, he has to accept all jail discipline and its attendant hardships cheerfully. As a unit of a satyagrahi group, he is to obey joyfully all the orders of the leader whether they please him or not. To sum up in Ghandhiji’s own words, a Satyagrahi is to overcome evil by good, anger by love, untruth by truth, ahimsa by ahimsa.

Emphasis on Absolute Non-Violent – Gandhiji insisted on complete non-violence. He declared: “A departure from truth by a hair’s breath, or violence conmitted against any body will surely damn the great cause the satyagrahis are handling. He went a step further and said that Swaraj itself was useless at the sacrifice of truth and that India’s slavery was preferable to her attaining freedom by abandoning truth and non-violence.” “I am of opinion”, he wrote, “that is we have to wade through violence to obtain swaraj and if a redress of our grievances were to be only possible by means of ill-will for and salguther of Englishmen, I for one, would to without that Swaraj and without a redress of thosc grievances.” He even once threatened to leave the country, if it deviated from the principle of non-violence.

Ahimsa Weapon of the Strong-Gandhiji conceived non-violence weapon of the strong and the brave. For him it was not a cover for cowardice it was the supreme virtue of the brave. “Between violence

and cowardly flight.” he said, “I can only prefer violence to cowardice” I can no more preach non-violence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Non-violence is the summit of  bravery.” He regarded cowardice as a sort of violence and beleived that it was more difficult to conquer it than the violence of the brave . Forgiveness in his opinion, is a virtue only when there is the power to strike. A mouse that allows itself to be torn to pieces by cat does not actually do so out of its love for non-violence and forgivenes

Arguments for Non-Violence -(1) According to Gandhiji, God: the creator of all things. He alone, therefore, has the progressive of destroying life. Man has no right to destroy life which he cannot create

(2) Man being a son of God, there is divinity in him. To do violence to a single human being is to slight the divine powers in him and “this to harm not only that being but with him the whole world »

(3) Endowed with divine powers, every human being, howsoever. corrupt and depraved, is always capable of being morally reclaimed. The deny this would be to deny God himself. It is, therefore, always more effective to appeal to the divine in the opponent by means of love and suffering than to use brute force against him.

(4) When one suffers voluntarily and with a pure heart, “the cry of suffering literally ascends to heave, and God above hears it and responds.”

(5) According to Gandhiji, there is no such things as defeat in non-violence. The result of violence is totally different. First, its ends it surest defeat. If, by chance victory is achieved, it does not last long. Hatred increases, the defeated party vows vengeance and so the bitter struggle continues. 

(6) Gandhiji opposes violence on the ground that it does not find sanction in any religion. He believes that neither in the Quaran nor in the Mahabharata is there any sanction of approval of violence.

(7) The beauty of non-violent resistance according to Gandhiji is that he satyagrahi and his opponent both have an equal right to appeal to the working to the moral laws, that govern the world. Truth being self acting, and the moral laws infallible, the must cause will ultimately triumph. l! the satyagrahi stands for truth, his victory is assured for there is no such thing as defeat in non-violence. But if he is wrong,” alone will suffer, no harm will accrue to his opponent and the establishes order will remain unchanged. Criticism- There is no doubt that the philosophy of satyagraha

 is a unique contribution of Mahatma Gandhiji to social thought. But it is difficult to find men and women who possess qualification prescribed for satyagrahi. Complete non-violence is an impossibility. Satyagraha in its strict sense can be practised only by sannyasis who do not possess even a clod of earth.

Secondly, it is difficult to accept Gandhiji’s view that violence used for a just and moral cause in also-sinful. Religious permit the use of violence in defence of moral ends. This is the lesson of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Thirdly, Ghandhiji’s doctrine of non-violence has no universal appeal. It can be accepted only by those who like Gandhiji have unshakable faith in God, immortality of soul and the divinity of man. It cannot appeal to those who have no such faith, especially the atheists.

Q. 2. “It is profound error to suppose that whilst the law of non-violence is good for individuals it is not for masses of mankind.” (Gandhiji). Discuss.

“There can be no two opinion about the fact of Gandhi was a great social reformer.” Elucidate. 


Cult of Non-violence

 If anyone were asked to give the essence of the political philosophy of M.K. Gandhi is one word, he should can it Non-Violence. Gandhi so much emphasized this principles that this almost sums up his approach in social political and economic fields. Everywhere his ideal was non-violence, so much so that we can call his ideal cult of non-violence. Explaining this importance of non-violence Gandhi said, “Without Ahimsa it is not possible to seek and find Truth. Ahinsa and Truth are so inter-twined that it is practically impossible to disentagle and separate them. They are like the two side of a coin, or rather of a smooth unstamped metal disc. Who can say which is the reverse?” In the tradition of ancient Indian thinkers Gandhi believed in non-dualism. Reality according to him is one. He, however, laid emphasis on the manifestation of the reality even more than the reality itself. Thus his metaphysics was pluralist. In epistemology he was a relativist having firm faith

in Syadwad or relativist. The basic condition for theReconstruction of the society, according to him, is the realisation of on earth He believed in Indian doctrine of rebirth and his Political thought aimed at ultimate ideas for which immediate deals

were mere means. He delved into politics in spite of being a religious person simply because man’s world, according to him is a continuous  whole. In his own words, “The whole gamut of man’s activities constitutes an indivisible whole, you cannot divided social, economic political and purely religious work into watertight compartments.”he  was an internationalist like Vivekananda and Tagore and vet he has great patriot and a nationalist. He said, “He who does not know what patriort and a nationalist. He said, “He who does not know what patriotism or feeling for one’s country is, does not know his true duty or religion.”.

Gandhian cult of non-violence was based upon his interpretation of human nature. declaring the importance of non-violence in his social philosophy he said, “Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed!” Hence, its (non-violence) spread is my life-mission. I have no interest except for the prosecution of that mission.” Violence, according to him, is the law of brutes while non-violence is the rule of human beings. Here he absolutely differs with Darwinian principle of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. Non-violence, according to him, is not merely an ideal, it is a fact. Replying to his critics who called his philosophy utopian and visenary he said,” I am not visionary, I claim to be a practical idealist. The religion of non-violence is not meant for the Risis and Saints. It is meant for the common people as well. Non-violence is the law of our species, as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute, and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law of the strength of the spirit.”

An advancing argument in supper of his cult of non-violence Gandhi said, “The fact that there are so many men still alive in the world shows that it is based not on the force of arms but on the force of truth and love. Therefore, the greatest and most, uni.npeachable evidence of the success of this force is to be found in the fact that in spite of wars the world, it lives on.”

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