The movie Gandhi sheds the light on the establishment and evolution of Mohandas Gandhi’s political philosophy and the way the Indian people used it to struggle for social changes and independence of their country. A licensed lawyer of the British Empire found the idea of anarchy and violence dangerous, corrupt, and the one that lacked determination. He argued that terrorism employed to achieve seemingly just goals would inevitably lead to the emergence and ascent to power of rotten and despotic dictators. Gandhi’s alternative was the revival of a non-violent and non-cooperative philosophic doctrine on a nationwide scale. History has seen examples of this practice in Ancient China, Judea, England, Korea, Ireland, and the U.S.
However, previously, the initiative was endorsed by small groups or individuals, who resorted to non-violent actions to reveal social injustice or express a rightful appeal. Notably, that though Gandhi’s approach conformed to the traditional model in terms of selected instruments, i.e., symbolic marches, public protests, speeches, civil disobedience, sitting, economic and political boycotts, it has pioneered its distinctive features. One of these innovative elements was “Satyagraha,” which meant a firm and uncompromising insistence on the universal truth. Gandhi explained that all power groups had their understanding of truth, and the realization of own wrongness could never be achieved forcefully. His intention was not to punish the opponents for their weaknesses and imperfections but to reveal the rooted misconceptions with essential respect and love towards all human beings. “Satyagraha” was regarded as the only weapon of democracy, symbolizing the inevitable victory of the moral power over coercion. Gandhi also emphasized that he wanted to achieve changes within the framework of the existing civilized legal system. His goal was to gain equality for all in terms of the distribution of public benefits and protection granted by the state. The emergent movement defied nationalism, spiritualism, and unjust laws as obstacles to form a peaceful and consolidated community of people. This massive unity was indispensable to carry out impactful non-violent and non-cooperative actions. Gandhi’s design and ability to raise a nationwide allegiance and participation in his program was another remarkable feature of his social change model.
I am convinced that this philosophy of social change can be effective in today’s world. The Civil Rights Movement in 1960, the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam in 1967, the Seattle protests against the WTO in 1999, and other recently sitting demonstrations and marches prove my point of view. Martin Luther King Jr. used Gandhi’s philosophy to end centuries of ongoing injustice against the black people in the U.S. He urged people to defy unjust laws authorizing racial segregation and depriving African-Americans of the economic, political, and social benefits otherwise available to the while citizens. King’s efforts gained international publicity, whereas, the atrocities used against the Movement became an “embarrassment to the American democracy” (Hanks, Goetzman, and Herzog). The ugliness and immorality of the racial confrontation became so apparent that the nation could no longer go on with it. The same was observed during the subsequent non-violent protests in the U.S. Determination to stick to the truth and bear the blow allowed people to achieve their goals without resorting to violence. As Gandhi said “There will always be unjust laws and unjust men” holding the dominating position in society. However, their rule cannot go on for a long time, if ordinary people maintain connectedness and defend the truth with due regard. The relevance and efficiency of the non-violent and non-cooperative philosophy today is predetermined by the existence of militaristic states eager to abridge the rights and freedoms of their people.
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