Essay Four on Philosophy
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Though the two concepts created by Gandhi – satyagraha, which is also known as a non-violent resistance, and swaraj, which is also known as a self-rule, – have received great attention from philosophers, psychologists, etc., both of them have not been examined and analyzed in a proper way. The reason is that both of these concepts need to be viewed and examined from a hierarchical perspective of Gandhi. Therefore, this paper will explain the relationship between satyagraha and swaraj for Gandhi and show how his concept of non-violent resistance relates to his beliefs about God and punishment.
In the modern world, there is a strong need for enlightening non-violence, and this need is becoming more and more evident. In the light of the existing cruel universal scenario, Gandhi’s practice and thoughts provide a foundation for reviving non-violent cultures. The philosopher put forward the non-violent models in social and political fields. In fact, the principle of non-violence that was acknowledged by Gandhi was not a new proposition. Even Gandhi himself said that he had nothing freshly new regarding teaching others, since both non-violence and truth existed a long time ago before his suggestion. He believed that everything he did was simply experiments on the above mentioned principles (Merton 129). Indeed, the social philosophy established by Gandhi covered all humanity and had an extremely strong individual base. Obviously, the Indian philosopher believed that such two fundamental principles of a human being as truth and non-violence were the quintessence of the social good. However, he was oriented more to non-violence since he considered it to be the most dynamic force that plays a great role in the world (Merton 71). In other words, the philosopher believed that non-violence was simply another demonstration of pure love. Therefore, one can state that, in addition to being an individual virtue, non-violence is also asocietal virtue. According to the Gandhi's beliefs, love gives a rise to such a virtue as forgiveness. Gandhi also believed that human happiness lies in tolerance and forgiveness. Fearlessness, which is probably one of the most positive virtues of all the social ones, is another peak of love. Gandhi stated that courage is the natural result of the law of love, truth and non-violence.
Regarding swaraj, it is known that it generally means self-rule or self-governance; Mahatma Gandhi used this concept as a synonym of home-rule. However, as a rule, the word refers to the philosopher’s concept of Indian self-government without the foreign control. As one can see from the Gandhi's doctrines, the relationship between satyagraha and swaraj for Gandhi is rather obvious since both concepts are interrelated and cannot exist or function properly without each other. The reason is that if an individual cannot control his or her feelings and emotions, which is the essence of the self-rule concept, it is extremely hard to become a non-violent human, which is the essence of a non-violent resistance.
Regarding non-violence, Gandhi claimed that the first step in this concept is that people develop truthfulness, loving kindness, tolerance, and humility between themselves in their daily lives (Merton 47). Indeed, people can be sure that Gandhi was right concerning his strong belief that the concept of non-violence is a core point in fighting injustice. Moreover, the above mentioned philosophical concept is an effective and important method for such aims. Gandhi stated that "we must be the change we wish to see in the world" (Nepstad and Kurtz 136). The righteous light of this statement is evident; no one can change the whole world and influence milliards of people with different world views, perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, and life experience. However, if everyone changes himself or herself and influences positively at least one person, the world will become much better. Therefore, if a person wants the whole world to be kind and generous but is not kind and generous only because the rest of people are not as well, the world will never become better. Indeed, there is no reason to be afraid of being different from the rest of people. If everyone follows this idea, the world will be full of happy, kind, and generous people. One can be sure that this is the only possible way to become the part of the great change in the world and to make it much better.
In the world where one can see only little action and a great amount of talk, the prominent philosopher stated that talk is not enough and must be always supported by actions (Nojeim 38). People can express their beliefs in the best way by putting their bodies in the procession, making announcements with their bodies, but doing this in an upright and non-violent way. Gandhi described the world as a stunning and sometimes rather efficient way of expression, which is also known as non-violence. The Indian philosopher longed to unity and peace in the world; consequently, the means that he used in order to obtain that were non-violent and peaceful methods.
Gandhi distinguished two types of resistance: an active one and a passive one. Active resistance is practically the same as a violent action since it tends to optioning to unjust means that produce hatred. The philosopher stated that brute power had no place in his notions of non-violence and truth. After working on satyagraha, that is known as a non-violent resistance in South Africa, the Indian philosopher pact satyagraha as a domestic similarity that, throughout the line of action, though, gave a way to the violent and harsh deeds, such as putting foreign clothing on fire. Gandhi’s attitude to putting foreign clothes on fire was similar to an attitude to non-violent resistance. He made it apparent that he had ruled out confidentiality from the book of disobedience.
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