Satyagraha and Nonviolence Gandhi in South Africa

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					SATYAGRAHA AND ‘NONVIOLENCE’:
GANDHI IN SOUTH AFRICA
SATYAGRAHA
   Satyagraha = Satya (truth) and Agraha (holding
    firmly to).
   Satyagraha - Not the same as - "passive resistance“

   “Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha)
    engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for
    force. I thus began to call the Indian movement
    Satyagraha, that is to say, the Force which is born of
    Truth and Love or non-violence, and gave up the use
    of the phrase “passive resistance”, in connection with
    it, so much so that even in English writing we often
    avoided it and used instead the word ‘satyagraha”
SATYAGRAHA
Satyagraha demands:
 "Sat"

 "Ahimsa"

 "Tapasya"




 Satyagraha literally means insistence on truth.
  This insistence arms the votary with matchless
  power.
 The force to be so applied can never be physical.
PRINCIPLES FOR SATYAGRAHA

 1.    Nonviolence (ahimsa)
 2.    Truth — this includes honesty, but goes beyond it to mean living fully in accord
       with and in devotion to that which is true
 3.    Non-stealing
 4.    Chastity— this includes sexual chastity, but also the subordination of other sensual
       desires to the primary devotion to truth
 5.    Non-possession (not the same as poverty)
 6.    Body-labor or bread-labor
 7.    Control of the palate
 8.    Fearlessness
 9.    Equal respect for all religions
 10.   Economic strategy such as boycotts (swadeshi)
 11.   Freedom from untouchability

 On another occasion, he listed seven rules as “essential for every Satyagrahi in India
 1.   must have a living faith in God
 2.   must believe in truth and non-violence and have faith in the inherent goodness of
      human nature which he expects to evoke by suffering in the satyagraha effort
 3.   must be leading a chaste life, and be willing to die or lose all his possessions
 4.   must be a habitual khadi wearer and spinner
 5.   must abstain from alcohol and other intoxicants
 6.   must willingly carry out all the rules of discipline that are issued
 7.   must obey the jail rules unless they are specially devised to hurt his self respect
HOW DOES SATYAGRAHA DIFFER FROM OTHER
FORMS OF NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE?
   In traditional violent and nonviolent conflict, the goal is to
    defeat the opponent or frustrate the opponent’s objectives, or
    to meet one’s own objectives despite the efforts of the opponent
    to obstruct these. In satyagraha, by contrast, these are not the
    goals. “
   Success is defined as cooperating with the opponent to meet a
    just end that the opponent is unwittingly obstructing
    Satyagraha is a weapon of the strong
   It admits of no violence under any circumstance whatsoever
   Insists upon truth.


   Gandhi contrasted satyagraha with other forms of non violent
    resistance which he believed were based on an appeal to
    narrow self interest and which failed to reach out the
    opponent
HOW EFFECTIVE IS SELF-SACRIFICE IN
NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE

 non-violence = absence of militancy ?
 indomitable spirit of the community

 readiness to lay one's life on the line



 Physical suffering is not just borne and overcome
  but actually welcomed and celebrated by the
  community.
 Fear of the ‘Other’, the ‘Enemy’.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS SELF-SACRIFICE IN
NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE

   We can see Ghandi non violence provided a
    potent means for legitimate and effective form of
    resistance within the new political order. Under
    Ghandian leadership the downtrodden were able
    to advance their cause by adopting position of
    superior morality that of non violence
SATYAGRAHA - PRIMARILY A WESTERN
TECHNIQUE THAT WAS INDIANISED ?
   significantly influenced by the writings of the Russian
    philosopher Tolstoy
   Gandhi was inspired by the campaigns of passive
    resistance waged by the Hungarian nationalist
    against the Hapsburg between 1849 and 1867

   It is not based on brute force or hatred.
    It does not aim at destroying the tyrant. It is a
    movement of self-purification. it therefore seeks to
    convert the tyrant.
   Although non-co-operation is one of the main weapons
    in the armoury of Satyagraha, it should not be
    forgotten that it is after all only a means to secure the
    co-operation of the opponent consistently with truth
    and justice..
SATYAGRAHA - PRIMARILY A WESTERN
TECHNIQUE THAT WAS INDIANISED ?

   It was based in part on the forms of civil
    resistance that had been developed in Europe,
    the United states and India, in part on his own
    strong moral principles, and in part through a
    dialogue with various modes of moral protest and
    mass resistance already practised in India
SATYAGRAHA IN SOUTH AFRICA
WHAT ASPECTS OF THE SOCIETY AND CULTURE
OF SOUTH AFRICA WERE PARTICULARLY
IMPORTANT IN THE FORMATION OF GANDHI’S
IDEA OF SATYAGRAHA?

   Jonathan Hyslop: Argued
     Socio political context of Indians in Johannesburg
      was strikingly different that any where-else
     Oppressive context of South Africa that Gandhi
      blossomed in a way he would probably not have, had
      he stayed in India

     Migration had ripped up people from their context
      and juxtaposed them in a dramatic way
     All faced common problems
   Although Gandhi was creating nationalism, it
    was one linked to a humanistic universalism

   It was apparently oppressive context of south
    Africa that Gandhi blossomed in a way he would
    probably not have, had he stayed in India
SATYAGRAHA - CONCLUSION
 political and moral.
 more important that the action be carried out on
  the highest moral plane.
 Means and ends can be on the same plane, e.g.
  political means and political ends. But for
  Gandhiji, the political ends were grounded in
  moral means.
 This is the grounding of each and every action.

				
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posted:5/17/2012
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