Gandhi believed that nonviolence was stronger than violence, because nonviolence demonstrated a person’s actual strength. He believed that someone was stronger if they participated in active nonviolence, letting someone commit violence on them, than for someone to participate in committing violence to another person. In his native India, the country was under colonial Britain rule and natives were treated poorly by the British. Gandhi developed his theory of nonviolence to fight against the British rule, which successfully left India in 1947 partially due to him and Hitler’s growing regime. One motive of his theory of nonviolence is for the attacker to feel guilt, or remorse.
While Gandhi’s theory was extremely influential for the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s, in most political upheavals, his theory of nonviolence would not suffice enough.. His theory does not bring justice to victims. His theory says that technically, the victim is supposed to take all of the attacks and be peaceful, not fight back in any way, because fighting back means that a person is weak. But this can sound extremely unfair to victims of crime, and Gandhi’s theory is not practiced in most parts of the world because most the world operates in a violent world. Crime committed against an individual can cause serious psychological disorders such as PTSD, or can onset other disorders that the individual was genetically prone to. It takes a huge toll on an individual’s body and mind. For most individuals, they want to see their attacker punished in some way. An example is victims of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. Closure was seeing the people who sent them to camps sent to international court, then convicted of crimes against humanity, and then executed. Most human beings crave closure, especially for things that they were wronged.
Gandhi’s theory of nonviolence does not apply to the current sovereign relations. Back in the late 1930’s, Hitler declared war on Poland by invading Poland. In world history, time, and time again has shown that invasion is one of the most common ways in starting a war. Violating a country’s borders and territories is always seen as a violent act, and is met with violence. Countries do not try to meet the invader’s violence with nonviolence, because if a country doesn’t defend itself from one invader, then those actions invite other invaders. While Gandhi’s philosophy sounds wonderful, peaceful, and has worked two or three times, realistically it is not ideal philosophy to use in our world when it comes to most situations.
While Gandhi’s philosophy is not very realistic and can do much harm, I believe one of the roots of his philosophy is for a decrease in the amount of overall violence. And I believe that is doable. It’s troubling how willingly some people, particularly people in our government, want to commit violence. Since the United States was founded, our country has been in more than eight wars, and particular people in our government are very eager to start another war. This isn’t only in the United States either, other countries seem eager to fight in a war, to prove themselves or take over more resources and land. Countries need to try to be more democratic with other countries, and it’s crucial that human beings try to understand each other more, and decrease the amount of violence.
Gandhi’s philosophy of Non-violence – Africa needs Gandhi. (n.d.). Retrieved August 17, 2016, from http://www.mkgandhi.org/africaneedsgandhi/gandhi’s_philosophy_of_nonviolence.htm