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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, 2006

Social and Political Philosophy

Purabi Ghosh Roy
Pages 73-79

Gandhi's Socio-Political Philosophy
Efficacy of Non-Violent Resistance

In today's world the need for cultivating non-violence is becoming more pronounced. Gandhi extrapolated an ideal society based on truth and nonviolence. The Bombay Chronicle in its issue of 5th April, 1930, reported "...For the first time a nation is asked by its leader to win freedom by itself accepting all the suffering and sacrifice involved. Mahatma Gandhi's success does not, therefore, merely mean the freedom of India. It will also constitute the most important contribution that any country yet made towards the elimination of force as an arbiter between one nation and another..." For him, two cardinal principles of life, non-violence and truth, were the essence of sociopolitical good. "Satyagraha" was Gandhi's gift to the world. The word was coined by him in South Africa. In the West it was known as passive resistance. Satyagraha signified pure soul-force. Truth or Love is the very substance of the soul. To quote Gandhi in this context: "Non-violence as supreme dharma is the proof of this power of Love. Nonviolence is a dormant state. In the working state, it is Love, ruled by Love, the world goes on.... we are alive solely because of Love....we are all ourselves the proof of this..." In a centrifugal world, Gandhi's views expressed on non-violence and love are guidance to the world today more than at any other time.

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