Gandhian Nonviolence Philosophy for Peace and Social Harmony

NONVIOLENCE, 24 Dec 2018

Subhash Chandra – TRANSCEND Media Service

150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Nonviolence

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was considered a founder of the nonviolence movement spread the concept of Ahimsa (Nonviolence) through his movements and writings for social transformation. He opposed British imperial rule in India during the 20th century with his personal philosophy of Ahimsa and Satyagraha.

The Global threats of Humanity:

According to Mr. Guterres, UN Secretary General (2017) , there are seven threats and tests that stand in the way of global security: nuclear peril, terrorism, unresolved conflicts and systematic violations of international humanitarian law, climate change, rising inequality, unintended consequences of innovation, and people on the move. The Threats faced by humanity are many but the most pressing are the five  main Global threats which humanity is facing now are given below: 1) Global Poverty is threat of increasing Poverty; 2) Global Economy; 3) Global Democracy; 4) Global Climate change and 5) Global Security – increasing conflict, violence & threat   of chemical & nuclear war. Today we all are at the verge of atomic destruction and when everybody is busy in the mad rat race of materialistic pursuit and we are moving in the direction of division of humanity due to decreasing human values. Yet the international community fully realized the supreme importance of the virtue of peace against the evil of war only after having suffered the most unfortunate and highly destructive two World Wars in the first half of the 20th century. The blood soaked shreds of humanity that lay scattered in several hundred battle grounds, particularly on the soils of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cried for peace, peace and peace on the earth.

Need and Importance of Peace!

Society is changing more rapidly than ever before, generating unprecedented opportunities and challenges due the increasing global competitive pressures, breakthroughs in information communication technology ,  environmental pressures, rising levels of youth unemployment increasing poverty & and inequality in 21st century. Our world needs peace and harmony today more than ever. The world is in danger and humanity and world peace are in critical position due to terrorism and conflicts of states etc.     Human values are eroding at a very fast rate resulting in a decline in the quality of life of the people. In this period of great global political and economic instability, rising inequality and social unrest, the Gandhian Philosophy of nonviolence is very much needed within society and in the world.

The Nonviolence in the Life of M K Gandhi:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was one of the great leaders with a movement in nonviolence and he is remembered as an apostle of Non – Violence, Truth and Passive Resistance against injustice, inequality and discrimination.

Nonviolence is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence. This was based on moral, religious or spiritual principles of Mahatama Gandhi. Gandhian non violence is a philosophy and strategy for social change that rejects the use of violence. In reference to nonviolence, Gandhi had two key teachings of ahimsa and Satyagraha.  The nonviolence that he preached and followed, allowed India to become free from colonial rule in 1947

Three pillars of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy Nonviolence:

Gandhi motivated masses and stood up against discrimination and suppression with three concepts that were the pillars of his philosophy: Satyagraha, Ahimsa and Brahmacharya.

  1. First pillar Satyagraha – well known after Gandhi’s numerous campaigns – means “strength through truth and love.” His thorough studies of the Bhagavada Gita and the Holy Bible led him to the conviction that humanity must always stand up against evil – holding the other cheek out.
  2. Second pillar Ahimsa: Vedanta philosophy teaches that Realization of the Truth is not at all possible without Ahimsa (Nonviolence), and therefore, Ahimsa is the supreme Dharma (Duty).

Mahatma practiced the principle of nonviolence towards all living beings, again as a living example – he was a strict vegetarian. In his work as a politician he expressed this by respecting all humans irrespective of sex, caste, nationality, race or religion. In particular this was expressed through the respect and kindness with which he treated his colonial oppressors

  1. The third pillar of his philosophy – Brahmacharya means “Orientation to God and renouncement of worldly things.” “Believe in Truth, think Truth and live Truth. How-so-ever triumphant untruth may seem to be, it can never prevail against truth.”…

Gandhian Nonviolence Philosophy for Peace and Harmony: India has great heritage. There is harmony among different religious traditions. India is a land where people of different religious faiths can live peacefully and harmoniously here. India’s tradition is very relevant in today’s world”.  For thousands of years, India carried the message of ‘Ahimsa’ which was relevant even today, “We should ourselves create inner peace by practicing love and compassion in daily life.”Gandhi said”

    Mahatma Gandhi: Apostle of Peace and Nonviolence

    Messenger of Ahimsa (Nonviolence) (2nd October 1869 – 30th January 1948)

Messenger of Ahimsa (Nonviolence) “Nonviolence [harmony, peace] is the greatest power in the hands of mankind. It is more powerful than the most powerful destructive weapons generated by human genius. Nonviolence is not the inheritance of cowardice, it is always heroism.” Gandhi

Gandhian Nonviolence Philosophy for Peace and Social Harmony

Gandhian Thoughts According to Gandhi the universal human value of Ahimsa ought to be cultivated not merely at personal level, but at social, national and international level too. Gandhian Nonviolence is a very powerful force means to avoid conflict, since it springs from inner realization of the equality of all human beings. MAHATMA GANDHI – A pure soul  lived, thought, acted and inspired by the vision of a humanity evolving towards a world of peace and harmony.

Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the Twenty-First Century:  The Twentieth Century has been recorded as the most violent in the history of humankind; conflict will always be with us. As we are approaching the 150th anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi in 2019 and in the Twenty First Century we must break the pattern, and learn the skills required to solve conflict nonviolently. Dr Martin Luther King and Dr Nelson Mandela were greatly influenced by Gandhi’s Nonviolence Philosophy. President Obama is also impressed. For thousands of years, India carried the message of ‘Ahimsa’ which was relevant even today, “We should ourselves create inner peace by practicing love and compassion in daily life.”Gandhi said” Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., The Quest for Peace and Justice (1964) Martin Luther King’s Nobel Lecture, delivered in the Auditorium of the University of Oslo. MAHATMA GANDHI is remembered as ‘Messenger of Ahimsa (Nonviolence)’ and an apostle of Non – Violence, Truth and Passive Resistance against injustice, exploitation, and discrimination.

Reference: Guterres (2017) UN Chief: “Nuclear Peril” Tops List of Seven Global Threats September 19, 2017


Dr. Subhash Chandra is President and Board Chairman, GHA India.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 Dec 2018.

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