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Active Versus Passive Resistance…

Nowadays, a question, somehow, frequently pops up: Is there any need to prove the historical importance of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), and his Non-Violence Movement, today? Perhaps, one should rethink a lot about the Ideological and Strategic importance of Gandhi’s Non-Violent Movement and Satyagraha (‘insistence‘ or ‘holding firmly to‘, or ‘holding onto truth‘, or ‘truth force‘ is a particular form of non-violent resistance or civil resistance) in today’s world.

David Hardiman recently edited a book, titled ‘Non-Violence in Modern Indian History’, in which the editor, himself, wrote an important piece on the Political Philosophy of the Indian Lawyer, Anti-Colonial Nationalist, and Political Ethicist, who employed Non-violent Resistance to lead the successful Campaign for India’s Independence from the British Rule, and, in turn, inspired Movements for Civil Rights and Freedom across the Globe. In that article, Hardiman has reminded readers of Walter Benjamin‘s warning. The German Jewish Philosopher, Cultural Critic and Essayist had advised the Global Community not to consider History as only the success or failure of a State… He had famously urged the Historians to write ‘against the grain’. He meant that marginalised populations left few evidentiary trails and that it becomes Historians’ responsibility to work around that limitation. According to Benjamin, the Historians should not concentrate only on the current, but also on the anti-current and sub-current! In other words, he stressed on the Formula of Great Historiographical and Political Significance.

Hardiman believes that Gandhi’s idea of Non-Violence helps the Global Community get the concepts of an Alternative Society, an Alternative Ideology, and an Alternative Power! Against the grain is necessary to understand Gandhi’s alternatives.

In his article on Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram (Sabarmati Monastery), Historian Tridip Suhrud, too, has mentioned that Non-Violence should not be considered as a stagnant or closed Ideology, as it could be changed and controlled, if needed. So, according to Suhrud, one must not consider the idea of Non-Violence in a one-sided manner. In that case, there might not be justice served for methods adopted by Gandhi…

M K Gandhi

It seems that the critics of Gandhi have failed to realise this essence of History… as a result, they have also failed to criticise Gandhi properly. Anil Nauriya has raised this particular issue by discussing the concept of Gandhi’s Social Radicalism and its interpretation (misinterpretation?) by the Marxist politicians in his article. In another article, Anwesha Roy has discussed Gandhi’s alternatives in the context of the riots of 1947-48 (during the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent).

This publication has reminded readers that the need for understanding Gandhi’s Philosophy will be stronger, with the world facing deeper crises…

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