Mahatma Gandhi: Peaceful Revolutionary

Mahatma Gandhi: Peaceful Revolutionary

Mahatma Gandhi: Peaceful Revolutionary

Mahatma Gandhi: Peaceful Revolutionary

Excerpt

"The light has gone out of our lives," said Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in an impromptu radio address upon Gandhi's martyrdom; "there is darkness everywhere." Could it really be that Gandhi's light ceased to shine since he was no longer with us in his puny bundle of flesh and bones? Correcting himself, Nehru continued: "I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years; and a thousand years later, that light will be seen in this country, and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts. For that light represented something more than the immediate present; it represented the living truth . . . the eternal truths, reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom."

Gandhi may truly be said to be the prophetic voice of the twentieth century. Violence inflicts upon its practitioners physical and spiritual wounds; the way of non-violence, said Gandhi, "blesses him who uses it and him against whom it is used." Again, "non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law -- to the strength of the spirit."

Let us be sure we do not misunderstand the philosophy of non-violence embodied in Gandhi's life and teachings. A practitioner of the non-violent way of life, far from being passive, is the most active person in the world. He is ready to join the fray -- non-violently -- wherever and whenever there is injustice or . . .

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