Messenger:  Mohandas Gandhi

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"Victory breeds hatred, for the defeated live in pain. Happily live the peaceful, giving up victory and defeat."



The Story of my Experiments with Truth

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The Making of the Mahatma by Shyam Benegal

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"I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good of the greatest number. The only real, dignified, human doctrine is the greatest good of all."


Mohandas Gandhi

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

Truth—Courage—Respect—Humanity—Equal Rights—Freedom—Peace

Mohandas Gandhi, A Profile in Truth and Courage

Mahatma Gandhi, was the charismatic leader who brought the cause of India's independence from British colonial rule to world attention. His philosophy of non-violence, for which he coined the term satyagraha has influenced both nationalist and international movements for peaceful change.  Gandhi is a person who may have influenced more lives than anybody else in the 20th century.

By means of non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi helped bring about India's independence from British rule. This inspired other colonial peoples to work for their own independence, ultimately dismantling the British Empire and replacing it with the Commonwealth of Nations. Gandhi's principle of satyagraha ("truth force"), often translated as "way of truth" or "pursuit of truth", has inspired other democratic activists, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. He often said that his values were simple; drawn from traditional Hindu beliefs: truth and non-violence.

Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize, though he was nominated five times for it between 1937 and 1948. Decades later however, the omission was publicly regretted by the Nobel Committee. When the Dalai Lama was awarded the Peace Prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was "in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi".

The nonviolent approach to social struggle represents a radical departure from conventional thinking about conflict, and yet appeals to a number of common-sense notions.

Among these is the idea that the power of rulers depends on the consent of the populace. Without a bureaucracy, an army or a police force to carry out his or her wishes, the ruler is powerless. Power, nonviolence teaches us, depends on the co-operation of others. Nonviolence undermines the power of rulers through the deliberate withdrawal of this co-operation.

Also of primary significance is the notion that just means are the most likely to lead to just ends. When Gandhi said that, "the means may be likened to the seed, the end to a tree," he expressed the philosophical kernel of what some refer to as prefigurative politics. Proponents of nonviolence reason that the actions we take in the present inevitably re-shape the social order in like form. They would argue, for instance, that it is fundamentally irrational to use violence to achieve a peaceful society.

"I believe that Gandhi's views
were the most enlightened
of all the political men
in our time."


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Gandhi — Words we live by:
"We must become the change we want to see."
"Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul."
"Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary."
"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
"In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place."
"If you don't find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further."
"The good man is the friend of all living things."



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