Gandhian Political Thought in the Contemporary World Scenario.

The right means should justify right ends

Dr Santosh Kumar ,

Gandhian political thought is based on two ideas. Gandhi ji believed that there should be no violence enshrined in the thoughts of an individual. On the other side, he was highly against the using of violent means to achieve the goals.

संतोष कुमार
Santosh Kumar Pandey , Kanpur

Speaking on the Gandhism and the Modern World on 11 February, 1992, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda had said, ““As we approach the end of this century of unprecedented wars and violence, we seek as our common goal the creation of a world without war. At this critical juncture what can we – must we- learn from this great philosopher – a man whose spiritual legacy could rightly be termed as one of humanity’s priceless treasures, a miracle of the twentieth century.” Albert Einstein once said, “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”  

This is very true that Mahatma Gandhi was a human gem irrespective of geographical, political or cultural landscape. His contribution is not confined within the boundary of a nation but for the humanity. Today, his principles are the most relevant when violence, greed and inhuman tendencies are dominating the global politics. 

The United Nations observes his birthday as the international day of non -violence. This is not only to pay respect to such a legend but also to emphasize the importance of non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi used the weapon of non -violence successfully and the world learnt the idea of peaceful and democratic transformation.

The violence in the global political scenario has been threatening peace and security. Even during the peaceful times, the arms race and the research and development in the field of destructive weapons are the devastative efforts towards violence.On the other side, the poverty, hunger and pitiable living conditions in different parts of the world raises serious concerns in the context of permanent peace and stability which is considered as the root cause behind the outbreak of violence. Gandhian philosophy aims to introduce moral values in politics. 

If great values are based in the behavior of international political leaders, the idea of peaceful coexistence can be cultivated successfully. Gandhiji always advocated high moral values in his movements for justice at both the places- India and South Africa. One of the most significant values of his philosophy is nonviolence.

Samuel P Huntington predicts the clash of human civilizations in his book- The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order in 21st century. The realist thinker Prof Hans J Morgenthau also says that the global politics is the game of power and dominance where every state aims to achieve strength for maintaining respective national interests.In this game of power, the use of violence is possible.

There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But the US led forces stormed Iraq on March 20, 2003. Iraq has second largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia in the world. The UN had appointed the Hans Blix Commission to explore the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The commission did not find any such weapons in Iraq. Despite that the US assaulted Iraq. Iraq since then has been witnessing the spells of violence. The above situation could have been avoided has the Gandhian thought been implemented to find out the solution.

The arrival of Taliban in Kabul recently is worrying the world leaders. This situation is an outcome of constant violence in the country. The intervention of international powers has made the situation worse in Afghanistan. The instable political situation in Afghanistan is an excellent example how violence has devasted the country. The permanent solution to the problem of Afghanistan can be found if all stakeholders attempt to find the durable peace through the nonviolent ways. 
Most the world problems are due to the use of violence in finding solutions to political problems. Gandhiji has given the idea of nonviolence as an innovative and constructive weapon for finding perfect solutions to the problems. In today’s world, violence is used by powerful countries to maintain their hegemony- political, cultural and economic. Mahatma Gandhi believed in the idea of peaceful coexistence. This is possible only through the nonviolent ways.

Gandhian philosophy on nonviolence is based on two ideas. Gandhi ji believed that there should be no violence enshrined in the thoughts of an individual. On the other side, he was highly against the using of violent means to achieve the goals. Maybe they are good.

According to Mahatma Gandhi, the right means should justify the right ends unlike the European philosopher Machiavelli who only emphasized the goals through any means. During noncooperation movement in India when the agitated mob set ablaze a police station, he called off the movement though this was in the decisive stage. Even he was criticized for this move by national leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose and Motilal Nehru. 

This proves that the peaceful ways of finding the solution is possible provided the both means and goals are justified. Mahatma Gandhi was a great thinker who gave the world many tools to achieve the excellence in both personal and public life. This is very unfortunate that he is not taught significantly in the international politics as a thinker.

Dr Santosh Kumar , Asst Professor , Journalism & Mass Communication

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