Gandhi and the Non-Violence Movement




One of the most fascinating personalities of the twentieth century, Gandhi impressed by the model that he set successfully implementing nonviolence in some of the most difficult situations: the struggle for independence and against discrimination. His life remains a model narrated in books and movies and every peaceworker should know at least a fragment of what Gandhi meant to the world.

Gandhi was born on the 2nd of October 1869 in India. He later on studied law in London. His non-violent struggle was motivated by the injustices of his time, injustices that he experimented himself both in South Africa and in India, where he worked and lived.

A few principles guided his life, principles that he decided to experiment on himself becoming a live example of his teachings.

  • TRUTH (Satya). Gandhi stated that the most important struggle is towards one's own deamons. He later said that Satya is God and God is Satya.
  • NONVIOLENCE. (Ahymsa) Although not the creator of the concept, Gandhi took it to a new strength through his usage of nonviolent struggle in order to gain the independence of his nation. His famous 'Salt March' remains a standing example in this sense.
  • VEGETARIANISM. While he started out experimenting with meat, Gandhi became a vegetarian before going to university.
  • BRAHMACHARYA. Spiritual and practical purity and asceism. Gandhi after feeling a sense of guilt because at his father's death he was not with him, being together with his wife, he decided to practice celibate at the age of 36.

A Timeline of Gandhi's Life:


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born in Porbandar in Gujarat State, India


Gandhi leaves for Johannesburg for practicing law and is thrown out of a first class bogie because he is colored.


Mohandas K. Gandhi, 37, speaks at a mass meeting in the Empire Theater, Johannesburg  on September 11 and launches a campaign of nonviolent resistance (satyagraha) to protest discrimination against Indians. The British Government had just invalidated the Indian Marriage.


Mohandas Gandhi in Transvaal, South Africa leads 2,500 Indians into the in defiance of a law, they are violently arrested, Gandhi refuses to pay a fine, he is jailed, his supporters demonstrate. On November 25, and Natal police fire into the crowd, killing two, injuring 20.


Mohandas Gandhi returns to India at age 45 after 21 years of practicing law in South Africa where he organized a campaign of “passive resistance” to protest his mistreatment by whites for his defense of Asian immigrants. He attracts wide attention in India by conducting a fast --the first of 14 that he will stage as political demonstrations and that will inaugurate the idea of the political fasting.


A civil disobedience campaign against the British in India begins March 12. The All-India Trade Congress has empowered Gandhi to begin the demonstrations (see 1914). Called Mahatma for the past decade, Gandhi leads a 165-mile march to the Gujarat coast of the Arabian Sea and produces salt by evaporation of sea water in violation of the law as a gesture of defiance against the British monopoly in salt production


Gandhi begins a "fast unto death" to protest the British government's treatment of India's lowest caste "untouchables" whom Gandhi calls Harijans -- "God's children." Gandhi's campaign of civil disobedience has brought rioting and has landed him in prison, but he persists in his demands for social reform, he urges a new boycott of British goods, and after 6 days of fasting obtains a pact that improves the status of the "untouchables" (Dalits)


India becomes free from 200 years of British Rule. A major victory for Gandhian principles and non-violence in general.


Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic at a prayer meeting


"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."


" Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."


"You must be the change you want to see in the world."



















2006-2010 © ACTIVE FOR PEACE
VISITADR: Peace House, Kranvn 4B, POSTADRESSE: Postboks 19, N-4951 RISØR, TEL: 37 15 39 00 MOB: 95 23 81 99 FAX: 37 15 43 58