Indian Civil Rights Leader and Pacifist Mohandas Gandhi

About the famous Indian Civil Rights leader and pacifist Mohandas Gandhi, history and biography of the proponent of non-violent resistence.



His Person: Hindu lawyer and politician-saint who pioneered in the use of nonviolent resistance by mass political movements. Developed the concept of satyagraha (soul-force, literally, "clinging to truth"), which he called "the only thing the atom bomb cannot destroy." Believed that the means determine the end. Renounced violence or threat of force and taught his followers to love those who hated them. Led widely influential campaigns against apartheid in South Africa and for Indian independence using nonviolent techniques such as protest marches, general strikes, fasts, and mass civil disobedience. Passed nearly six years in jail. Advocated swaraj ("home rule"), revival of home industries, and agrarian reform. Campaigned for Hindu-Muslim cooperation. Opposed the caste system, colonialism, and child marriages. Assassinated by anti-Muslim fanatic Nathuram Godse while going to a prayer meeting. Called Mahatma ("Great Soul") and "the Father of India." Churchill called him a "seditious fakir" but Gen. George C. Marshall eulogized him as "the spokesman for the conscience of mankind." His autobiography is entitled The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

His Belief: "If blood be shed, let it be our blood. Cultivate the quiet courage of dying without killing. For man lives freely only by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him."

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