Skip to comments.Was Gandhi as non-violent as the peaceniks would have us believe?
Posted on 01/04/2003 10:12:41 AM PST by nwrep
The Truth About Mahatma Gandhi
A lot of today's peaceniks quote the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi when they talk about resisting war against evil dictators. Yet how many of them know (and how many of you Freepers know, for that matter) that Gandhi was not a traditional peacenik in that he did not see the absence of war as an end in itself. His philosophy was far more complicated than that.
In fact, he was honest enough to admit the usefulness of violence, particularly when dealing with evil regimes and dictators bent on the destruction of a whole race of people, such as in the allied effort against the Nazis in WWII. This is a fact conveniently forgotten by all clueless pacifists today, who are too naive and simple-minded, or simply too stupid to understand the realities of this world.
Gandhi's advocacy of non-violence was specifically in the context of India's struggle for independence from the British rule from the 1920s to the 1940s. He did not believe in a violent revolution or uprising to achieve this goal, and neither did he approve of terrorist activities or assassinations of British military officers, as called for by some of the more violent Indian leaders back then. He steadfastly opposed such actions on part of the Indian people, and instead, preached a non-violent, non-cooperation against the British empire in its efforts to rule over India.
Here is an important quote from him:
"where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I advise violence."
Other Quotes from Gandhi:
I WOULD risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race.
But I believe that non-violence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier...But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature....
The world is not entirely governed by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence.
My method of non-violence can never lead to loss of strength, but it alone will make it possible, if the nation wills it, to offer disciplined and concerted violence in time of danger.
My non-violence does admit of people, who cannot or will not be non-violent, holding and making effective use of arms. Let me repeat for the thousandth time that non-violence is of the strongest, not of the weak.
To run away from danger, instead of facing it, is to deny one's faith in man and God, even one's own self. It were better for one to drown oneself than live to declare such bankruptcy of faith.
I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.
Whilst I may not actually help anyone to retaliate, I must not let a coward seek shelter behind non-violence so-called. Not knowing the stuff of which non-violence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one's life. As a teacher of non-violence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.
Note to Freepers: I want to hear your comments.
You do, though, need to reference all of them.
Not because I don't believe them, but the crazy pacifists won't.
For the most part they still won't believe them even when demonstrated Ghandi said them.
This is fantastic stuff most people will overlook.
My belief is that the key to success of "non-violence" as practiced by Gandhi was the recognition that the majority of the "traders" to whom you refer were basically moral people.
Gandhi's efforts were aimed at demonstrating that the British had among them people who were not moral and that the British rule of India was itself immoral.
The success of this effort depended entirely on a recognition by the majority of British that there was no moral way to continue what Gandhi's followers demonstrated was oppression.
This approach does not work against an opponent who is ready, willing, and able to put millions of helpless people into gas chambers followed by the removal of their teeth to recover the gold.
He is also responsible for the partician of India that now gives to world the Paki Problem.
The problem would have existed even without a Pakistan. It just would not have been a Paki problem, but an Indian problem.
Dr. Bose collaborated with the Nazis and the Japanese in WWII. He believed in violent resistance to the British, but with the defeat of the Nazis and the Japanese, he had no allies left. He may have been an Indian patriot, but his strategy gets an F. Gandhi's, OTOH, was much more effective.
Bengali admiration for Dr. Bose is simply because he was Bengali. Gandhi surrounded himself by people from many different parts of the country, but he assidously avoided Bengalis, thus a perception that he was biased against them. There is a whole history behind why Bengalis dislike (or hate) Gandhi, and that's where the adoration for Dr. Bose comes in.. he's a native son, that's all. Being communist has nothing to do with it, even the Bengali opposition (non-communist) loves Dr. Bose.
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