Gandhi Jayanti 2020: Brief outline of Gandhi’s Ideologies

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. This year we are celebrating his 151st Birth Anniversary.

This day is observed as an officially declared national holiday and celebrated across states and territories in India. This day is celebrated by remembering Gandhi and his teachings.

Not only in India, but this day is also observed as ‘International Non-Violence day’, a resolution declared by UN General Assembly on June 15, 2007. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

Gandhi has immensely contributed and known for his major contribution in fighting for Independence from British rule. His non-violent way of life and he led the Dandi Salt March in 1930. In 1942, he launched the Quit India Movement and he was also instrumental in abolishing the age-old practice of untouchability.

He always believed the path of non-violence and peace and is also regarded as ‘Father of the Nation’ and many people follow his teachings and ideologies:

Let’s look at Gandhi’s Ideologies:
  1. Truth and Non-Violence– One of the foremost ideology of Gandhi
  • According to him,  truth is the relative truth of truthfulness in word and deed and the absolute truth – the ultimate reality. This ultimate truth is God as God is reality and morality.
  • Nonviolence meaning peacefulness or the absence of overt violence is understood by Mahatma Gandhi to denote active love. Nonviolence or love is regarded as the highest law of humankind.
Gandhi Jayanti
Photo: Kavi IAS

2. Satyagraha – For Gandhi method of nonviolent action is Satyagraha. It means the exercise of the purest soul-force against all injustice, oppression and exploitation.

  • This word has arrived from “Satya” meaning truth and “Agraha” meaning holding firmly.
  • The origin of Satyagraha can be found in the Upanishads and in the teachings of Buddha, Mahavira and a number of other greats including Tolstoy and Ruskin.
Gandhi Jayanti
Photo: Satyagraha Foundation

3. Swaraj The word swaraj means self-rule and gave it the content of an integral revolution that encompasses all spheres of life.

  • For people, it meant the sum total of the swaraj (self-rule) of individuals and But for him, swaraj meant freedom for the meanest of his countrymen. Swaraj is much more than freedom from all restraints it is self-rule, self-restraint and could be equated with moksha or salvation.
Gandhi Jayanti
Photo: Vajiram IAS

4. Trusteeship– It is a  socio-economic philosophy that was propounded by Gandhi Ji.

  • It provides a means by which the wealthy people would be the trustees of trusts that looked after the welfare of the people in general.
  • This principle reflects Gandhi Ji’s spiritual development, which he owed partly to his deep involvement with and the study of theosophical literature and the Bhagavad Gita.
Gandhi Jayanti
Photo: Kalyan City Life

5. Swadeshi – The word swadeshi is derived from Sanskrit. ‘Swa’ means self or own and ‘desh’ means country. So Swadesh means ‘one’s own country’.

  • Swadeshi is the focus on acting within and from one’s own community, both politically and economically.
  • Gandhi Ji believed this would lead to independence from British control. Swadeshi acted as a key to the independence of India and it was represented by the ‘charkha or the spinning wheel.’
Gandhi Jayanti
Photo: Congress chronicles

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