Shots of Non-Violence
--The Revolutionary Tactics of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi--
By: R. Jennings
The Beginning of Indifference
"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind"( Mahatma Gandhi Biography ). These were some of many words that defined a movement towards India's independence. This movement was possible because of a revolutionary figure named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. He assisted in leading India towards independence with non-violent disobedience, while creating a precedent for new upcoming movements such as the Civil Rights Movement. He used his calm, passive, peaceful tactics to create history in many ways with a blink of an eye. Mahatma Gandhi revolutionized civil actions against British ruling and social interactions between communities because of his new way of thinking.
Painting of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India (Mahatma Gandhi Biography ). In his early life his mother was a strong, austere and a devoted vaishnavism worshiper whom advocated nonviolence during Gandhi's childhood. Meanwhile his father was the chief minister of Porbandar. At age 19, Gandhi traveled to London to study law and attend University College London. In mid- 1891 he went back to India for Law practice in Bombay. After some time the law firm sent him and his family to South Africa for work. Upon arrival Gandhi and his family were shocked at the amount of discrimination towards Indians in South Africa. An example that Gandhi endured was when riding a train, he was thrown out of first class and beaten by a white stage coach driver ( Mahatma Gandhi History). After this incident he decided to take action against racial, religious and cultural discrimination.
("Gandhi. His life in Pictures")
A picture of Gandhi as a young lawyer, he used his argumentative tactics learned as an attorney and left his job to fight for a greater cause.
Innovation of India
This incident drove Gandhi to start a revolution because racial segregation was unjust and unlawful. His efforts created a long lasting Indian community effort against prejudice through non-violent resistance. In 1930 he led the Salt March which was greater that twenty-three miles and protested against the high taxation of salt from European countries. This occurred after seeing the corrupted money-oriented state of their leadership. During the salt march thousands gathered to collect their own salt water to filter and this protest resulted in more than 60,000 arrests. Through boycotts, and hunger strikes on August 15th 1947 India gained independence from British Rule. During these revolts Gandhi was imprisoned a total of six times, resulting in six years and five months of solitary confinement (Lal).
Mahatma Gandhi First Television Interview (30 April 1931)
("Mahatma Gandhi Talks")
Video of Mahatma Gandhi at his first televised interview.
Involvement in Pacifistic Rebellion
In 1947 the British granted India its independence, resulting in a separation the country in two. Although Gandhi assisted and led India towards gaining independence from England he did not agree with the compromise. He believed Hindus and Muslims should live together in peace not separated with boarders. The riots then caused Gandhi to undertake a hunger strike until they ceased. Gandhi greatly changed the world without using violence and actually getting something resolved. The influence of Gandhi carries on even though he is no longer here (Mahatma Gandhi History). The dedication of Gandhi has been seen through each protest. Mahatma Gandhi was shot to death in 1948 by a Hindu fundamentalist ("The Assassination of Gandhi" ).
Political Cartoon of Mahatma Gandhi
Evidence of the Effects
What truly makes a revolutionary figure, was it his courage, maybe his bravery, or even his rebellion? Within his actions, Gandhi became the foundation to a structure of peace. With creativity in each movement, towards the Salt March ( Mahatma Gandhi History) with pacifistic rebellion in the eyes of the people. His bravery was exhibited spending every minute as a living target while being determined towards his cause. Gandhi created change through England and India providing the independence and support needed for a nation. (Lal)
Impacting in the Afterlife
Mahatma Gandhi was a role model for future activists by making a huge impact in a passive and peaceful way. People like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa have mimicked his tactics to affect their communities and nations positively. Gandhi believed that an eye for an eye was the wrong way to settle conflict and he was right. A young lawyer quit his job to follow his ideas on human rights. Gandhi truly believed that an eye for an eye was the wrong way to bring peace. His peaceful and passive examples left the world a better place.