Over many centuries world civilization has written countless instances of wars, battles, and conflicts duly capable of employing the power of transmuting the humankind into forms world the emperors and rulers had never thought of.
But there existed a rarest man among the human species who preached and practiced theories of peace among the humans. He made the human race to evolved into a more enlightened genre living of what is today on this planet.
Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest example of the peace the world has seen so far. His notion of peace is centered on nonviolence, individualism, soul-force, and forgiveness at first glance global peace initiatives might be perceived as far-flung methodologies that have wholly diverged from his ideologies.
Gandhi is known for his secularism and openness as well as all kinds of logical and philosophical schools. Jainism and Buddhism helped a lot in Gandhi’s believe on non-violence, both were the foundation of his believe. Gandhi was deeply influenced by reading the scriptures of both Jainism and Buddhism. The Acaranga Sutra of the Jains stated all life to be dear and precious and Gandhi believed in it earnestly. The Bhagavad-Gita was another most important influence over Gandhi’s believe of non-violence. With its stress on non-attachment and self-action. Similarly, he was also influenced by Christianity and its belief of love, compassion, extended even to one’s enemies. By bringing together all these believes, he was in search of a meaningful life, which was based on truth and honesty, a life that was full of moral values and courage to stand for right and justice, no matter what it costs. This was his tool and guidance in the struggle for world peace and he eventually succeed in that.
The belief of non-violence was first implemented, when he was in South Africa. While Gandhi was travelling to Pretoria by train, despite carrying first class ticket, he was thrown out of the train by the authorities because a white man complained of an Indian sharing the with him. As a response, Gandhi formed the Natal Indian Congress in 1894. This organization led non-violent protests against the oppressive treatment of the white people towards the native Africans and Indians.
Gandhi worked in South Africa to better the living circumstances of the Indian minority. This struggle, particularly against increasingly discriminatory legislation, compelled him to acquire a strong Indian and religious conviction, as well as a willingness to self-sacrifice. He successfully presented a nonviolent approach to the Indian battle for basic human rights. The approach, Satyagraha, or “truth force,” was extremely idealistic; without renouncing the rule of law as a principle, Indians were to disobey those rules that were unjust or oppressive. Each person would have to endure penalty for breaking the law. However, he should deny the validity of the in question statute gently but firmly. This, perhaps, will cause the enemies, first the South African authorities, and then the British in India, to recognize the illegality of their legislation.
When Gandhi returned to India in 1915, word of his accomplishments in South Africa had already travelled throughout the country. During the First World War, he rose to prominence as a leader of the Indian National Congress in a few of years. During the interwar era, he launched a number of nonviolent initiatives against British authority. At the same time, he worked hard to unify Indian Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, and he fought for the emancipation of Hindu society’s “untouchables.” While many of his fellow Indian nationalists favored nonviolent means against the British for practical reasons, Gandhi’s nonviolence was a matter of principle. People respected him because of his tenacity on that subject, regardless of their feelings on Indian nationalism or religion. Even the British justices who condemned Gandhi to prison recognized Gandhi as a unique individual.
Gandhi was a peace- loving man, he emphasized the purity of means for attaining noble ends. He believed that a genuine and enduring peace could never be achieved by means of violence, war or repression. He believed that violence is originated from anger, hatred, ill will, enmity and selfishness. And which in turn produces counter violence, and this results in the cycle of violence which becomes a law unto itself. He believed that peace can only be achieved by changing the societal conditions. According to him peace is not absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.
Gandhi indeed considered economic equality as the master-key to non-violent world order. Peace must have its roots in fraternity rather than in fear. He regarded that global peace could not be possible unless the present world social order is replaced by a new social order that would be committed to non-violence and exploitation free social order.
Countless personalities have followed the path that Gandhi believed in. Global figures like Nelson Mandela, Martin King Jr, Mairead Maguire, Emma Goldman, Wilson A. Head, James Douglass, Leymah Gbowee and many more believed in Gandhi’s philosophy and have spent their whole lives to combating violence, abuse, dictatorships, and terror. They have placed their own lives at danger in order to help others, women suffrage movements and build equitable relationships via conflict resolution.
It can be said that human values are given a lot of weight in Gandhi’s peace theory. Nonviolence (ahimsa) is a way of life, not a strategy, and it, together with the search for truth (satyagraha), distinguishes between passive acquiescence to injustice and active resistance to it. This fight implies compassion and self-criticism since it forbids both physical violence and placing the opponent in the position of adversary. Peace is incompatible with exploitation or income disparity, according to the concept of wellbeing for everyone (sarvodaya). Peace is viewed as a continual revolutionary process in which objectives cannot be divorced from methods.