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Mahatma Gandhi Essays

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Mohandas Gandhi (also known as Mahatma Gandhi) was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement. “Mahatma” meaning “the great soul” was a name given to him in regards to the amount of respect he achieved through his years. He was known under many names and was often called “Bapu Ji” meaning father, as he was believed to be the spiritual father of many. Having been a lawyer and a political party member, Mahatma Gandhi was well known and had a large following. Due to his large audience, he also had many ill-wishers alongside supporters and this was the final reason for his death. Gandhi was assassinated on the 30th of January 1948 (HISTORY, 2019). Mohandas Gandhi had never come from a well-known family with high social standing, the name he has earned was earnt through his own work and hardships. At the time of Gandhi’s preachings, his views and morals were highly debated and discussed, which has been continued since. Many people still follow his principles to this day, and can the modern world can benefit from adopting these values. Gandhi’s main principles included: non-violence, honesty and he also believed that every individual had the right to/should attain basic education. If the fundamental ideas that Mahatma Gandhi preached were applied to society today, the world would be a better place. The root of many problems can be traced back to Gandhi’s principles and can be prevented by implementing them. Many may argue, however, that these application of these values are unattainable or impossible, but Gandhi’s faith in humanity never wavered. In an ideal world having achieved world peace, the foundation of it would overlap with Mahatma Gandhi’s principles.

The act of violence has resulted in destructive outcomes in the world, from one nation to the other, no one country seems to be spared of acts of violence. Not only can the act violence cause death, but it can affect someone for long periods of time, if not, their entire lives, in cases of abuse (, 2019). The approximate number of deaths as a result of violence was around 1.659 million (Krug, Mercy, and Dahlburg, 2002). If Mahatma Gandhi’s act of nonviolence was adopted by the entire world, 1.659 million would be saved and a countless number of fatalities could have been prevented. There were 1,025 known cases of terrorist attacks in India in the year 2016, causing 465 fatalities (Roser, Nagdy, and Ritchie, 2013). A famous quote said by Thomas Merton in regards to Gandhi’s principle of nonviolence sums up the message Gandhi was often trying to portray: “Peace cannot be built on exclusivism, absolutism, and intolerance. But neither can it be built on vague liberal slogans and pious programs gestated in the smoke of confabulation. There can be no peace on earth without the kind of inner change that brings man back to his ‘right mind” (Goodreads, n.d.). Gandhi yet however never had lost hope in mankind, believing world peace was ultimately possible if your faith in humanity never wavers. “Nonviolence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man” was one said by Gandhi in regards to the possibility of a nonviolent world (Goodreads, n.d.). The world still has a long way to go in terms of nonviolence, but if changes are implemented it’s not an impossible situation. The hardest part is not implementing change, but starting it and changing the mindsets of others.

Truthfulness has become but a myth and the value of honesty becomes greater and greater as the rarity of it increases. From politics to media, from medicine to entertainment, dishonesty has become a prominent part of culture internationally. One of the most well-known cases of dishonesty is the prominent dishonesty in politics. It is well known worldwide that the motives behind politics have primarily become power and a big part of powerplay in today’s society is the act of dishonesty. Due to this dishonesty, people are oblivious as to things that affect them, that they have no say over. A well-known website called “Wikileaks” is a platform created recently that has exposed these occurring, making it known to us that dishonesty is a part of our every day lives without us even knowing (Stack, Cumming-Bruce, and Kruhly, 2019). This issue overlaps with the philosophical theory of free will, and how a person has the right to make their own decisions regarding/impacting their own lives (O’Connor, 2002). Gandhi had strong opinions about dishonesty, he implied that honesty was favourable and spoke of it so much so that it is one of his main and one of the most well-known principles. “A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” was once said by Gandhi himself which implies his belief of the truth being told regardless of the repercussions(The Economic Times, 2018). Thomas Jefferson once said that “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” which heavily links back to Gandhi’s viewpoint, for he too believed that honesty resulted in wisdom and integrity. The current state of the world could reap many benefits from truthfulness and through this free will can be practised.

Gandhi believed that every human being should receive basic education by default, regardless of their age, religion, sex or social standing. 775 million individuals around the world are illiterate and 152 million children that will be in the future because they are not attending school (Hammer, 2012). These statistics although in ratio to the number of people who are educated are low, this is still a significant number of people that are unable to have an ideal quality of life because they do not have the benefits of a literate person. Without education, an individual can suffer many consequences such as poor social standing/given respect, quality of life, job opportunities etc. Basic education is received by most of the population, however, those that are being denied of this requirement are being deprived of many future opportunities. Malala Yousefzai is a well known social activist and victim of an act of terrorism with morals close to those of Mahatma Gandhi’s. She is known to have fought for female rights of education which can be traced back to Gandhi’s belief that every individual was deserving of education. Nai Talim is the basic principle describing that knowledge and principle are one, and the importance of basic education falls under this. Benjamin Franklin once said that knowledge is an investment that pays the best interest. Without knowledge, an individual would both metaphorically and literally broke. Education is the foundation of knowledge and it prepares minds to be able to gain further knowledge in the future. Although higher education is not readily available for all, basic education should be provided by default.

Many may argue that the adaptation of Mahatma Gandhi’s principles into the modern world is not possible or that society would not reap any benefits from it. For example, the literal application of the truth may be impractical for some, who may argue that the truth is able to hurt people in certain situations. However, this was not how Mohandas Gandhi himself interpreted the practice of honesty. Being honest does not mean that every truth must constantly be told to everyone regardless of relevance. Gandhi is referring to bigger matters, and the application of this principle may be different for everyone. Another point may be that the application of this principle may never bring “world peace” because no matter what, not everyone is going to be satisfied. It may be true that the adoption of these principles will not bring world peace, however, it’s undeniable that many problems have the potential of being solved through these. Mahatma Gandhi simply believed that the world would be a much better place to live as opposed to the state it was and is currently in.

The prevalence of Mahatma Gandhi’s cannot be denied, whether the argument is for or against as his basic principles can be traced back to today’s most famous discussions or issues. Mahatma Gandhi’s movement towards peace. The many different pathways towards peace can all be related back ultimately to Mahatma Gandhi’s preachings, as he has covered many bases on the theory of peace. The application of the combination of all of Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi’s principles can lead to a world that would be a lot more pleasant to live in. Due to the many acts of violence occurring on an everyday basis, the many lies we are fed, and the significant amount of illiteracy, the idea of Gandhi’s ideal world seems near impossible, however, Gandhi never gave up hope towards humanity and neither should we. The aftermath of the adoption of Gandhi’s principle may not lead to instant world peace, however, it would make the world a much better place and that ultimately is a significant step forward towards the right direction.

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Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela as Legendary Figures in the Non-Violence Community: Essay

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