Then rose the star of Gandhi. He showed that a doctrine of non-violence was possible.
I believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time.
We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.
Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered as long as free men and those who love freedom and justice live.
The name Mahatma Gandhi has become synonymous with right and justice; towards this end it has become an inspiration to millions of oppressed people and has kindled the light of liberty.
Today, when world peace is threatened with atomic and nuclear weapons capable of annihilating the human race, Mahatma Gandhi's teachings of love and truth and of respect for others' rights have become even more meaningful than at any other time.
I and others may be revolutionaries but we are disciples of Mahatma Gandhi, directly or indirectly, nothing more nothing less.
Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale. The intellectual and moral satisfaction that I failed to gain from the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, the revolutionary methods of Marx and Lenin, the social contract theory of Hobbes, the 'back to nature' optimism of Rousseau, and the superman philosophy of Nietzsche, I found in the non-violent resistance philosophy of Gandhi.
If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought, and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore him at our own risk.
Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but he resisted with love instead of hate. True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love.
TRIBUTE TO MAHATMA GANDHI BY DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., ON THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASSASSINATION OF MAHATMA GANDHI
Mahatma Gandhi has done more than any other person of history to reveal that social problems can be solved without resorting to primitive methods of violence. In this sense he is more than a saint of India. He belongs - as they said of Abraham Lincoln - to the ages. In our struggle against racial segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, I came to see at a very early stage that a synthesis of Gandhi's method of non-violence and the Christian ethic of love is the best weapon available to Negroes for this struggle for freedom and human dignity. It may well be that the Gandhian approach will bring about a solution to the race problem in America. His spirit is a continual reminder to oppressed people that it is possible to resist evil and yet not resort to violence.
The Gandhian influence in some way still speaks to the conscience of the world as nations grapple with international problems. If we fail, on an international scale, to follow the Gandhian principle of non-violence, we may end up by destroying ourselves through the misuse of our own instruments. The choice is no longer between violence and non-violence. It is now either non-violence or non-existence.
Oppressed people can deal with oppression in three ways. They can accept or acquiesce. Under segregation they can adjust to it. Yet non-co-operation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is co-operation with good. The minute one accepts segregation, one co-operates with it. Oppressed people can, on the other hand, resort to physical violence, a method both whole nations and oppressed peoples have used. But violence merely brings about a temporary victory and not permanent peace. It creates ever new problems. Gandhi has come on the scene of history with still another way. He would resist evil as much as the man who uses violence, but he resists it without external violence or violence of the spirit. That is what Gandhism does. It is a method of the strong. If the only alternative is between cowardice and violence, it is better - as Gandhi said - to use violence, but there is another way.
I myself gained this insight from Gandhi. When I was in theological school, I thought the only way we could solve our problem of segregation was an armed revolt. I felt that the Christian ethic o love was confined to individual relationships. I could not see how it could work in social conflict. Then I read Gandhi's ethic of love as revealed in Jesus but raised to a social strategy for social transformation. This lifts love from individual relationships to the place of social transformation. This Gandhi helped us to understand and for this we are grateful a decade after his death.
He was right, he knew he was right, we all knew he was right. The man who killed him knew he was right. However long the follies of the violent continue, they but prove that Gandhi was right. 'Resist to the very end', he said, 'but without violence'. Of violence the world is sick. Oh, India, dare to be worthy of your Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi came and stood at the door of India's destitute millions, clad as one of themselves, speaking to them in their own language...who else has so unreservedly accepted the vast masses of the Indian people as his flesh and blood...Truth awakened Truth.
Gandhi is not only for India a hero of national history, whose legendary memory will be enshrined in the millennial epoch. -Gandhi has renewed, for all the peoples of the West, the message of their Christ, forgotten or betrayed.
For many, he was like a return of Christ. For others, for independent thinkers, Gandhi was a new incarnation of Jean-Jaques Rosseau and of Tolstoy, denouncing the illusions and the crimes of civilization, and preaching to men the return to nature, to the simple life, to health.
I have seen here, in Switzerland, the pious love that he [Gandhi] inspired in humble peasants of the country side and the mountains.
Many of his principles have universal application and eternal validity, and I hope the passing years will show that his faith in the efficacy of non-violent pressure as an agent for peaceful change is as justified today all over the world as it was in his time in India.
Gandhi's way of thinking can lead directly into the political structure of the future world, in which a nation might be much better protected by not possessing atomic weapons than by having them, or might pursue its own interests much more efficiently by participating in the interests of other nations than by ignoring them. It was the unique example given by Gandhi which demonstrated that the most sincere personal engagement combined with complete renunciation of violence can lead to great political success. We are all indebted to him for this example.
Not since Buddha has India so revered any man. Not since St. Francis of Assissi has any life known to history been so marked by gentleness, disinterestedness, simplicity of soul and forgiveness of enemies. We have the astonishing phenomenon of a revolution led by a saint.
When asked what attribute he most admired in human nature, Mahatma Gandhi replied, simply and immediately, 'Courage'. 'Nonviolence', he said, 'is not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave.
I have the greatest admiration and respect for Mahatma Gandhi. He was a great human being with a deep understanding of human nature. He made every effort to encourage the full development of the positive aspects of the human potential and to reduce or restrain the negative. His life has inspired me ever since I was a small boy. Ahimsa or nonviolence is the powerful idea that Mahatma Gandhi made familiar throughout the world. But nonviolence does not mean the mere absence of violence. It is something more positive, more meaningful than that, for it depends wholly on the power of truth. The true expression of nonviolence is compassion. Some people seem to think that compassion is just a passive emotional response instead of a rational stimulus to action. To experience genuine compassion is to develop a feeling of closeness to others combined with a sense of responsibility for their welfare. This develops when we accept that other people are just like ourselves in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering. What is the relevance of nonviolence and compassion to the future of humanity? As Mahatma Gandhi showed by his own example, nonviolence can be implemented not only in politics but also in day-to-day life. That was his great achievement. He showed that nonviolence should be active in helping others. Nonviolence means that if you can help and serve others you should do so. If you cannot, you must at least restrain yourself from harming others. I believe that it is very important that we find positive ways in which children and adults can be educated in the path of compassion, kindness and nonviolence. If we can actively do this I believe we will be fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi's legacy to us. It is my prayer that, as we enter this new century, nonviolence and dialogue will increasingly come to govern all human relations.
12105 Berlin, Germany
Mobile: +49 (0)1523 3987220 (WhatsApp)
+66 (0)957 577374 (WhatsApp)